Sustainability and Strategic Development Director Jenn Vervier and New Belgium reach out to immediate neighbors of the new facility coming to West Asheville.
Click below to download and read the letter sent to West Asheville neighbors and dated Dec. 27. Thanks to the West Asheville resident who scanned and published the PDF document shared here: Scan0002 (1)
Some factoids of note:
Click to see the letter (posted here in two pages) full size.
Leave it to Asheville to somehow screw up a good thing.
This “brew-ha-ha” over the trucks makes one wonder how all those cows got to the the stockyard when it was in business … back in the good old days.
I’m curious to know what “got along fine” means in the context of West Asheville’s glory days of heavy industrial traffic.
It means what any rational person who is not a nostalgia-addled NIMBY would assume. It means, in other words, that people and goods flowed in and out of the River District, large numbers of West Asheville residents were gainfully employed there, and people lived their lives and raised their children all the while — and to everyone’s surprise there were no forty years of darkness, no rivers and seas boiling, no cats and dogs living together, no mass hysteria.
People (and by “people” I mean NIMBY’s who largely have moved here from somewhere else and who wish to slam and lock the door behind them) seem to forget that Asheville as a small community is a new phenomenon and that “quaint” is a recent addition to the community. Prior to this newfound sleepiness, smallness, and quaintness, Asheville was a working industrial city that abandoned attempts at smallness almost 90 years ago. Asheville had big dreams, big plans, and no aversion to growth back in the 1920’s, and I find it ridiculous that we’re so much more timid now than then.
Weird that you would call me nostalgia-addled, but you’re the one gushing about Asheville’s former industrial greatness.
I guess I would also wonder how you’d characterize the position of people like me who are worried about trucks (but proposing an alternate route that seems likely to work better for everyone.) Do you think we’re against New Belgium? Against factories?
When referring to people who pine for a bucolic past that never actually existed here, I’m not referring to you personally. I’m more referring to people who insist that New Belgium just doesn’t *belong* in the River District. Why it doesn’t belong, they can’t say, although they cite the traffic, and my point is that the traffic was much worse back when your old West Asheville house was new — and somehow, the death, doom, dismay, and devastation predicted now did not come then when the River District was an actual industrial district.
And considering that the River District was once an intensely industrial district, that also rather negates the notion that new factories don’t *belong* in an area where they used to be in the first place.
If you want to find alternative routes for industrial traffic that’s great, and I certainly hope you’re not against New Belgium or new factories because we need them if we’re ever going to be anything other than an underpaid, overpriced cutesy-wootsy little tourist playland. I know that Asheville as it is, is fine for people who are coming from elsewhere with money, but for those of us who have to work here — and who don’t get to just play here — we need more, and I’m frankly tired of the NIMBY’s trying to hold us to an ideal we discarded 90 years ago. We wanted to grow then, so let us grow now. We’re not some pastoral Mayberry and in reality we never were — no matter how much some NIMBY’s would like us to conform to a quaint vision that has no connection with our actual past or present, and hopefully not our future either.
You’re talking about a tiny minority, but painting us with the same brush.
HH, thanks for your correction. I should have checked. Asheville’s complete lack of rail options really colored my perceptions (though like most West Ashevilleans, I know about the stockyard’s fairly recent past with delivery trucks). Curious to know how Asheville moved from supporting passenger rail to zero passenger rail in 40 years…
Hang on. I just found this link:
It lists the destinations that could be reached directly by train from Asheville. They include New York, Washington, Richmond, Goldsboro, Raleigh, Charleston, Columbia, Miami, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Memphis, Louisville, St. Louis, Birmingham (and on to New Orleans), Indianapolis, Chicago, and Cincinnati. Seasonal service was also offered to Norfolk, Wilmington, Macon, and Savannah.
So again… The River District was much busier in the past and it and its surrounding neighborhoods got along fine then, just as they’ll get along fine now that some industry is moving back into an old industrial district.
Your point is well taken about the RAD proper, but the train station and the vast majority of that industrial traffic was always on the Asheville side of the river. The majority of the people worried about New Belgium’s trucking plan live on the West Asheville side, much closer to the actual site, and where the amount of stockyard/warehouse traffic has never approached the levels you’re describing for the River Arts District.
God, but I do love the NIMBY’s. It just wouldn’t be Asheville without them. However did West Ashevile cope back when the River District was a working industrial neighborhood and thousands of tourists were arriving at the train station every day on the hundreds of daily trains?
“Hundreds of daily trains” ???
I welcome correction, but I don’t think there has ever been passenger rail in Asheville, much less thousands of tourists and hundreds of daily trains.
You don’t think there has ever been passenger rail in Asheville?
Here is a link to a photo of Asheville’s train station, for which Depot Street is named:
The last passenger train departed Asheville in 1968 and the station was torn down in the 70’s. I can’t find the figure right now and don’t have time to look, but I seem to recall that at its peak, about 170 trains arrived a day. I do remember that they came from such destinations as Cincinnati and New Orleans, though. When I have more time, I’ll keep looking.
Bottom line though, West Asheville got along just fine when the River District was considerably busier than it is now with the industrial traffic and the tourist traffic from the train station.
The last train to run in Asheville was the Asheville Special, which ran until April 1975. It ran out of the Biltmore depot for the last 7 years of its existence since the Asheville depot had been demolished. The Asheville Special ran between Asheville and Salisbury where it connected with the Crescent (New Orleans-New York.)
The 2nd to last train was the Carolina Special, terminated in 1968, which ran from Chicago to Asheville, where it was split into two trains, one bound for Goldsboro, the other bound for Charleston. Between Cincinnati and Chicago the train was carried by the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was supposedly sometimes called the “Carolina Creeper” because it was slow.
Presumably there were more trains before then, but I doubt there were ever more than about 20 passenger trains a day.
I think you’re underestimating the importance of rail travel in its heyday. I know for a fact that at the peak of rail travel in this area, fourteen trains arrived daily in Hendersonville alone, and four departed Asheville every day for Murphy, so there were undoubtedly many more than twenty arrivals and departures daily in Asheville.