Ask 13: Why is paint coming off Coxe Avenue mural?

"I am interested in a followup on the giant mural on Coxe Avenue. It looks horrible. A huge waste of time and money," Sherry Campbell wrote to Ask 13. The photo on the left shows the mural as work is being completed. The one on the right shows the road today. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A downtown Asheville project with a street mural, meant to improve safety, has a News 13 viewer asking why the road art is looking so bad.

"I am interested in a followup on the giant mural on Coxe Avenue. It looks horrible. A huge waste of time and money," Sherry Campbell wrote to Ask 13.

The mural, which has paint wearing off in places, was just one part of several installations meant to slow traffic on Coxe Avenue. No taxpayer money was used, but city officials did sign off on the $160,000 project, funded by private donations.

Mike Sule, of Asheville on Bikes, said the mural wasn't meant to last long.

"The materials that we used, it was designed to be temporary and to not last long. This project was about an experiment. Can we get the resources together, the people together? Once we get the people together, how do we lay out a one block street mural? That has never been done in Asheville," Sule said.

Asheville on Bikes, the Blue Ridge Bike Club and AARP pooled a total of $160,000 that went to the initiative.

By far, the bulk of the money was used to install buffered parking, two mid-block pedestrian cross-walks and stop signs -- all meant to make pedestrians safer. The organizer said the group was testing materials, and, if the mural does help slow traffic, more expensive but longer-lasting paint can be used in the spring to permanently put down the road art.

If you have a question you would like answered, write to ask13@wlos.com.

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