Letter writer: Young drivers caused traffic hazard after ballgame

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Dear Community: If you know of a group of young men who were at the baseball game tonight, April 20, who were driving a gold SUV, and acting quite spunky, ask them if they were the ones who threw their fruit punch into my truck window as I was driving.

Please inform them they nearly caused an accident, as their attack nearly made me collide with the vehicle in front of me. All this occurred on South Charlotte Street just around 9 p.m.

Giving a warning beep of the horn to drivers who are erratic is not sufficient cause to assault them in return.

Dear Asheville Police Department: Please step up your vigil on drivers leaving those games. I’ve continued to encounter drivers who aren’t especially safe as the evening proceeds.

—Andrew Weatherly
Asheville

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21 thoughts on “Letter writer: Young drivers caused traffic hazard after ballgame

  1. Jim

    How about the morons that continue to turn onto East Chestnut going south on Merrimon? Don’t know if they’re young, dumb, yankees, or what but they are blatantly ignoring the no left turn at that intersection.

    • Andrea

      How about I have lived here for 17 years and it isn’t the “yankees” bad driving habits I have continuously witnessed, it’s the people who have lived here their whole lives. 17 years ago Asheville was still not much of anything. There were not many transplants and it wasn’t a huge tourist attraction as it is today. It is the natives that I have watched run red lights, drive 20 mph under the speed limit in the left lane then speed up when someone wants to pass (this is allowed by law by the way), ride the brakes at the slightest curve in the road, text and drive, talk and drive, pull out in front of you, etc. I have driven in many big cities and on many turnpikes and interstates all up and down the East Coast and I have never witnessed the kind of self centered, disrespect for rules and laws that I have in Asheville. I have wondered for many years if you received your licenses from a gum ball machine or out of Cracker Jack box because that is the only explanation I have as to why Asheville has the worst native drivers I have ever witnessed.

      • N

        “17 years ago Asheville was still not much of anything. There were not many transplants and it wasn’t a huge tourist attraction as it is today.”

        Asheville has been a major tourist attraction since its founding. It was a big draw for people from Atlanta, Charleston, New Orleans, and other areas escaping the summer heat. It was a big draw for TB patients and has been an arts community for decades. The Biltmore House was drawing tourists here long, long, before 17 years ago. The city has drawing transplants, many in the form of retirees for quite some time. Sorry, but none of this started upon your arrival 17 years ago.

        • Andrea

          Dear N: Yes, Asheville has been a tourist destination and people have come to see the Biltmore House and the Parkway, but in recent years it has blown up. Do you not agree? 17 + years ago there weren’t adds in the NY Times and Wall Street Journal, Asheville wasn’t on Good Morning America or in every other magazine, blog and internet site boasting it’s beauty, “great place for retirement, great place to raise a family, Happiest town, Beer City”, blah, blah, blah. When I say there wasn’t much of anything, there wasn’t. I am talking about downtown and the surrounding areas. Where there were few bars and restaurants. Most buildings were boarded up. There wasn’t even a Super Walmart or a Target. Are you going to say that more than 17+ years ago traffic was the same? No, you can’t because there wasn’t an influx of people as there is now.

          • N

            Yes, we were making lots of those lists 17+ years ago. In 1982 the first edition of the book “Places Rated Almanac” named Asheville the #1 small city to live in America. The results of that almanac even enticed one of its authors, Richard Boyer, to move here and that was over 30 years ago. That book is largely credited (or blamed depending on one’s view) for the explosion we have had over time of all these endless “best places” lists and the local Chamber of Commerce has been using those lists (and manipulating them) to advertise Asheville since at least that time and we’ve been making short lists of best retirement places since at least then as well.

            l I saw ads and articles promoting Asheville in national publications for all sorts of things — vacation, retirement, arts destination (there is a reason why Mikhail Baryshnikov performed here in both 1984 and 1987), outdoor activities etc. The reason the city seems to be making so many more of these lists these days is because there are so many more of those silly lists and part of that is because people whose job it is to get a specific city publicity often work with people who make up these lists to earn some attention.

            Downtown hit bottom in the late 70’s/early 80’s. By about 1990 it was, however slowly, starting to show signs of making its comeback. By the late 90’s there were still a few empty buildings, but not many.

            Yes, there are more people and more development than there was 17 years ago, just as there was more of both in 1998 then there was in 1981, and more in 1981 then in 1964, and more in 1964 then there was in 1947, etc. But what has happened over the past 17 is simply a continuation of an ongoing process.

            In any case this discussion is getting a bit off topic (and I acknowledge my role in that) and doesn’t answer the question how you have determined that the drivers you complain about are natives.

          • Real World

            Andrea — your point is well-taken. It’s absurd that N refuses to comprehend it and wants to give a history lesson that no one needs. It’s irrelevant to the issue.

        • Big Al

          “Asheville has been a major tourist attraction since its founding.”

          That may be true, but something BIG has happened in the last 5 years. In 2011, there were seven almost-new homes on the market in my neighborhood, at least one in foreclosure. Now there is a occupancy rate of around 99% in Buncombe County, meaning there are ALMOST NO affordable homes left to buy. Summer weekends downtown have become massively crowded, even without festivals like Bele Chere. People have flocked here to LIVE (not just to tour and leave) and there seems to be no end. I am on the verge of joining the NIMBY crowd that I used to denigrate.

      • G Webster

        I had made similar observations a few weeks back, but missed any responses since I was traveling. Looks like you got the pot real stirred up again – lol.

  2. Jill

    Bad driving is not confined to Asheville or Western N.C., in my experience. However, I wonder how a native Ashevillean or Western North Carolinian is identified on the streets and highways. Is there a device that lets us know that the driver is not an emigre/transplant from Ohio, Vermont, Florida, New Jersey, etc.?

    • Dionysis

      Bad drivers are found everywhere, to be sure. And there is no such device, of course. However, if the vehicle in question has NC tags and no rental plate or sticker, that may be a clue that they are not from too far away.

      • Jill

        Dionysis, you know that a N.C. tag does not indicate a “native.” Most of my neighbors have lived in N.C. for three years or more and, of course, have N.C. tags on their cars. My neighbors are from the northeast, the west coast, many from Chicago and environs, and even a few from Ireland. Did their driving suddenly deteriorate to “native” standards when they put a N.C. tag on their cars? Other than Andrea’s very short (17-20 years) history line for Asheville, she seems to be stating that she can identify “natives” by their driving behavior. I just wondered if she knows every driver on the roads or if she has some cool way of knowing absolutely that they are native Ashevilleans/Western North Carolinians. Or, perhaps, as you imply, a N.C. tag identifies a native and all the others are tourists endangered by the natives negligent and inept driving.

        • Native Riverrat

          “Denigrate to a local’s driving’? I really am appalled at how you refer to the natives here. We, as a whole, do not drive like the idiots you seem to think we are. If you don’t like the way things are here – quit b*tching while sitting behind your keyboard and go elsewhere.

  3. Dionysis

    “Dionysis, you know that a N.C. tag does not indicate a “native.”” Uh, yes I do know that. An NC tag means nothing more than the driver of the vehicle either is a local (regardless of when they may have moved here), they’re driving a rental (usually designated with the rental company emblem or sticker) or they’re driving someone from this state’s car. As far as my experience on the roads around here goes, it is irrelevant and diversionary to try and identify irresponsible drivers as either locals or from elsewhere. They’re from here, there and everywhere.

  4. Andrea

    Jill-
    Yes, bad driving is everywhere, however if you have driven around this country and experienced driving on interstates and major cities, towns, etc you would know that if the drivers that I experience every day on these roads, were to drive that way in say the tri-state area, Atlanta, even the eastern part of the state (Raleigh/Durham), Charlotte, etc. they would have caused major accidents. The drivers here and yes, I mean the majority of natives are offensive drivers, not defensive. How many times have you driven on the road and seen an ambulance or police cars with lights flashing and no one pulls over?! There could be an ambulance directly behind a car and the person driving is oblivious! I never witnessed this until I moved here. They are a hazard because of their offensive driving. That’s all I’m going to comment on this.

  5. Andrea

    N- you sound like a Wikipedia article or are you some kind of historian on Asheville? Either way. The truth of the matter is Asheville has bad drivers, the roads can’t handle the onslaught of people moving here and the infrastructure of this town will probably end up imploding in another 10-15 years because of the population explosion. There will only be sub divisions, more strip malls (that we don’t need), apartment and condo communities and the more pollution.

    • N

      So, in other words, it was OK for you to move here, but not for anybody else?

      • Andrea

        Dear N-
        So, in other words, it was OK for you to move here, but not for anybody else?
        Did I ever say that? I could care less who moves here. People are entitled to move and live where ever they want. I’m not a native who doesn’t believe in change. I, myself don’t plan to live here for the rest of my life. Once again, you misconstrue what others are saying. If you believe the infrastructure of Asheville can handle the influx of people that’s your opinion, people will continue to move here and since that’s the case than the Asheville and Buncombe County Governments need to make sure this town is fit for everyone to live. Now I am done with this conversation.

        • Native Riverrat

          The only good thing I’ve heard is that you don’t intend to stay forever. Thank God for small favors.

      • Native Riverrat

        She says it all – ‘I could care less’. Assuming that ‘all natives don’t believe in change’ and her driving would have to ‘deteriorate’ to the level locals drive – if you leave, I don’t think many of the natives would mind. Go drive elsewhere. I’m glad you won’t be here any longer than you are obviously forcing yourself to remain here.

  6. Traffic

    The place where I notice people not paying attention is where people turn right (Southward) on College St & S Charlotte St, where all the construction is going on.
    People will be driving up from College street, and have their eyes fixed to their LEFT (Northward) onto Charlotte St, even though they are turning right onto South Charlotte St. I can have the protected crossing with the pedestrian crossover but a car will come bulldozing right across. And then a car driver will look at me like, “what are you doing there?”

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