An on-ramp plan for you and me

Asheville's population is multiplying like zombies in your favorite B movie, and I know it annoys a lot of locals and recent transplants alike. It is particularly harsh when dealing with increased traffic.

I'd like to make a small suggestion — if it were implemented, it would relieve a lot of daily frustration for all who have to drive anywhere on a highway.

I just recently got a job where my commute quadrupled from one mile to four(!), and today I took the highway rather than surface streets, just for kicks. To my dismay, practically every on-ramp I came upon had about five or six cars bunched up together ready to merge onto the highway all in one clump. I have lived in some pretty large cities: Los Angeles for one, it being the classic traffic hell of history books. Those guys had to resort to spending big bucks on traffic lights at every on-ramp, enforcing only three cars at a time on most on-ramps; heaven is left to help you the rest of the way.

Now one of the many things that charmed me about this region is that folks will even merge into the next lane to give you room to get on the raceway safely. Love it! That is, until traffic gets heavy. All too often I hear remarks about the traffic problem [stemming] from all those people from Florida (or Atlanta), and the road rage escalates.

Whoever you are, from wherever, let's think together for a minute: OK, imagine it's rush hour. If we all could space our cars traveling up the on-ramp so that there is enough room to merge with oncoming traffic, there would be a lot less stress for everyone! We don't need some expensive light to tell us there are too many cars merging at once. We are community minded, well-mannered, considerate and exceptional human creatures who can make it work for all wayfarers.

— Lee Stanford
Asheville

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