Asheville On Bikes

Step Right Up // Keith Young Answers AoB’s Candidate Forum Questionnaire

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

I am one of many Asheville residents that rely solely on an automobile. However, since I work downtown I tend to walk most places while in the area. It’s very convenient to move in and around the city when essential amenities are close. Shaping development with density in mind gives residents easier access to cleaner, greener alternative transportation methods Also, I’m not an avid biker however, being able to utilize bicycles downtown if readily available would be a sensible addition. Quick and easy access to a system of bicycles throughout our metro area, near bus stops, and greenways could help compliment our multi-modal transportation plans. Once the greenways connect, I can envision a total network of travelers engaging in a bike share system with limitless possibilities. You may even see me riding one through downtown on a lunch break running errands.

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

Giving consideration to all things, I would have to simplify this answer. Our bus system has made incremental advancements. I believe we have a great deal of work ahead of us. Our goal should focus on making this system a tool for everyone. Sunday Bus service and extended hours have assisted many Asheville residents in closing the gaps of their basic everyday needs. This was a small victory when viewing the scale of a system that could do more to serve Asheville residents. A victory none the less and an achievement .

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?

As a school bus administrator for Asheville City Schools, I have been instrumental in keeping our students, other drivers, and pedestrians safe for 180 days out of the year. I traveled on a school bus in clear, wet, and sometimes snowy conditions assisting our youth in the access of convenient, and safe travel to and from school. They otherwise may not have attained steady transportation needs on a regular basis. While serving in a thankless role we were instrumental in doing our part to keep our kids and others safe. We turned in tag numbers, escorted kids safely and advised law enforcement of the actions of those not respectful to cyclist, pedestrians, and most importantly our children. Some of those actions resulted in fines or Court action to deter future offenses.

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

In the years to come Asheville will have to face the fact that our growing city will need a hard mix of solutions to supply the transportation needs of the masses, thus a pumped up multi modal strategy. I am a proponent of connecting our greenways, and revamping our bus system. We will fix our needs by building a better infrastructure system. More sidewalks, bike lanes, connected greenways, and revamping a bus system to truly work for everyone. Our transit system must hinge on its effectiveness and not its messaging. We have  ground to cover. With the right foresight sitting at the table we will find a way to complete these difficult task. These needs will strain the budget, but must be done to improve our bustling and ever growing city. Forward thinking works! So let us move forward in crafting a plan that says Asheville is ready to tackle our transportation challenges head on.

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