Thank you, Mr. [Steven M.] Howard, for writing this important letter to the editor in the Mountain Xpress [“Brevard Road, an Unattended Speedway,” July 26], I think you were right on target. Asheville citizens have the right to request a speed test, and the city frequently complies with these requests. These tests basically are two pressure-sensitive strips that are placed across the road and accurately measure vehicle speed.
I requested one for Brevard Road a few months ago and was shocked to learn that there are approximately 8,685 vehicles/day and that the 85th percentile was 37 mph. By my reckoning, that means there were about 579 cars/day (or 15 percent) clearly exceeding the posted speed limit of 30 mph. My internal Doppler isn’t all that accurate, but I suspect that many of these vehicles are in excess of 45-50 mph.
Many of the speeders are city vehicles (recycle trucks and ART buses). The “Slow Down Asheville” placards dozens of neighbors put on Brevard Road I think encouraged the less conscientious drivers to actually speed up. I see most of them are gone now.
It was encouraging to note the APD public information officer’s response to Mr. Howard’s letter to the editor saying that the Asheville Police Department is first of all responsible for traffic enforcement along Brevard Road and routinely provides police services to our neighborhood. But in the nearly three years since moving to Brevard Road, I have never seen a single enforcement action taken against speeders. Also, I suspect that many of the drivers on Brevard Road after a big night on Haywood Road may be over the legal limit.
One other point: Siri tells me that an 18-wheeled truck without the trailer weighs around 20,000 pounds. At the bottom of Brevard Road near I-240, there is a sign that clearly states that trucks over 13,000 pounds are not allowed. Yet, I see or feel them shake my house, almost every day.
Stoplights or speed bumps along Brevard Road are probably not an option. I can appreciate and respect rapid emergency response; these EMTs are doing a great job. However, our rapid-response vehicles frequently use Haywood Road to access I-240 as well, and there are five stoplights from the fire station on Haywood to I-240 (Vermont, Brevard, Louisiana, State and the light, or two lights if you’re going westbound, at I-240). There are a lot of things that don’t make sense these days, but is this argument appropriate? Why does an EMT vehicle negotiate five stoplights along a business corridor versus Brevard Road within one of Asheville’s neighborhoods and no stoplights?
It’s the 21st century — perhaps an option is the installation of a speed camera near Davenport Road (straight stretch of Brevard Road) or at least a flashing sign that records your speed limit (similar to the one at the Asheville airport). I would hope that if a driver saw that he/she was going 50 mph in a 25 mph school zone (at Francine Delany) it would at least get their attention.
— Dave Penrose