Archives – April, 2012

Stand Against Racism: Recognizing the Value of Diversity

On Friday, April 27, City of Asheville employees participated in the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism event. Throughout the day, employee volunteers guided their fellow coworkers on a walking tour of landmarks that chronicle the history of race in Asheville and the rise of local movements that advanced civil rights and the rights of women.

You can watch a video version of the City of Asheville’s Stand Against Racism event at the link below.

Leave a Comment April 30, 2012

Capt. Daryl Fisher retires after 23 years with the APD

Twenty three years on any job and you are bound to make close friends, but 23 years on the job with the Asheville Police Department, and you are family. That’s what Captain Daryl Fisher said at his April 24 retirement party, surrounded by friends and colleagues from the APD, the City of Asheville and the community at large.

“It has been fun. This is truly a family,” Fisher said.  “Everybody has to look out for each other. Without that, we’re out there alone. Stick together, look out for each other and be safe.”

Captain Fisher retirement

APD Chaplain Bill Snyder presents a cut-and-paste "Facebook" to Capt. Daryl Fisher at Fisher's retirement party.

Widely recognized in the community for his work both within and outside the department, Fisher reaffirmed the close-knit ties officers have as a team.

Fisher began his APD career as a patrol officer in 1989 and worked in multiple arms of the department including the Drug Suppression and Criminal Investigation Units, achieving the rank of Captain in 2007. Along the way, Fisher contributed invaluable support to milestones within the department, including participating in major drug investigations as a member of the Metropolitan Enforcement Group and later as command of the Drug Suppression Unit. He was integral in the move of the APD’s emergency communication operations into the joint 911 call center the City now shares with Buncombe County and for the past two years has overseen command of the Patrol Division.

At his reception, amid stories and jokes from his fellow officers, Fisher was presented with his service weapon by APD Chief William Anderson who cited Fisher for his “Character, dedication and preparation.” Anderson was especially thankful for the help Fisher provided for the incoming chief, who took on the job earlier this year. “He made sure I had as much information as possible when I came in,” Anderson said. “Daryl is an example of what we want to accomplish.”

Asheville City Manger Gary Jackson praised Fisher for upholding the integrity of the department. “He has always done good work and he has made the department proud through it all,” Jackson said.

Leave a Comment April 30, 2012

Bike lanes go a different kind of green

A bike lane on South Lexington Avenue got fresh coat of green paint this week as part of an effort to enhance bicycle visibility and safety.

The one-block climbing lane between Aston Street and Patton Avenue is the first of several spots the city is pinpointing to try out a strategy recently approved by the Federal Highway Administration as a way to make downtown bike lanes more visible to motorized traffic.

Color-coded bike lanes are easier to see and identify through confusing traffic patterns and intersections, and studies have shown that color-coded bike lanes help increase drivers’ awareness of bicycles in the area. That means bicycle riders can feel even safer in downtown Asheville.

City of Asheville bike lanes

Downtown Asheville's gets its first color-coded bike lane

“A big part of getting people onto bicycles is making them feel comfortable traveling through city streets,” says Transportation Planner Barb Mee. “And the success of our bike plan rides on getting more people using our bike lane system.”

The section of Lexington Avenue was selected for the nature of its traffic and for the condition of its recently repaved surface. The project is still in a preliminary phase and the Transportation Department wanted to begin with the most sound surface it could find. The department will be testing different materials for durability, ease of application, cost, and most importantly, slip resistance.  From a materials standpoint, Mee says, this treatment could be an extremely cost effective way to give a big boost to downtown bicycle accessibility.

“Our hope is that it really does make cyclists more comfortable and lead to fewer misunderstandings by drivers,” Mee says.

Sustainable and multi-modal transportation remains a priority for the City of Asheville. In 2008, Asheville City Council approved a comprehensive bicycle plan. Since then, the City of Asheville has unveiled many new enhancements for bicycle accessibility including new bike lanes, downtown bike lockers, and a repair station in the River Arts District.  Click here to see more about the City of Asheville’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Services.

Leave a Comment April 27, 2012

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