Letter: Think about better road design in Asheville

Graphic by Lori Deaton

A “stroad” is a street/road combination that is often a wide street with a turn lane. The speeds on these roads are high, and they are very dangerous. Even if this isn’t enough to make you not like them, they’re ugly. A good street has trees and a safe sidewalk, which is another thing that “stroads” don’t have. In most cities in the United States, “stroads” are how you go from place to place. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to have well-designed roads?

Many people think without “stroads,” they wouldn’t be able to move around in their cars, and transportation would take much longer. Actually, “stroads” are making your life harder. Highways are for traveling quickly without stopping. Streets are areas with lots of businesses or attractions and should focus on pedestrians. Streets also have lower speed limits.

According to the N.C. Department of Transportation, only 9% of speeding-related fatalities occur on interstate highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, more people died on urban streets than rural roads or highways. This is because on streets, cars are combined with pedestrians, bikers and shoppers in a small space, and often there is not enough, if any, sidewalk area. If the amount of cars were reduced, and people were given proper sidewalk space, there would likely be fewer fatal car crashes.

So what can you do about “stroads” and badly designed streets? First of all, stay informed. Knowing about the problems makes you more aware of them and leads you to vote for candidates that will try to fix the problems. Also, inform others. Now that you know about these problems, think about them next time you drive down Tunnel Road.

— Harper
Grade seven
Francine Delany New School for Children


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3 thoughts on “Letter: Think about better road design in Asheville

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Harper, Asheville is full of ill designed streets and stupid ‘improvements’, all brought to you by stupid people who think they somehow know what’s best for you! Enough of these people, right ?

  2. Mike R.

    Thank you Harper for taking the time to write down your good thoughts on roads. I believe you are correct in that we could do a much better job of designing our streets for safety and a less hurried lifestyle. It is encouraging to see a 7th grader showing such interest in our city and society.

    • Robert

      I concur! It reminds us that we must safeguard our natural resources and make wise infrastructure decisions for the future of people like Harper.

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