Bus Lane Complaints
Montford has become one of Asheville's hottest neighborhoods with buyers snapping up properties and sellers able to get their asking prices. But some residents are angry their historic area with restored sprawling mansions and beautiful old trees now has a 300-foot orange and white school bus barricade welcoming drivers coming onto Montford Avenue from downtown.
"It looks really ugly," said one driver as she drove down the Avenue and stopped to talk with WLOS. "It ruins the entrance to our neighborhood."
"It's not very attractive," said Ben Brockman, who was biking down Montford.
The barricade along with an approximate ten-foot tall fence, is up to make sure elementary school children attending school inside the Randolph Learning Center are safe getting on and off their school buses every morning and afternoon. About 500 children are in the building for the next two school years while their old school about a mile away Isaac Dickson, elementary gets torn down and a new school goes up.
"We don't want a child hurt but isn't there some other way this could be taken care of," said Shirley Dozier who lives directly across the street. Dozier along with other avenue residents have also lost street parking since the lane now has through traffic.
"There's really no room, they want to keep the buses separate from the car riders line," said Asheville street engineer, Jeff Moore.
"There is some work being done to make it a little more attractive," said Brad Johnson, principal of Isaac Dickson elementary.
" About 7 buses come through in the morning and evening and it goes quickly," said Johnson. As for Montford residents upset by the look of the barricades, Johnson said they may simply have to live with with it. Construction of the new school is scheduled to take two years.
"We met with residents over the summer and there were some voices that raised concern about the appearance of it," said Johnson. "But really our main concern is the safety of the kids and being able to separate them from the traffic."
Shirley Dozier meanwhile hopes the local firm hired to design the barricade re-considers how bad it looks and does something to improve it.
"Please take another look," said Dozier. "At what you've done to the front of our property." If nothing is done Dozier is likely stuck looking at the lane separator for the next two years.
By Kimberly King
Follow Kimberly on Twitter @KimKingReports