Asheville’s Most Dangerous Roads, Part 1: Merrimon Avenue (VIDEO)
In this series, Asheville Personal Injury Lawyer Lakota R. Denton examines some of Asheville’s most dangerous intersections, as outlined by data from the NC DOT. Attorney Denton urges drivers in Asheville to Slow Down, to help us keep Asheville safe and walkable for our citizens, children and pets.
Hi, I’m Lakota Denton with the Slow Down Asheville campaign. I want to talk to you a little more about our campaign. Over the last year, we have given away about 1000 street signs that say “Slow Down Asheville”.
I want to talk to you a little bit more about one of the most dangerous sections of road in downtown Asheville. This strip of Merrimon Avenue, from Chestnut St. down to the 240 Bridge, is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians, according to the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation. Between 2007 and 2014, 25 pedestrians were injured by motor vehicles, in just this short stretch of Merrimon Avenue.
One of the problems here is that people come over this hill and they come way too fast for an area with businesses, with restaurants. There’s a hotel right there, there’s a grocery store right there, there’s a Staples right there. And the only crosswalks are right here at Chestnut St. and all the way down at 240. So we have a situation where there’s a lot of pedestrians, there’s a ton of traffic, and people just come flying over this hill way too fast.
Asheville is growing so quickly, that we have so many more cars and more people in the downtown area. Between 2010 and 2015, Asheville itself has added over 5,000 residents, and Buncombe County has added over 15,000 residents. That’s 20,000 more cars and 20,000 potential pedestrians, trying to cross our streets. And that’s why it’s so critical when you’re driving on Merrimon Avenue, Patton Avenue and Tunnel Road in these thoroughfares, it’s so critical to go slowly and look out for people who may be running out into the road, whether they’re in a crosswalk or not.
We need to look out for pedestrians, look out for children, look out for pets. We’re reminding everyone to Slow Down Asheville. Over the last year, our Slow Down Asheville campaign has given away over a thousand yellow signs that you can put in your yard. They remind people to slow down, and they work. When people see the signs, the slow down, even if it’s just a little bit. All it takes is one person to go a little bit slower to save somebody’s life. Please come by our office, we have more signs, they’re free, we’re at 36 Orchard St. just north of downtown.