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22 thoughts on “Pitfalls and potholes

  1. Chris

    If our road works crews wouldn’t create more potholes every time they do any underground work that would be a great start. I think they genuinely don’t know how to fill in their holes properly. It literally never fails. It’s why so many people are driving around with bent wheels… hubcaps falling off left and right. And a new transit system? Ha. We live in the smallest city and have a functioning transit system already… fix the roads first (as stated in the comic). This starts with hiring qualified road workers (or training them), that can actually fill in potholes properly when they do get around to doing so.

  2. Lulz

    LOL where did the 300% City vehicle fee increase of a few years ago wander off too? Not on roads fools. But let’s give them even more. We progressive lulz.

    • luther blissett

      It remains hilarious that you refuse to admit that a) the vehicle fee increase was TWENTY DOLLARS, or less than a tank of gas; b) the 2015 state law that allowed the increase mandates that all of that TWENTY DOLLARS goes to street maintenance. Also weird how you don’t whine about sales tax now applying to car repair labor as well as parts.

      The self-proclaimed champion of the working stiff mostly cares about a $20 vehicle fee, the pothole directly in front of his house, and being able to smoke in bars.

      • Lulz

        LOL smoking isn’t about the act. It’s about the freedom to decide. Unfortunately fascist authoritarian goons don’t understand that. Do tell me what gives anyone the authority to dictate what a business does in regards to a LEGAL product purchased by adults? Don’t you think it goes just a little too far when you can’t smoke in a hookah bar? Irrational and ignorant. Or you can’t smoke outside on a patio because it’s surrounded by 3 walls? Cookoo. Instead of allowing the free market to dictate what places allow smoking and which one’s don’t, morons stepped in and made the choice for them. Since you support such measures, does that mean you are for freedom? Or are you afraid of it?

        • Lulz

          In regards to the fees, LOL instead of putting me down maybe you would best serve your peers if you could show us why such increases were enacted and where the money is going? I guess that’s too much to ask for because we talking about the religion of government. And it knows better than us mere peons. Even though it thrives not because it’s self sufficient, but needs brute force to tax the wages from the labor of others.

          • luther blissett

            NCGS 20-97, as revised in 2015:

            A city or town may levy an annual municipal vehicle tax upon any vehicle resident in the city or town. The aggregate annual municipal vehicle tax levied, including any annual municipal vehicle tax authorized by local legislation, may not exceed thirty dollars ($30.00) per vehicle. A city or town may use the net proceeds from the municipal vehicle tax as follows:

            (1) General purpose. – Not more than five dollars ($5.00) of the tax levied may be used for any lawful purpose.

            (2) Public transportation. – Not more than five dollars ($5.00) of the tax levied may be used for financing, constructing, operating, and maintaining local public transportation systems. This subdivision only applies to a city or town that operates a public transportation system as defined in G.S. 105-550.

            (3) Public streets. – The remainder of the tax levied may be used for maintaining, repairing, constructing, reconstructing, widening, or improving public streets in the city or town that do not form a part of the State highway system.


            It’s as if the abolition of business privilege licenses or the increase in sales taxes and their disproportionate distribution between city and county just passed you by.

  3. Robin Canuck

    I agree. Asheville’s street maintenance has really gone down hill in the last 6-10 years. Streets workers used to be responsive and you’d see them everywhere, but now that’s gone. I can’t tell you the last time I saw a City crew proactively fixing something. It seems that now they only respond when you complain to the City Manager’s office, which is an ironic joke because it was the current City Manager (Cathy Ball) who ruined that department by cutting all of the streets workers.
    Here’s an idea: The City should fire the overpriced contractor they have (who keeps his contract because his spouse is a City employee), and put back the workers who actually went out in the neighborhoods and fixed roads and walkways. How is it cheaper to pay for a contractors profit than to just hire the workers yourself?

    • luther blissett

      Bringing it in-house would be fine with a lot of people. Sell it to those who grumble about city staff getting paid leave and health and retirement benefits.

    • Lulz

      How can anyone compete with NEPOTISM? Hasn’t Wanda Greed already been a stellar example of why the local government around here is nothing more than a scam? And serves not the taxpayer, but the connected. Whether by blood or cash?

      • luther blissett

        Can’t wait for your election platform of abolishing city and county government and having decisions made by a dozen random people who live at least 100 miles away.

  4. Jay Reese

    The problem lies in the fact politicians lack the backbone to charge road users the true cost of driving and most road user lack the understanding of how their desire for a car centric transportation system is bankrupting us. 25 people riding on the bus or on bicycles is 25 less cars tearing up the road ways. You want better, safer streets, quit driving so much.

    • Robin Canuck

      While appreciate Jay Reese’s passion, his comments are all of the same vein, and usually don’t offer any realistic solutions. Asheville is not going to become a biking Mecca, and you are not going to tax the automobile into exile (it’s not working for smoking, drugs, guns or alcohol). Using his logic, a semi should pay 212 times as much for their impact to the road, despite the fact that they’re the backbone of how goods are moved in our country. The lay of the land, and development pattern of Buncombe County have evolved from a car centric perspective, and you can’t simply undo 100 plus years of infrastructure because bike riding is now hip again. I assure that my 90 year old father cannot jump on his bike and ride to his doctor in downtown Asheville, and I don’t care how much you fund it; there’s never going to be a bus route past his house in Leicester.
      My point was that Asheville got rid of most of its street workers, and she (Cathy Ball) replaced them with contractors who can’t seem to offer the same level of service. Given the choice of the old way (where the City actually employed streets repairmen) or Cathy Ball’s way (where everything is contracted); I’ll take the old way where at least you saw some work getting done and you weren’t paying for a contractor’s profit margin and overhead.
      Sorry Mr. Reese, but I’m about fed up with 1% of the population telling the rest of us how to live, and giving up my rights-of-way so entitled, rich, niche folks can ride their $5,000 bike to their protest unencumbered by traffic.

      • Jay Reese

        Robin every thought I have about transportation comes from people around the world who study this matter for a living. Im no expert and only just speak in generalities as a way of starting a conversation with the hopes of educating people. I’m just a poor simple guy who built his own bike out of the parts handed down from the elites you all like to demonize. I never once advocated for the complete elimination of the automobile only a balanced system that supports all road users. The problem is Drivers suffer form a condition commonly referred to as the windshield perspective that skews their view of the world and blinds them to all the pitfalls of an auto centric system. You look upon the road as your sole domain and bristle at the idea of sharing. You want wide smooth roads but don’t want to pay for them and punish anyone that would suggest you pay for the privilege. So just get used to the fact that the world is changing and the automobile will play a diminished role in the future. Until then slow down pay attention and share the road

        • Robin Canuck

          Actually, automobile drivers pay for the roads every single time they fuel up their car, which means that every single time that they turn a wheel on public roads they contribute to it’s upkeep. The same cannot be said for bicycles. The same can’t even be said for public transit. Asheville’s system is so heavily subsidized, that they far exceed their contribution to the road use taxes on how much tax money they absorb. I think it’s close to 15:1; they spend $15 in taxes for every dollar they pay in road use tax. think how much right-of-way you could buy, and facilities you could build, with the millions wasted on public transit.
          I’m all for multi-modal transportation, but I grow further and further resentful when perfectly good roads are necked down to bare minimum to accommodate other non-contributing modes. All that does is make congestion worse and widen the divide between bikers and motorists. I don’t know what the solution is, but just like with many things government, it gets old when the answer to appease the few is to take from the many.
          Also, I do watch the road. I watch the bicyclist that I passed in his climbing lane on Haywood pass me by later on by jumping on the sidewalks (illegal), running red lights (illegal), and riding through crosswalks (also illegal).

          • Jay Reese

            Go stand by the road, especially near a busy intersection and see for yourself how many drivers break the law. You will witness many violations and while cyclist skirt the law also they tend not to kill people like automobile drivers do.

            I feel your oft repeated and false statement about drivers paying for their road usage, especially through the gas tax, disqualifies you and the other ill informed drivers from even joining in this conversation about transportation. You need to go read some more before posting ignorant comments.
            Yes the bus system is subsidized along with all the other modes of transit, but if you factor in the negative externalities of driving that aren’t directly paid for by user fees you will see that mass transit and cycling are the most cost effective and sustainable forms of transportation. If the bus is filled with 25 people, that is 25 less cars on the road, so do the math. Also the design changes to the roads (necked down) have been proven to make the roads safer for all users and eventually improve traffic flow. The solution is for drivers to wake up and realize the dream is over. It’s time for drivers to realize the roads belong to people not cars and they need to share and to start paying the true cost for the privilege of driving.

          • Jay Reese

            In reference to your assured comment about cyclist’s illegal use of the sidewalk and crosswalk I have posted this informative tidbit of truth.If you would like to shed more of your ignorant beliefs you may want to read the rest of the rules at
            North Carolina law does anticipate that there will be bicycles on
            sidewalks because it provides a small measure of protection for them by
            requiring drivers leaving driveways and parking lots to look for bicyclists
            (and pedestrians) before crossing a sidewalk.
            N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-173 (c) The driver of a vehicle emerging from
            or entering an alley, building entrance, private road, or driveway shall
            yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, or person riding a bicycle,
            approaching on any sidewalk or walkway extending across such alley,
            building entrance, road, or driveway.
            Bicycles on sidewalks also mean bicycles in crosswalks. No law in this
            state requires bicyclists to dismount their bicycles or stop before entering
            a crosswalk (unless of course there is a stop sign or light for the path or
            sidewalk). What is not prohibited is by definition legal.

  5. Robin Canuck

    Actually, Jay Reese; Bicycles are vehicles according to North Carolina law, and are subject to the same rules: NC G.S. 20-4.01 (49). Instead of calling people ignorant for stating an alternative view, and posting pro-bike literature, you should look up the actual law. The law (had you taken 30 more seconds on internet research) specifically says that bicycles shall be deemed vehicles and every rider of a bicycle shall be subject to the provision of the Chapter. The only exception that the section allows for is mobility devices, which a bicycle is not. In fact, even the mobility exception is null if the “vehicle” is designed for greater than 15 miles per hour.
    Also, per your first reply: I said motor vehicle drivers pay for their use by contributing, which bike riders do not. You called this ignorant as well. What’s ignorant about it? In North Carolina, drivers pay $.351 per gallon in fuel tax. They also pay 3% tax with every DMV vehicle transaction. There are no fees charged on bicycle use or bicycle purchases; therefore, my original statement is true and accurate.
    Finally, on transit: maybe they do haul 25 passengers per trip, but they cost taxpayers 15 times as much to maintain, lose money every year (government subsidized), mathematically do 513% more damage to the roads with the exact same trips, and all 23 ART buses are polluting diesels. ART only makes around $900,000 per year, yet they cost tax payers right at $6 million per year (local, state, and federal all kick in).
    Sorry to be a fly in your ointment, but just because you’re passionate, doesn’t make you right, and just because it’s on the internet, doesn’t make it true.

    • Robin Canuck

      Jay Reese,
      Every response you post seems to contain an insult (that I’m ignorant, ill informed, or must be blind) or a disparaging comment (now I must also be illiterate). This extends to other posts where you’ve responded to other MtnX commenters as well. In this post, you commented about the law, so I posted the law. You commented about the math, so I posted some math.
      Just because I have a different perspective from you doesn’t mean that I must be ignorant, blind, or illiterate. I just have a different opinion and don’t believe the things you do. You bully, berate, and insult via your online profile, but you’re probably a coward in real life.
      I guess civility and decorum are a lost art in the age of online communications.
      Good luck in life. I’m sorry you’re so angry.

      • Jay Reese

        I ride my bike in traffic everyday and have these types of conversations with drivers face to face who oppose my being on the road. You could ask any of them if I am a coward.

      • Jay Reese

        You are entitled to your own opinions, just not your own facts. Fact number #1. Motorist do not pay the full cost of their mode choice. Fact #2. The bicycle is a vehicle that can ride on the road with cars or on the sidewalk with pedestrians and is not subject to minimum speed laws. Fact#3 Given all things equal it is cheaper for our communities if 25 people are riding in a bus compared to 25 people to be driving alone in their car. Fact #3. Many hilly Cities are bicycle friendly and continue to build cycling infrastructure. Fact#4. The City of Asheville is committed to reducing the need for automobile. Fact#5. The automobile as we know it is a thing of the past. Fact#6. Sin taxes and user fees most definitely affect human behavior.


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