With growing demand for homes in the city, traffic has become an issue that impacts everyone who lives and works here. Whether you drive to work or just cruising around town, you'll want to watch your speed and avoid aggressive drivers that can cause accidents.
Newly released data from the U.S. Census shows that commuters to Asheville's metropolitan area spend an average of 21 minutes and 18 seconds getting to their job in 2016. Those numbers have stayed relatively flat in the eight years since the survey began.
Road diets (aka 4/3 transitions) can help lower speeds, reduce traffic volumes and improve mobility for all road users. They can also be a good way to get people off the highways and into the city center, according to Asheville's transportation director.
A citywide approach to traffic safety called “Vision Zero” is gaining attention from Asheville officials. It focuses on eliminating deaths and injuries rather than relying solely on police enforcement, assistant transportation director Jessica Morris said in an Aug. 27 report to a council committee.
The goal is to find a solution that works for all residents, she said. One possibility is creating a task force that looks at crash rates and other data to find ways to eliminate them.
Another option is to use more stepped-up police enforcement. But Morris said that can raise concerns over racial profiling, especially for minorities and poor residents. She suggested that the council should look at forming an equity-based “Vision Zero” task force instead.