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Ask 13: Is there any hope of a traffic light at Clayton and Brevard roads?

"Is there any hope of a traffic light at Clayton Road and Brevard Road, always a bottle neck during afternoons," Jim Morgan wrote Ask 13. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

An area of South Asheville is turning into a driver's nightmare with daily traffic jams.

The problem is congestion on Brevard and Clayton roads south of the Bent Creek area where Brevard Road narrows to a two-lane road along the river. The problem spot is the intersection of the two roads.

"Is there any hope of a traffic light at Clayton Road and Brevard Road, always a bottle neck during afternoons," Jim Morgan wrote Ask 13.

On a visit to the intersection late in the afternoon, cars were backed up on Brevard and Clayton roads.

When drivers are turning left onto Brevard from Clayton (which has the stop sign), drivers could be seen pulling onto the shoulder to try to get around the waiting driver and make a right turn, a risky maneuver. Meanwhile, traffic backs up on Clayton behind the driver trying to make the left turn. On Brevard Road, any car trying to make a left turn on Clayton can back up traffic if there is a lot of oncoming vehicles.

"This intersection has been investigated in the past to consider the need for adding a left turn lane and a traffic signal," Anna Henderson, a NCDOT traffic engineer from Division 13, said. "Unfortunately, we have been unable to fund a turn lane or traffic signal at this location due to the low crash history."

The way engineers measure how the state gets the most bang for its buck depends on where all the nasty accidents happen. So, based on that criteria, someone has to die or get seriously hurt before the state realizes it's a problem and will free up the money. Sounds odd doesn't it?

The DOT, however, said a plan to widen Brevard Road between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Long Shoals Road is in the works. But approval for the project isn't likely until after 2021.

If you have a question you'd like answered, write to Ask13@wlos.com.

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