Forum Open Thread: Carrboro Board of Aldermen Special Election

Welcome to the open thread for the Carrboro Board of Aldermen Special Election candidate forum happening on April 6, 2014. Comments on this post will open at that time.

There are three candidates for one seat: 

  • Bethany Chaney
  • Talal Asad
  • Theresa Watson

You can observe the forum at

We hope you'll use this open thread to post your thoughts and reactions. Also, if you want to propose additional discussion topics, you can reach the editors during the forum via Twitter, Facebook, or the contact page. The forum moderator will have final say in question selection.



Thanks OP!

On March 6, 2014 Carrboro Alderman candidate  Talad Asad was quoted in article “I do think there needs to be a lot more educationgiven to the actual bikers in town, to protect themselves and to protectcars from actually, you know, impeding in regular traffic,” he says. “Ido notice a lot of times that most of the — I want to say, violators onthe road, are, in fact, bikers.”I'd like to understand if the other candidates agree with Talad's thoughtson this issue.The consequence of a 3,000-pound car ignoring the rules of the road is fargreater than for a 180 lb cyclist on a 25 lb bicycle. As a public-healthissue, traffic violations by cars are a serious problem, traffic violationsby bicycles are usually a much smaller problem.More than 6,000 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed annually inaccidents involving cars between 2000 and 2009, according to the NationalHighway Traffic Safety Administration.

 Stating that traffic violations by bicycles are usually a much smaller problem is quite a disservice to your fellow cyclists. A violation by either side can result in the same catastrophic consequences, with the cyclist far, far more likely to get hurt. Although you decided to quote Seattle Times opinion piece directly ( as opposed to using the source facts... I thought I'd shed some light on this issue. Also, according to the same statistics by the NHTSA - alcohol is a factor in the pedistrian and cyclist at higher rates than the motor vehiclist., being a heavy-use pedestrian in this town, and witnessing some
greusome crashes, I know far too well that the motor vehicle drivers
need to be educated more as well about their fellow neighbors on the
road.     Prosper Carrboro!

Talal Asad is promoting a narrative that is not supported by the data in our community.We don't need to peruse national sources of crash statistics; we need an examination of the data we have for Carrboro.   Fortunately, the Highway Safety Research Center has assembled this for us in a convenient database.  Here is a screenshot of the data on all pedestrian crashes in Carrboro from 1997 to 2012, crosstabbed for crash severity and alcohol use.  You can find this data here.As you can see, of the 92 crashes in that timeframe in which data on the use of alcohol is available, 87 out of 92- or a whopping 95% of the time- alcohol WAS NOT A FACTOR IN THE CRASH AT ALL.On March 28th on CityBeautiful21, I compiled additional data from the Highway Safety Research Center on crashes in Carrboro that showed the severity of injury to pedestrians is STRONGLY related to vehicle speed, a variable completely WITHIN THE CONTROL OF THE MOTORIST and completely beyond the control of the pedestrian. Therefore, the chiding of pedestrians as being more likely to be consuming alcohol in vehicle crashes is both erroneous and a distraction from the real issue -- Speed kills and maims.   

Speed definitely kills and maims, and my reply was to Ms. Baily, who initially used national statistics to promote the narrative. But thank you for pointing out the site with relevant data. Zero crashes in Carrboro had to do with excessive speed.    Prosper Carrboro!

Talal My post was asking if anyone knew if the other candidates held the same position as you did. Kim 

So the 2 people killed and 18 disabled in Carrboro were hit by cars traveling at or below the speed limit where crashes occurred?The point of the discussion of the slow zone is not whether cars are staying below the relatively arbitrary signs along the sides of the roads; the point is whether or not those signs, which drive traffic enforcement, are too high.If every single one of our traffic deaths and disabling injuries happened at or below the speed limit, I'd say that's pretty strong evidence that the speed limits are wrong.  

Good point, Patrick. One important objective in slowing traffic should be to prevent injury, not to enforce compliance with posted speed limits. The latter can complement the former, but the data show it's not sufficient.

I'm definitely concerned about bicyclists who don't wear helmets and who thread through traffic to beat the red light at Main Street.  I'm also concerned about pedestrians who wear earbuds and look at their phones while crossing against a light.  But I'm mostly concerned about anything with both an engine and a driver.  A Slow Zone would help in downtown, and some community-led education on safety strategies for bikers and pedestrians would be really terrific too.  The first would make drivers more aware and accountable.  The second would help everyone else look out for themselves when drivers don't.

Interesting stats and an interesting conversation, all.  Thanks.

 --Bethany Chaney, Candidate for Alderman, who realized too late she isn't signed in as herself.

Unfortunately those conclusions are very flawed. There is no mention if the driver or pedestrian was at fault for these crashes. Far too many times, I've seen people cross 54 without regard to traffic or not paying attention on their ipods. Also, the deaths and injuries are for the FULL town of Carrboro, not downtown, where the effective speed limit is 15-20 MPH due to traffic.  Prosper Carrboro!

Anyone who wants to see a map of Carrboro crash data can click the link below and look at page 32.  They will see that all but one cluster of crashes in Carrboro from 2001 to 2005 can be found downtown, and that outside of downtown all crash sites except West Poplar/NC 54 (2 crashes) are single-crash sites. The downtown sites are all 3 or more crashes. HSRC Crash Report for Carrboro Anyone who thinks that speed limits are unrelated to the severity of traffic crashes for pedestrians in our community can go back to the crash query tool and isolate Carrboro and the variables for Crash Severity and Speed Limit of the Road and find the same declining severity of impact to pedestrians as the speed limits are lowered.

From reading the candidate responses on the issue of the legislature eliminating ETJs, it sounds like they that elimination would create some challenges or feelings of loss for those of us who live in the ETJ. What exactly is it you think we would be losing by being taken out of Carrboro's ETJ? What kind of bridge building/education do you see as being warranted?


Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.