Asheville consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in North Carolina for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. We also have a transit system that is not fully funded and does not run late enough to meet the needs of the workers who keep this city running. Without reliable public transportation, citizens are forced to walk or cycle to work on streets without safe sidewalks or bike lanes. We need to fund and expand our transit system so it can best serve our citizens, and bring our pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure into the 21st century to make transportation safer for everyone.
Shane worked on road projects for the NC Department of Transportation while earning a Civil Engineering degree at NC State University, and designed intersections and traffic signals for an engineering firm. Now, he is a manager at a local construction business. Shane’s experience in the transportation engineering and construction fields makes him the best candidate to ensure Asheville’s transportation system works better for everyone.
During the public hearing on Asheville’s 2019 budget, some of our dedicated transit advocates read comments from our residents about what an improved bus system would mean to them. Later bus hours would allow people to access more resources without having to pay the high costs of taxis or ride-sharing apps. More frequent service would mean making it to a job interview on time, instead of waiting an hour for the next bus if it doesn’t show up on time.
Even after hearing these stories and after discovering that more money was available than previously thought, City Council declined to fully fund the transit master plan. This decision showed that this issue isn’t a priority for our elected officials. Longer hours and more frequent buses are absolutely essential to many of the workers who keep this city running. We simply can’t grow as a fair and equitable city without a thriving transit system. That’s why when Shane is on City Council, he will vote to fully fund our transit system.
Sidewalks and Crosswalks
All around our city, sidewalks are missing or in disrepair. It’s not uncommon to see a person in a wheelchair navigating down a gutter, or families walking into the road because there are no sidewalks. A startling number of intersections also lack crosswalks and pedestrian signals, even in the heavily traveled downtown area. The result is that Asheville has become NC’s most dangerous city for pedestrians. That’s unacceptable: a person should not have to take their life into their hands to walk in this city. It’s time to fill in the gaps in Asheville’s pedestrian network.
Asheville’s road network can be substantially improved for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Many of our aging roads and intersections are designed according to outdated, less safe standards. Inexpensive projects like adding turn lanes, adjusting timing on traffic signals, modifying intersection layouts, and adding bike lanes can be low-cost, high-impact solutions that improve safety and ease congestion. It’s time for Asheville to modernize its roadway system so people can get around our city safely.
Neighborhood Parking Permits
Asheville has a thriving scene for arts, culture, and music. This is part of what makes Asheville so special, but sometimes these events can have negative effects on our neighbors. During big events, parking spills into small neighborhood streets and neighbors sometimes find their driveway blocked, or find no place to park at their own house. Asheville should implement neighborhood parking permits, like other cities such as Chapel Hill. With this system, residents and guests can park on small neighborhood streets, but event-goers can’t.