To the Editor:
Jackson County's main business corridor, Highway 107 South, is a disaster.
By allowing all the main businesses and an (expanding) high school and elementary school, and now a Verizon Store/Cook Out restaurant, in a place where there was only ever a one-lane driveway, the planning is now showing very poor forethought.
The Comfort Inn on the hill beside Sonic is now open. A Dunkin’ Donuts business was allowed to open in one of the most dangerous traffic patterns on the road. Dollar Tree is now on the road (not beside Walmart anymore). The speed limit is 35 mph from the Bogart’s intersection until you reach the State Employee’s Credit Union, then it is 45 mph going past Ingles, Burger King and CVS (unless it is school zone hours). The lanes are all very tight, and the “suicide” middle lane is just that. If you are elderly, or maybe just not on your game, it is not if, it is when, are you going run into some situation.
This is my suggestion, and it is by no means rocket science. If you look at N.C. 107 from Bogart's to CVS, look at how many entrances and exits are permitted to exist. Radio Shack and Kel-Save Pharmacy have at least three choices for pulling in and out. And if you wanted to go to Ted's Laundry from Radio Shack, guess what? You are pulling out on the road, into flowing traffic, gumming up the “flow,” just to pull in the next road. And this pattern continues all the way down the road! If eminent domain is gonna be enforced at “taking land for the good of public use,” why not connect all the businesses, so business can be done with out being in the flow of traffic. channel the traffic to the lights.
To me, this seems like a very practical thing to do. Rework some business lanes and that might just allow those doing business to connect with a few in just one stop. Every business having its own entrance is just a cluster of poor planning.
Also “time of the day” is a big factor on N.C. 107. If traffic was managed better at the peak times of the school, this could also help. Again, why you would try to grow everything on the same road is poor planning in the first place.
Put in a bypass if you want a fast road to the door of SCC or WCU. I am not fighting that with this letter. But everything traffic-wise will still be the same on N.C. 107 because that is where nearly all the business in the county is conducted, and I highly doubt the new road will be any less congested from that decision.
I won't go into my thoughts on public transportation and the idea of investing in the plan of a passenger train from Sylva to Asheville in order to help stimulate the economic growth … maybe next time.