The stretch of Brevard Road (N.C. 191) between Haywood Road and the intersection of I-240/I-26 is a straight stretch of road maintained by the N.C. Department of Transportation. The section of road between Haywood and the first interchange has a posted speed limit of 30 mph. In 2004, when I first moved to this neighborhood, I wrote to the DOT to ask for a speed limit change from then, I believe, 40 mph. The DOT obliged.
The speed limit change did little to slow the traffic. I’d never let my children play in the front yard. The road is not patrolled by Asheville city police, as it is a state road. The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department also does not patrol this road. Why? I do not know. Surely complaints from residents like me or Francine Delany [New School for Children] parents must have reached them over the years. If the Sheriff’s Department were to patrol this road, they’d likely be able to write 200 tickets per day easily. Some drivers will reach speeds of 60 mph by the time they pass Olney Road.
I once attended a meeting at West Asheville Library that was to address residents’ concerns over traffic issues along Haywood Road. At the meeting, I suggested speed bumps for Brevard Road. The city representative told me that the fire, police and rescue units needed quick access to the highway, which I understand. I never floated the idea of stop signs at the end of each road abutting Brevard.
What would it be like to stop before passing Olney, Davenport, Meyers, Rex, Morris and Morningside before hitting the curvy section? Would that slow people down? You would think you were at a drag strip sometimes the way people open the throttle on their machines. It’s dangerous, it’s noisy, and it reminds me of aggressive drivers from big cities.
The solutions are simple. Slow traffic down with stop signs. Slow it down with patrols. My grandfather used to say about speeders, “I’ll see you at the next traffic light.” He was right most of the time. A little courtesy won’t kill us.
Speaking of courtesy, I’d like to add that a flashing yellow/red light or a stop sign at the intersection of Brevard Road, Fairfax Avenue and Shelburne Road would also help control the morning backup on Brevard and Shelburne. Many drivers stop and let the drivers on Shelburne out; many do not.
Please slow down, Asheville. The traffic is getting worse here. Leave a little earlier so you can be calm, and we can, too. Don’t just be polite to the other drivers, be polite to the people who live in the houses, too. The cars, trucks and motorcycles are really dangerous and noisy when their drivers open them up. Wouldn’t we all be happier not hurrying or bumming others out?
— Steven M. Howard
Editor’s note: When contacted by Xpress, the city of Asheville offered the following response from APD Public Information Officer Christina Hallingse: “The term ‘state road’ is for maintenance purposes. If a state road falls within city limits, the Asheville Police Department is responsible for traffic enforcement. The Asheville Police Department routinely provides police services to the neighborhood in question.”