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.
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?
I haven’t been in a position to be able to contribute and help in the way I would want. My candidacy for City Council is my attempt to get in a position to work with groups like Asheville on Bikes to better our transportation modes and routes. I have learned a great deal throughout my campaign on this issue and hope to learn even more as it continues.
What do you consider to be Asheville’s primary transportation challenge and how do you propose to fix it?
The primary transportation issue for Asheville is lack of significant bus routes along thoroughfares where needed the most. Closely following that shortfall is a large lack of bike lanes and options for folks without cars. While I support both those options, I have proposed introducing Bike Shares to Asheville. I lived in Washington D.C. in college and have visited other cities (i.e., Portland, Boston) wherein Bike Shares are a significant option for transportation. The EPA and other organizations can help cities like ours get started with installation of vendors in appropriate locations in Asheville for little to no cost. I found Bike Shares to be very affordable, useful and functional. I would like to see us pursue this mode as another solution to our bigger problem.
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