Traffic-calming measures aren’t perfect, but they meet an important need

I am sympathetic to some of the concerns expressed by the irate letters bewailing the traffic barriers erected on Kimberly Avenue. Perhaps the design could have been better thought out, or maybe the curbs are not visible enough. However, these complaints, paradoxically, are an unintended argument for the traffic islands. Just substitute pedestrian or bicyclist for the "hazards" referenced in these letters, and the reader will get an idea of what those of us who live and recreate in the neighborhood experience. The drivers who can't see the traffic islands, despite the warning signs at each end of the barrier, also are blind to the runner at the crosswalk or the bicyclist at the side of the road.

A few weeks ago, I had to jump behind one of these irksome barriers to avoid a car that veered toward me as I waited (and waited) at a crosswalk. Countless times, as I have jogged with my daughter in a stroller, I have been forced to a screeching halt as a car turned right from a cross street onto Kimberly, never once looking to the right to check for pedestrians. Usually, the oblivious driver had a cell phone cradled next to a head turned in the opposite direction from where the vehicle was pointed.

I understand, given the difficulties of navigating traffic on Merrimon Avenue, why Kimberly has become the default bypass. The difference is that Merrimon bisects a commercial district while Kimberly runs through a residential neighborhood. I don't think it is too much to ask drivers who don't agree with the design of the traffic-calming measures to at least understand the intent. Drivers following the 25 mph speed limit and attentive to the road ahead should have no difficulty safely navigating the course. Perhaps they could even have the courtesy to stop for a pedestrian at a crosswalk, or slow to make a little more room for the bicyclist.

— Cecil J. Clark


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “Traffic-calming measures aren’t perfect, but they meet an important need

  1. judi williams

    Mr. Clark is absolutely right on – I too live on Kimberly which has been documented as the most peditrian used street in Asheville, other than dowtown – speeding cars use Kimberly like a highway rather than what it is: a residential street going through a neighborhood – for crying out loud, slow down and drive in my nieghbor like you’d want me to drive in yours.

  2. Mister Blister

    Yeah people need to slow down. Though I do agree those curbs can be hard to see, especially at night. Perhaps some brightly colored or at least reflective paint?

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.