New Asheville High traffic pattern gets a failing grade

Wow. Mountian Xpress should go cover the new traffic pattern at Asheville High School. There's probably a large group of irate folks available for some juicy interviews. AHS changed their traffic pattern this school year because of "student safety.” Everyone must now drop off the kids via Victoria Road only.  There is no entrance to the school in the front except for buses. Not for visitors either. Nada.

If you go out there at about 8:15 a.m., the traffic is backed up for a half-mile onto Biltmore Avenue. This line includes not only AHS student drop-offs, but also hospital employee workers, visitors to the hospital as well as A-B Tech employees and students. If I was one of those folks I would be furious! Who thought that one up? I don't know if the City Schools received permission from the city and Mission Hospital to set this up, but someone had a major brain cramp! Good lord! That's right up there with putting up city directional signs behind trees or other signs so you can't see them!

The increase in people directing traffic on and just off the school grounds has also increased (besides the all the teachers out there). The school is going to have to keep those yellow-jacket guys on staff to help out the traffic as there's no way it will work without them. That's more money being spent that wasn't before.

AHS has all these honor students and SILSA students that they are always bragging about, why can't anyone think of something better? Offer a prize for the best suggestion. This was an amazing and colossal mistake.

— Cindy Sullivan
Asheville

SHARE
About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster

14 thoughts on “New Asheville High traffic pattern gets a failing grade

  1. Celeste Collins

    It really is a huge problem on so many levels. It seems like if a traffic study had been done before the decision was made this change would never have been proposed. Last year my son and i could leave for school at 8:05 and he would be in class in plenty of time. This year he is driving and because of the traffic jam, he has to leave at 7:45 to get in his class by 8:25. In addition to the waste of time, there is more gas used and more pollution going into the air as cars sit idling in the traffic congestion. I can’t imagine how bad it must be for the workers/students trying to get to AB Tech or Mission. BTW: I understand Asheville High has the teachers working traffic duty. That makes me sad because I really think we ask so much of teachers already! Something needs to be done, because this is NOT working.

  2. chops

    There is no entrance to the school in the front except for buses.

    So, get on the bus! or a bicycle!
    Cars, traffic, etc., are so 20th century.

  3. The Trolls Troll

    @Chops: Do you like dodging cars on Meadow Road? There needs to be a bike lane on that and just about every road in this town.

  4. chops

    Agreed.

    The real problem is a lack of bike lanes, not car traffic.

    I’m sorry for sounding nasty, but I don’t feel sympathy for the fossil-fuel neanderthals.

    Less soccer moms in SUVs. More mass-transit, carpooling, walking, bike-riding, etc. for the teachers, hospital employees, and any other commuters traveling through that corridor. We have a long way to go in order to alleviate this, but please let’s not fix it by constructing an 8-lane highway…

  5. bill smith

    [b]Can you throw out a few examples of were that has worked successfully[/b]

    People successfully ride bikes every day.

  6. Thomas

    You know…the more people that switch to using a bicycle or the bus, the less the cars are going to be a problem.

  7. JonathanBarnard

    My daughters, like Orbit’s, ride the school bus to Asheville High, but the backed up car traffic is affecting their bus ride as well. The traffic from West Asheville sometimes backs up all the way across the River to Amboy Road as cars wait to turn on Victoria. So even though their bus is going to the front of the school on McDowell, the bus ride is 10 minutes longer, as the bus sits in traffic waiting for all the cars to turn onto Victoria. Moreover, this is going to completely mess up the scheduling of the new crosstown bus, which will use this route along the river. This new policy is bad for car riders and bus riders!

  8. deb

    Haven’t heard my kids complain about their bus being late for school and haven’t seen a bus stuck in traffic yet. What I do see is way to many cars with just a single occupant. It’s truly a shame. I know that Asheville High discourages kids driving to school, maybe the new traffic pattern is a way to discourage parents as well?

  9. JonathanBarnard

    Deb, your kids must be approaching the high school from another direction, because the new policy is definitely contributing to traffic problems at Victoria and River Road, where it’s always backed up around 8:20, as cars wait for the green left turn light to go up Victoria.

    Part of the problem, of course, is AB Tech. The new crosstown bus route could alleviate some of the congestion if AB Tech built a path/stairwell through the woods from its campus at the top of the hill to the corner of McDowell and Short McDowell, where there will be a stop on the crosstown line. The problem is that without that path, the new crosstown route will be nearly useless for going to AB Tech, because who will want to brave the dangers of walking up Victoria from the river? The city, county and AB Tech should work together to make sure this path/stairs gets built. It would be an outrage if AB Tech gets new tax money from the County, as it has asked for, and then builds new parking lots but not a path to that bus stop. With that path (so long as traffic moves smoothly along River Road and Amboy), the crosstown bus would become a very convenient way of going to AB Tech from West Asheville and Oakley. (For that matter, it will be a convenient means of transportation for high school kids from those neighborhoods when they stay late for activities and miss their school bus).

    My family of four lived in this town for eight months without a car, and now we have only one to share, which means all of us still use the city buses, to varying degrees. And we’re all for encouraging bus riding. But this new policy isn’t doing that–or at least not for bus riders taking the Amboy/River Road route across the river.

  10. JonathanBarnard

    My apologies, I mean Victoria and Meadow Road, not Victoria and River Road. (Weren’t they going to change the name to Riverside Drive?).

  11. deb

    I live in West Asheville so I do see that the new pattern causes traffic to be backed up all the way to Carrier Park. I am not arguing that this is not a problem, nor do I place the blame on AB Tech. The problem is simply too many vehicles. Period.

Leave a Reply