Step Right Up // Ken Michalove Answers AoB’s Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Tell us something about your transportation habits. How do you get around Asheville?

I travel by car various times of the day.

What do you consider to be the most significant transportation advancement in Asheville and what impact does it have on our community?

In the past 2 years – better bus services, helps those without other forms of transportation get to work, play and services. In years past, the cross town expressway and the widening of major streets in all directions. Street signage improvements and major destiny signage.

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Step Right Up // Joe Grady Answers AoB’s Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Tell us something about your transportation habits. How do you get around Asheville?

My mode of transportation in the city is my automobile, more commonly named the “Puppy Mobile”. I originally purchased it to transport both therapy dogs and Golden Retriever rescues. Since we travel frequently together to opposite ends of the city, county, and region many times, this is our main mode of transportation. Sorry, but I haven’t found an easy way to transport a 70 pound Golden Retriever on a bike or scooter!

When we are at home in South Asheville though, our mode of transportation is our two legs and four legs, and we try to get in at least 2-3 miles of walking per day. It’s our way of relaxing and enjoying the mountains

What do you consider to be the most significant transportation advancement in Asheville and what impact does it have on our community?

I think the most significant transportation advancement in Asheville is Project SOAR, the 64 million dollar Asheville Airport construction project building a new runway that will last for the next 50 years. This is the largest and most significant project since the airport was built in 1961. The current runway, built five decades ago, has outlived its life. The new project began in 2014 and is scheduled for completion in 2018. Sixty-four million dollars is a significant expenditure. What’s really nice about this project is that the airport is not funded by local taxpayers, so no local tax funds are involved in this project. Rather, it is being underwritten by the FAA and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), thru grants and airport funds. More importantly for the citizens of Asheville, it will sustain itself for another five decades, long after many of us are gone.

The significant impact of this transportation project is greater than any other transportation effort undertaken in years. Why do I feel this is the most significant project? First, the project will meet the growing air service needs and will carry both Asheville and Western North Carolina into the future. Secondly, the airport contributes a major impact in the economic growth of the City of Asheville, and as our air service grows, so does the economic impact to the area. And finally, the airport is the Gateway to Asheville and Western North Carolina. It is the first place many business travelers and tourists see upon touching down here for the first time. Now that is a plan with a long-range impact!

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Step Right Up // LaVonda Payne Answers AoB’s Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Tell us something about your transportation habits. How do you get around Asheville?

My car.

What do you consider to be the most significant transportation advancement in Asheville and what impact does it have on our community?

I’d say the buses but … That’s a joke. Try taking a bus and getting somewhere on time …

Please identify one way in which you’ve worked to make Asheville safer for pedestrians, transit users, and / or cyclists. What did you learn from this experience?

Pay attention…

What do you consider to be Asheville’s primary transportation challenge and how do you propose to fix it?

I can do anything, its a we thing …
But if it was up to me id say go talk tot he actual people that rely on the bus everyday

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Step Right Up // Dee Williams Answers AoB’s Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Tell us something about your transportation habits. How do you get around Asheville?

I usually have to drive out of Asheville to Greenville-Spartanburg, SC as well around other cities to work. Anywhere else that I have to go locally, I have to drive because the bus system does not adequately connect. If you do not want to spend most of your time away from work on week-ends at home in Asheville, you are forced to drive a car. Buses are not a preferred way to get around, because of limited week-end scheduling, not on time, etc.

What do you consider to be the most significant transportation advancement in Asheville and what impact does it have on our community?

All that have been initiated by the FHWA/USDOT/NCDOT, like the Interstate Highway System and now the FBRMPO Long-Range Transportation Plan in 2013 and the FBRMPO Comprehensive Plan in 2008. Some of the plans destroyed neighborhoods, created systems which allowed no other modes of companion transportation, until Muti-modal transportation which includes pedestrian sidewalks, bike lanes greenways, mass transit,etc which reduce carbon footprint and promote healthier lifestyles.

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Step Right Up // Julie Mayfield Answers AoB’s Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Tell us something about your transportation habits. How do you get around Asheville?

As a long time member and chair of the city’s transit committee, my first choice for my work commute is to take the bus. At times in the past that has been three to four days a week but, more recently, I’m lucky if I can ride one or two days a week. I am also a fair weather bike commuter when my schedule allows. And on the days I cannot do either of those, I drive my husband’s Prius or my 1997 Honda Civic. I also carpool when I can, and I have used the Uhaul Car Share program to help get around town when I ride the bus or bike or cannot carpool to meetings during the day.

In the evening and on weekends, we will frequently walk to Haywood Road in West Asheville for a meal, and we sometimes go for urban bike rides on weekends that involve grocery shopping and/or the Wedge.

What do you consider to be the most significant transportation advancement in Asheville and what impact does it have on our community?

While the City has invested heavily in bike lanes and sidewalks in recent years, I believe the most significant recent transportation advancement in Asheville is the introduction of Sunday bus service. For years, this was the number one request from riders, and the City finally put limited service in place in January 2015. As of April, Sunday trips have ranged from a low of 840 on the first day to a high of 1391, averaging 1180 trips each Sunday (that number has surely gone up since April). This is about one-third of the City’s normal Saturday trips, and a little less than one-quarter of the weekday trips. Though still the lowest day of the week, those numbers represent hundreds of people who are getting to work, going to church, going shopping, visiting friends or doing something else fun – all things they could not do before on Sunday without finding other, sometimes expensive transportation.

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Step Right Up // Corey Atkins Answers AoB’s Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Tell us something about your transportation habits. How do you get around Asheville?

Like most Americans, I utilize my automobile, albeit a fuel efficient one, to get around Asheville. I live in South Asheville, right off Sweeten Creek Road, so using other means is very impractical. I would love to see bus routes extended beyond Rock Hill Road and bike lanes installed the length of Sweeten Creek. I have seen a few folks ride bikes past Rock Hill Road heading South, either to go to the Parkway or to their neighborhoods, but it creates a very dangerous scenario, as large trucks and heavy traffic persist in the same lanes.

I work downtown and love to walk around the area daily. We still have a long way to go, but I think the Greenway and sidewalk projects are a good start.

What do you consider to be the most significant transportation advancement in Asheville and what impact does it have on our community?

The Greenways are going to be a great addition, but if I must choose the most significant advancement, it’s the addition of Sunday bus service. I was a big proponent of that being implemented by City Council. It’s a necessary function for folks unable to afford transportation on days they still must lead their lives. People still have to work, buy groceries and run errands on Sundays. For most, it’s the only day they can.

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