Asheville On Bikes

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.

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 have installed truncated domes for wheelchair ramps, ADA compliant wheel chair ramps/curb-cuts, sidewalks for entire subdivisions and streets in this City and those at Falls Park in Greenville, updated entire intersections in Polk, Rutherford, and other rural counties to make the pedestrian friendly. Retro-fitted many streets as NC DOT contractor – concrete construction. I have installed traffic calming devices, like islands and speed humps to protect pedestrians. I learned how vital these improvements are to quality of life.

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

Inefficiency, disconnectedness from other contiguous cities, minor civil divisions, and more rural areas. Lack of density in many subdivisions, poor planning for the future. I would use shuttles for users who lived more than 1/3 mile of fixed route, connector buses, community connectors to connect counties together, employer Programs for new employees, employer participation programs, exploit Transit Benefit – IRS Tax Code, conduct Transit Fairs targeted to major employers in the region.

More on Dee Williams>>