Strive to survive

The bicycle campaign is a joke when compared to the pedestrian issue. We simply need sidewalks.

We live off Riverview Drive, where one of the most popular parks connected to Amboy Road exists. Due to the special dog park [there], people are walking with dogs in the middle of the road [and] around curves. It is absolutely scary when we have to drive up Riverview from the park.

Secondly, a biker recently died on Riverview Drive because construction workers failed to fill a ditch.

Because of all the new homes being built in this area, the city is generating major tax dollars. Yet, there is not one sidewalk on Riverview and many other tangent roads.

As an avid bike rider from Greensboro, I rode safely to and from work [there]. This is not the case in hilly Asheville without a central park and bike trail. The only safe place to ride here is the Biltmore House or the N.C. Arboretum. Not to mention the woods—if you own a trail bike.

This town needs to take baby steps and focus on sidewalks—especially when developers come in, making their fortune without having to be responsible for this. The stilt homes built on Grandview and Riverview Drive caused potholes on our street, and this developer was not responsible for fixing them, nor [for] building a sidewalk. This simply amazes us.

Not to mention the child who was hit on Riverview a few years back. Our area is close to the most dangerous in Asheville. We simply want to be able to walk safely. The bike issue, for us, [is] minor when compared to this.

— Jeff and Susan Hamilton

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One thought on “Strive to survive

  1. lisette

    Great Letter (thank you!) Let’s hear it for sidewalks (greenways, connecting streets (as in no cul-de-sacs) etc.

    I called into a local Asheville Radio program last week (David Horan) who was interviewing some newly appointed committee (paid for by the city of Asheville) designed to get people to drive less (and bike more). Apparently, most of them lived in parts of Asheville where there are actually sidewalks, side streets or where you are not pretty much taking your life in your hands getting out on the road. There were many cheery and well intentioned suggestions and “strategies” for ways to get people on the bike or the bus. Naturally they did not mention these tragic fatalities (of which I am sure are among many).

    I live in S. Asheville off Hendersonville Road. Every week or so I notice a major accident at an intersection. They get them cleaned up fairly quickly so I am sure I miss a lot of them. There are no sidewalks, just strip malls all spilling out into a busy road without enough traffic lights, no bike lanes or sidewalks. Also, I hate to say all of the wild life as well as cats and a large dog I have found and removed from this dangerous road in my less than two years in Asheville.

    Obviously, these strip mall developers, housing developers and merchants such as Bank of America and Ingles (who both have two locations on this road less than 3 miles apart) can afford to chip in for some sidewalks and perhaps even a decent bus stop (or five) where people can wait for the bus and see a schedule without getting drenched or wondering when the hell the bus will ever get there! The other problem is cul-de-sacs, which force all traffic onto a main, overly congested road with no side streets. In Oregon and I believe one other state, cul-de-sacs are illegal and they are starting to bull doze them.

    The car is not a “luxury” but a prosthetic device in this country. Why should handicapped people, the elderly, the young and people who cannot afford cars be constantly penalized with substandard public transportation as well as communities which discourage and prohibit walking and biking? It’s just insane! I am also tired of hearing about the “money” issue. There is plenty of money in South Asheville (please see Biltmore Park, Biltmore Forrest). For the price of one of the 10,000 feet McMansions, you could make the entire neighborhood walkalble and bikable. Also, safer for young, inexperienced drivers or (let’s face it) people “too drunk to drive” but who have no other choice! People in Europe and Canada consume alot more alchohol than Americans (but they can walk home or take the metro!)

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