Letter: A growing Asheville needs Vijay Kapoor

Graphic by Lori Deaton

We all love Asheville, right? But we also know that Asheville has some issues with growth. How do we deal with traffic? How do we create an economy that supports a working class and not just tourists and retirees? How do we create affordable housing? How do we develop responsibly and keep the unique character of this city and place?

I have spent many hours talking with Vijay Kapoor, who is running for City Council, and found him to have the most informed and honest answers to these questions. Vijay is a consultant for city governments, providing objective advice on how to improve services, be fiscally responsible and plan for the future.

Vijay understands the nuts and bolts of how to run an effective city government, but at the same time has no business in Asheville. This impartiality is important as businesses and developers look to City Council for policies which benefit them and not the city.

In the last few months, Vijay has worked with my neighbors in South Asheville to oppose a development that would have altered the nature of our neighborhoods and contributed to heavy traffic on already congested roads. Due to Vijay’s experience as an attorney and his persistent efforts to create an outcry against this, the developer revised the plans for a lower-density development.

On other sticky issues, such as whether Asheville should allow short-term rentals, I have seen Vijay research extensively before taking an informed and measured stance. Over the past year, I have come to realize that Vijay has both the experience and the drive necessary to address Asheville’s growth and development issues. If you want to learn more about his impressive resume for City Council, visit www.kapoorforcouncil.org.

— Catherine Rosfjord
Asheville

Editor’s note: Rosfjord reports that she is on Kapoor’s campaign team.

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17 thoughts on “Letter: A growing Asheville needs Vijay Kapoor

  1. Huhsure

    Look there, Tim Peck, someone running for city council from South Asheville who is extremely qualified, with a focus on fiscal responsibility and conservative growth.

    Oh, he’s a Democrat? Who would have expected that?!

    Voice-over Narrator: Everyone expected that.

  2. Jay Reese

    He has become the voice for South Asheville and has done much organize our community. My only issue with him is that when asked how he travels around the area he said the automobile because cycling is dangerous on our roads. As someone who commutes all over the Asheville area for work I can attest to the fact cycling is safe here and that most drivers do a good job sharing the road. Our politicians need to encourage people to ignore their irrational fears concerning cycling and to leave their cars at home and ride a bike to work or errands. So far the only candidate that promotes this is Kim Roney

    • luther blissett

      “I can attest to the fact cycling is safe here”

      Yeah, we’ve only had the one cyclist shot in the helmet by a road-rage firefighter in recent years. And a few run off Hendersonville Road by angry truck drivers. Chances are when somebody gets killed by Mr Impatient in his Super Duty, it won’t be you.

      On NFB’s point: you don’t necessarily want 75-year-olds in less than stellar health driving their Buicks on busy roads like Mr Magoo because there’s no alternative.

      • I believe he was referring to the inability of unhealthy 75 year olds not being fit enough to cycle, but I get your point about the perceived driving abilities of older people.

        How many people have died on our roads this year in cars? There is probably a story in this mag right now about people dying in automobile. Automobiles kill on average 35,000 people per year and injure hundreds of thousand more. So yes I can attest to the safety of cycling. The problem is people’s irrational fear.

        • luther blissett

          I have cycled thousands of miles in cities where I felt safe. I don’t cycle in Asheville. Blame Buck the Truck and Grandma Millie in her Town Car, both of whom would leave you wrapped around your frame by the roadside without a second glance.

          • Jay Reese

            I agree that men in pick up trucks, especially the big diesel ones with the large phallic symbol attached to the tail pipe are assholes. I have had to chase a few of them down to point out their folly and to show them their attempts at intimidation failed. I too have cycled in a few cities and have felt safe in all of them. What does it take to make someone “feel safe”? White lines or little plastic barriers defining the bike lane that do nothing to stop a car from veering into your path. Building separate bike lanes bordered by trees ,concrete barriers or even parked cars would be great but given the state of the current infrastructure funding and right of way battles it will be decades before that happens here. My belief is people need to crowd the streets with slow moving bicycles which would make drivers slow down thus creating safer roads for cyclist and motorist alike.

          • Long Shoals and Hendersonville Rd are much wider than the streets in North Asheville which provides ample room for cars to safely pass cyclist.

            Yea I have read many such articles and while I agree with the findings the funding for such safety measures are not currently available. The “safety in numbers” effect could be implemented as soon as more people parked their cars and took to the streets with their bikes.

            Bottom line is the automobile is a relic of the past and is slowly being phased out so enjoy it while you can.

          • luther blissett

            Bottom line is that wide shared roads encourage excessive speed, not safe passing. Magical thinking about mass enlightenment may be personally satisfying but it’s not effective advocacy.

            Per Hembrow: “There is no point in arguing with people’s decisions, or ridiculing them. The person making the decision to use a car has made it for quite logical reasons. Their level of confidence about cycling in the conditions around you is not the same as your own.”

          • Jay Reese

            Yes long wide streets and lack of traffic enforcement encourage speeding. I used to ride on Hwy 17 in SC with a speed limit of 60 mph without incident.
            Every social movement began in the streets where the blood flowed until the necessary changes where made. Cyclist advocate with their pedals and some have died because of it. I thought sharing my experiences online would encourage others to shun their cars but it seems I was wrong and I apologize for annoying everyone. From here on out I will just stick to pedaling and keep my thoughts to my self.

          • luther blissett

            Perhaps this is where we’re talking at cross-purposes. I like cycling. I miss being able to cycle as much as I once did, especially for non-recreational purposes. I’ve participated in Critical Mass events. There’s a place for the carrot and the stick.

            The question to ask of Mr Kapoor and other council candidates goes something like this: “Starting from your home, how far could you get on a bike towards downtown (or your children’s school) before you personally felt uncomfortable or unsafe? Why is that? What would make you feel safer?” Getting people to analyze their own subjective responses starts a more productive conversation than accusing them of being irrational, and leads to better solutions than, say, painting white lines on roads and claiming the city has a cyclist-friendly policy.

            Ride safely and well.

          • I already know what some drivers think of us because I deal with guys like this idiot in the video on a weekly basis, the only difference is I dismount my bike and step forward towards the driver, many go away willingly. But fortunately there are many more that respect our presence making cycling to work a viable option. To your point about safety and perception, It’s too bad we don’t have videos of the wrong way driver that killed the girl on I-40, the crash on Mills Gap that took the lives of 2 young boys or the Henderson County man who died in a single car wreck just today. Not that they would be enjoyable to watch, but constant visual reminders of the dangers of driving would alter people’s perception on safety in the same way videos or stories of cycling incidents.

            But hey if you and all the other reluctant cyclist want to cower behind tons of steel, plastic and glass, go for it!

  3. NFB

    “Our politicians need to encourage people to ignore their irrational fears concerning cycling and to leave their cars at home and ride a bike to work or errands. So far the only candidate that promotes this is Kim Roney”

    Um, you do realize that this is NOT a solution for everybody and that not everyone in Asheville is a 25 year old hipster. What is a 75 year old in less than stellar health supposed to do?

    • Yes I do realize that not everyone can utilize the bicycle as I proposed but many can and those that can should. The bicycle is the cure for most of what ails our communities. The negative effects of traffic, obesity, air pollution, just to name a few, are lowered as cycling participation increases.

      • Lulz

        LOL, do you commute to a job? Do you really expect people to have to add an extra 2 hours to their day just to get back and forth to work? Instead of whining about bikes, you should ask yourself why people commute to work alone and why such options as carpooling and incentivizing ride shares could cut traffic down considerably.

        • Jay Reese

          Yes I use my bicycle to commute to work and to run errands. It takes me 45 minutes to get from my apartment off of Long Shoals to Downtown. It takes my wife 25 mins plus time to park and walk to her job. That time I spend riding keeps me from having to spend time and money at the gym and at the doctors. Considering the cost saving of not having to maintain a car I get to work less freeing up more time for other pursuits.

          I am not whining about bikes, I am complaining about lazy people who need to drive their stinking noisy cars everywhere then complain about traffic and lack of parking. I am complaining about a society that is obese yet fails to see how driving their car from their couch to their job and back contributes to their bad health. I am complaining about a foreign policy based on securing fossil fuel and a transportation system that is destroying the planet we need to survive.

          I agree more people should carpool and take mass transit or any other form of transport other than driving by themselves in their 3000lb death machines.

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