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9 thoughts on “Letter: Crosswalk enforcement needed

  1. Taxpayer

    Goes both ways. There are crosswalks on Kimberly and everyone just crosses anywhere. The only bad things are cars. Bikes and pedestrians can ignore the rules?

    • ashevillain7

      Sorry, but this is an objectively terrible take.

      Pedestrians have the right of way at all times while in a crosswalk in the state of NC. If someone “jaywalks” somewhere, that doesn’t negate the crosswalk right of way for other pedestrians at all.

    • jimray

      Even if it weren’t the case that pedestrians have the right of way and are therefore not breaking any rules, there’s a fairly obvious difference between thousands of pounds of steel traveling at 40 miles an hour and 175 pounds of human walking briskly.

  2. Mike Rains

    One of the least reported or discussed results of the APD officer shortfall is the lack of resources for traffic policing. If any city needs that functioin in full, it’s Ashevlle.

    If you recall, we’ve had a number of bicylist killed by cars as well as pedestrian injuries and fatalities. And that doesn’t begin to cover the vehicle accidents and associated costs.

    Yet no discussion by elected leaders when the issue of APD funding and officer shortage comes up. Just downtown safety.

    • jimray

      Even in the best of circumstances, relying on police enforcement is never going to be enough to make our streets safer. We live in less than ideal circumstances and if the last decade has shown us anything it’s we need to do everything we can to reduce interactions between cops and citizens.

      The solution is to build streets that are safer, full stop. Crosswalk should be raised, bike lanes should be protected, car lanes should be narrowed, speed limits should be lowered, red light and speed cameras should be more prominent. None of these would require more police presence on our roads and would basically pay for themselves. It’s just political cowardice that keeps it from happening.

      • Mike Rains

        Traffic safety enforcement by police does work; but it takes time and continuity. Here and there attempts never succeed. Regarding using infrastructure changes to improve traffic safety, I agree that it can also help; however, the changes mentioned are all quite expensive. Asheville does not have the tax base to support such expenses and do all the other things deemed important by city leaders.

        Regarding police interaction; I have no doubt APD is in a much better place than even a few years back with regards to professional interaction with a cooperating public. Of course, when citizens refuse/rebuke/attack/disrespect/ignore police officer reasonable and professional direction, I’m not too sympathetic to the “victims”.

        An ongoing traffic safety program by police could have a major impact reducing accidents, injuries and deaths. It has to be intentional and ongoing (several years), but ultimately, the driving public gets religion.

  3. Enlightened Enigma

    I have noticed for 23 years living here just how ignorant many pedestrians are when it comes to crossing the street WITH the traffic lights…many have NO clue…they’d be killed in a big city.

  4. MitchR

    I regularly cycle across Merrimon from Weaver and it scares. Luckily I wasn’t on my bike on the other end of Weaver, at Broadway, when a car blew through a red on Broadway as I was entering the lane on Broadway. I watch the lights on Merrimon to see when they go red and watch the cars on Merrimon to make sure they are all stopped.

    It’s aggravating when cyclists, again I’m an almost daily cyclist, don’t obey laws. It’s just as aggravating when motorists don’t obey laws or follow rules of the road. I know people are trying to be nice by letting me go ahead of them or waving me on, but please in that situation treat me like a car and do what you’d normally do so it doesn’t impede traffic. Also, the law for passing is 2-4’ depending on the width, ie number of lanes, and speed. If you can give me 4’+, but not in a curve or any sort of rise since your line of sight will be marginalized. The law is line of sight for 100 yards. If you can’t see what’s 100 yards ahead due to a curve, rise/hill or anything else then wait. If I’m in the middle of the lane there is a reason. I will get over after passing through the light, curve, the object on the road, pothole, etc. Please respect my decision and put yourself in my situation with just a helmet to protect my brain and after 15/20mph, that includes the speed of your vehicle if I’m not moving, then there will be brain damage.

    I’ve almost been hit three times on Montford. One time a guy was looking at his phone and I had to hit his hood to get him to look up as he was creeping up. He waved his hands and mouthed sorry. All three times I was in a crosswalk and two or the three times was wearing bright shirts.

    Yes to traffic cams!! Something has to be done to get people to stop running traffic lights and speeding. I witness both daily and surprised more wrecks/injuries don’t happen. We also need flashing crosswalk signals like in the River Arts District at all crosswalks. I believe all lives are worth the cost.

    Finally, as the perennial #1 for vehicle deaths of pedestrians in the state it seems like NCDPS (Highway Patrol), Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department, Asheville Police and NCDOT would devise a campaign to increase drivers’ awareness of pedestrians and pedestrians better at crossing streets. It’s ridiculous that people are injured or killed due to crossing the street.

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