Letter writer: Leave your big-city driving habits at home

So, my beautiful city has expanded and improved in marvelous ways since my childhood days in the ’70 and ’80s. And some negative things have come along with it. As a native, here’s my issue with you moving here. You bring your nasty, aggressive, mean, “all about me” big-city driving habits with you. Let me preface the rest of what I have to say with this: On my Ducati, on a back road, I WILL SMOKE YOU. I love speed. I’m not ancient yet!

But in MY city, in my car, I will do my best to drive the speed limit, use my turn signals, and drive like I have some MANNERS. You continually blow by me doing 45 mph or 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. I know this because for fun I’ve sped up to see the speed you are doing. You get on my tail, aggravated I’m doing the limit. You run through the late yellows and even now the red lights. They don’t apply to you? You have out-of-state license plates, or maybe even N.C., but I choose to believe my fellow natives would not be so disregarding of others or narcissistic. My speedometer is not different from yours. Why can’t you look down more often and see your actual speed?

You get testy when someone pulls out from a dead stop from a business, but you’re already going 15-20 mph over. How hard do you think that makes it to merge into traffic?

So you moved here “for the beauty, for the slowed-down pace, blah blah blah.” So how about this: First, leave your big-city aggressive driving habits where you came from. Leave your house 20 minutes before you think you should, use your turn signals ( it’s the stick on the left of your steering wheel), THINK about others, and CHILL OUT. You are not Jeff Gordon and our streets are not the NASCAR track.

And finally, ask yourself this: Have you put serious thought into how you will feel and how the rest of your life will go if you kill someone because you insisted on speeding or running a light on our streets?

— Laurel York
Asheville

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14 thoughts on “Letter writer: Leave your big-city driving habits at home

  1. boatrocker

    Lemme get this straight-

    Your 1st paragraph tells me you’ll break the law to speed to (in caps) SMOKE ME!.
    Sane NC drivers would tell you what to smoke after a comment like that.

    Your 2nd paragraph tells me how safe you are in your car – (ahem) cager.

    Redneck much?

    I’ll outsafe you on a bad day sweetie.

  2. boatrocker

    Oh wait, a follow up- I’m not a doofus transplant.
    But you ain’t a native unless you post a response in Cherokee.

  3. Dean

    Bingo. You nailed it Laurel.

    Another local here, but way of over the mountain in Brevard (aka Highlands got full).

    Slow down. We don’t care how it was where you came from. You are here now.

    One thing that really gets me. What are all the Florida and New York tags doing here in February. They aren’t paying road taxes here.

    • AVL LVR

      Brevard is notorious for speed traps. The highway loses lanes and drops speeds too quickly (like 55 to 25 mph or something). They need a bypass around Brevard. I’ve seen bypasses make downtowns like a ghost town, so you’ll have your peace back.

      From someone out of town, the 4 lane road really fools people. Even most of Hendersonville Road is 45mph. I’d make the bypass a 55 mph with ramps (limited or controlled access HWY) and no stoplights.

      • You do realize that we live in a geographically challenging area for simply building roads to go around entire towns, right?

        • AVL LVR

          You do realize the Brevard bypass is feasible according to the NCDOT and has been planned for some time now. I just wanted to bring the bypass to people’s attention so they will make sure it is funded. It bypasses Brevard on a southern loop.

          •Expressway cross-section (controlled-access, no signals, some interchanges)
          •Extends from NC 280 near Hudlin Gap Road to US 64 near Selica Road

          • AVL LVR

            Look up Sylvan Valley Parkway (Brevard Bypass); Expressway

            Help reclaim the peace of Brevard and keep through-motorists happy.

          • Jason

            AVL LVR – Just to be clear, the Sylvan Valley Bypass may be something that has been discussed for some time, but that’s as far as it has ever gotten – discussions. It’s been debated by city/county officials but has never gotten any real traction. It seems very unlikely the project will happen anytime in the near future, if ever. Also, given the changes to how the state prioritizes transportation projects and funding, it seems even less likely the project will happen without funding from Raleigh, which most counties in western North Carolina probably won’t receive. Not commenting to be contentious, this is just a heavily discussed topic in Brevard and I wanted to clear up any misinformation.

  4. Dionysis

    Anyone who drives in this area encounters the type of thoughtless and irresponsible driving described here, bu it is absurd to claim that only out-of-staters are to blame. I live in North Buncombe county and every day, cars with both NC and TN tags (heading into Asheville) drive as if they were possessed by the ghosts of dead NASCAR drivers (some of whom seem to want to join them). As for turn signals…one in perhaps 10 will have enough consideration to use them, regardless of their state tags. And speeding is across the board, regardless of state origin, type of vehicle or anything else.

    It’s self-delusion to point the finger just at out of state drivers.

    • AVL LVR

      Out Eastern NC, people regularly drive over 90 mph on the highways. The roads are flat there so it is easy to pick up speed.

      Parts of 280 are flat. They could easily boost the speed to 65 mph. I’d take out the stupid middle turning lane (sometimes there is nothing to turn to. Middle Turning lanes are for cities. Make it like the new US 19E or better a controlled-access highway like US64 out east.

      Asheville is a vacation destination. I actually drive very slow in Asheville, but have noticed I pick up speed when I travel through other places. You are eager to get to your next destination. Locals know every speed limit and why it is there, so it easy for them to drive slowly.

  5. Jason

    I find it pretty ridiculous that a person can write a letter complaining about the driving habits of others and include the caveat – “On my Ducati, on a back road, I WILL SMOKE YOU. I love speed. I’m not ancient yet.” Brilliant! So I suppose it’s ok for you to critique the habits of others in the city but put you on a back road and it’s perfectly acceptable to race around like a demon. Motorcycle riders on back roads – and especially the Parkway – often drive in that manner and it’s not only annoying to other drivers, it’s incredibly reckless and dangerous. Just as drivers in downtown are not Jeff Gordon just because you’re on a crotch rocket on a back road doesn’t turn you into some Hollywood stuntman. Respect on the road is important but it’s also a two-way street. Before you start calling people out, perhaps it’s best to evaluate your own driving habits. Have fun on that Ducati – I hear the Dragon is a lovely drive this time of year!

  6. Chris

    Repost: If you blue hairs would not drive in the left lanes on I40 and I240 then cars would not back up 10 deep. Get to the right if you want want to Sunday drive on a workday. Especially coming into town from the south side. Bowen bridge has 2 merge lanes with plenty of time to move over. Everyone does not need to get in the left lane all the way back near the Amboy exit.

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