Since at least 1989, when I moved down here, I-26, by what is now the Captain Jeff Bowen Bridge, has been the site of at least one rush hour accident with annoying delays every week, or so it seems. Sitting in traffic is bad for the environment, not to mention the kidneys. But environmental groups would rather solve the problem by designing people into choosing to leave their cars than to accommodate preferred means of transportation.

The city and county were going to start making official statements to come together on a plan to move forward with DOT improvements, but now the green groups have come out demanding more environmental impact analysis. They want a new highway that accommodates multimodal transportation. More importantly, they don’t want the highway to be used as an excuse to mow down what was a high-crime area thirty and forty years when highway projects had a magic tendency to run through minority neighborhoods in Asheville. In these situations, we only remember the barber shops and the happy neighbors, and forget how outsiders were terrified to have to visit. Besides, the federal Weed & Seed program has managed to displace a large part of the drug activity that used to plague the Burton Street community.

I digress, but so do they.