Woodfin doesn’t need a traffic roundabout

As a lifelong citizen of Woodfin and Asheville, I am profoundly disappointed by the Woodfin's town administrator, Jason Young, being in favor of the proposed "roundabout" project, especially considering that very few were in favor of this project last Tuesday (May 18). 

This "roundabout" is not only unnecessary but obviously frivolous; Young gave no purpose for it other than to ease the "flow of traffic." I come and go through this area in question nearly every day and there are hardly any "traffic flow" problems except under such extraordinary circumstances as bridge construction, rock slides, blizzards and presidential visits.

Reputable business owners in this area seem to feel the same way.

Here are two projects Woodfin needs to do that are necessary yet have been neglected: removal of downed tree limbs on Weaverville Highway that have been there for months, and putting in sidewalks along this highway.

On the other hand, this proposed "roadblock" project would cause numerous complications. All local businesses would be negatively impacted because of the awful mess the lengthy construction of this project would create. It would also be a money sinkhole. Then, it could turn out to not improve "flow of traffic" at all. Also of note is that this is a regular police route which also makes it an inappropriate place for such road obstructions. Many Woodfin citizens, myself included, agree that this proposed "roundabout" is absolutely ridiculous and a terrible loss of money for this town! I strongly urge Mr. Young to reconsider his decision.

— David Hall
Woodfin

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13 thoughts on “Woodfin doesn’t need a traffic roundabout

  1. ScottRAB

    Modern roundabouts are one of the safest intersections in the world. They have half the total crashes and up to 80% fewer injury and fatal crashes than comparable signals. The delay at a modern roundabout averages less than 5 seconds per vehicle while at a signal it exceeds 12 seconds. They perform so well because they are slow and go intersections, not the stop and go everyone is familiar with. With typical circulating speeds of 20 mph or less, more crashes are avoidable, crashes that happen rarely result in injury, and it’s much easier for a motorist to stop for a pedestrian crossing the road, since the delay to do so is small.

    Though not the solution to every intersection, most intersections in the US would work better using a modern roundabout.

    for safety facts, visit iihs.org.

  2. Mark

    Why is Woodfin even a town anyway? With three Woodfin police chiefs jailed for violent offenses in past 18 years, isn’t about time the state revokes the town’s charter?

  3. Unit

    ScottRAB has his facts right. Seriously David Hall, you should get out and see some of the civic problems the world faces, if stopping a safety-improving roadway project is your biggest life cause.

    Maybe you could do something productive – volunteer, adopt a starving child, feed the poor. Being a general pain in the rear is not a noble cause.

  4. Piffy!

    People seem to think they are some sort of communist plot.

    I really don’t get why North Americans are so scared of roundabouts. They save fuel by lowering the amount of unnecessary stop-and-go traffic.

    I really hate stopping at a stop sign or red light at an empty intersection, causing me to lose momentum, and then burn more fuel re-accelerating. Roundabouts greatly reduce this, obviously.

  5. Jim Shura

    The roundabout at College and Oak Streets really sped up the flow at that intersection.

  6. travelah

    Roundabouts are rather expensive to build. Traffic circles accomplish pretty much the same thing for lower volume sites. I favor the sharp looking trafic bobbies that flag and wave folks on through. That could go over well in Cherokee instead of the passport idea.

  7. Jim Shura

    So is the round thingy at College and Oak a roundabout or a traffic circle?

  8. travelah

    I think it is a traffic circle but it might take a few pints to figure it out for certain.

  9. pfffff

    Anything round is clearly communist and therefore anti-America. Stoplights are as American as Mom and Apple Pie. Straight lines, people! Corners!

  10. missemmalee

    A very odd opinion – this “anti” traffic circle ideology (I’m not British, so I call it a ‘circle’)

  11. ScottRAB

    Circular intersections come in many flavors. Modern roundabout is the engineer-speak for the current best practice. The very large circles(300-500 ft diameter) you find on the east coast, and the older ones in England with signals, are more commonly called traffic circles or rotaries (think Dupont Circle or Arc d’Triumph). They are the orginal versions, designed to freeway standards, when speed was the first goal. Modern roundabouts are not usually larger than 200 ft in diameter for a 2-lane one and 100 ft for a 1-lane one. Neighborhood traffic circles are usually very small and low cost and often stop controlled. Blurring the lines, mini-roundabouts are beginning to be used more. Mini roundabouts are yield-controlled, about the size of neighborhood traffic circles, and more like a speed bump so large vehicles can drive over them to make left turns.

    Roundabouts are (almost) always yield controlled, have splitter islands, require drivers entering to slow due to geometry, and have circulating speeds of 20 mph or less.

  12. Kelly

    I think the problem is also the fact that people do not know how to use traffic circles. I have seen people wait to enter until the thing is vacant. That is not how they work! Secondly, location is not always ideal. The one on College/Oak is backed up all the time causing congestion at the College/Charlotte intersection. This is just plain silly. I am from the northeast, and learned how to drive on these things, and I personally can’t stand them. But that is just an opinion.

  13. JWTJr

    The letter didn’t bash the concept of roundabouts or circles or whatever you want call them. It sounded to me like he was saying money is short, so spend it somewhere more productive than improving an intersection that doesn’t really need it now.

    Also, I’ve been a business owner when a city ‘improved’ the street I was on. It almost broke me and a bunch of others.

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