A WHKP Station Editorial
January 28, 2009
We’d like to say a few words…congratulating Hendersonville city council for seeing beyond old , unproven theories…and for asking NC DOT to raise the speed limit on Martin Luther King, Junior, or Four Seasons, Boulevard from 35 to 45 miles per hour. For years, speeds were kept unreasonably, unnecessarily low on “the boulevard”, based on the theory that “if the limit is 35, they’ll drive 45...raise it to 45 and they’ll drive 55”.
The fact is, “the boulevard” is NOT, nor was it ever intended to be, a quiet, tree-lined, residential neighborhood street. From the day its five lanes were first envisioned, “the boulevard” was destined to become what it is now…a busy, productive, growing, economically successful thorough-fare. And like those you see, and drive on, in larger cities like Charlotte and Atlanta, the ribbons of asphalt, concrete, and steel running through them on which tens of thousands of cars drive everyday are designed to facilitate a progressive, yet safe, “flow of traffic”. Those who prefer slower speed limits to drive, walk, ride bicycles or for any reason have much more serene avenues available to them just a block over on both sides.
Being in business along “the boulevard” since the day it opened, WHKP has seen the need for a moderate increase in the speed limit for decades…and we’ve said so editorially several times. We’re glad the current police department and city council, and particularly city councilman Steve Caraker, not only listened to us, finally…but also themselves saw the need to make it “legal” to drive a reasonable speed and maintain a safe and appropriate “flow of traffic” on what has become Hendersonville’s premier entrance and commercial thorough-fare.
And thank you too, NC DOT…for listening to our local government…and for making our speed limit on “the boulevard”, still technically “U.S. Highway 64”, make sense.
We’d also like to congratulate the Fletcher Police Department…George Erwin, Eddie Watkins, and the Fletcher PD’s new chief Tim Christol…for seeing the wisdom in allowing a reasonable, yet safe speed and “flow of traffic” on that classy new five-lane U.S. 25 through Fletcher. Not only is it “U.S. Highway 25” and Fletcher’s “main street”…it’s also the main “connector” that ties together one of the most successful and rapidly growing commercial districts in Western North Carolina…the one that now stretches from Hendersonville non-stop to Asheville…and someday maybe beyond.
MLK Boulevard…and U.S. 25 through Fletcher…could be, and maybe have been at times in the past, “speed traps”. But thanks to far-sighted and fair municipal leadership and law enforcement in both Hendersonville and Fletcher, our major thorough-fares into, out of, and through…both towns are being kept safe for motorists, with traffic flowing efficiently and at reasonable speeds. And that’s good, and safe, for us all.
We invite comments on our editorials.
(By WHKP News and Program Director, Larry Freeman)