Madison County Opinion...

NOVEMBER 6, 2002


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
November 6 2002

Frankly Speaking
Safety measures needed for Glenn Carrie Road
It finally happened. I have been expecting it for some time now.
A young girl died as a result of a Monday afternoon accident just off Glenn Carrie Road. This tragedy is the result of too many vehicles, too many kids in the streets and no sidewalks.
The girl was walking with friends in Windsor Heights when a motorcycle rounded a corner. The driver was unable to stop the bike. Marks on the street show that he laid the bike down in an effort to stop, but was unable to do so. Both the driver and the girl, neither of whom were identified as I write this, were taken to the hospital. And the girl was later pronounced dead.
Clearly, Glenn Carrie and its connecting streets are becoming more and more dangerous every day. Glenn Carrie is a narrow, two-lane street that is heavily traveled by local residents and drivers who are transiting from Hwy. 72 to the Dogsboro shopping area. It is also heavily traveled by school buses.
The most immediate thing that will help the problem is a review, and intensive enforcement, of speed limits in the area. Speed limits probably would not have prevented the accident above, but they can reduce the likelihood of additional tragedies.
Making Glenn Carrie wider is not the answer. That would encourage even more traffic in the most populated area of Madison County. Rather, our county planner needs to develop new streets that can take some of the traffic off Glenn Carrie. For example, a street connecting Windsor Heights to Virginia Drive would divert some of the traffic on to Harve Mathis Road. Extending Wooddale Street to Hwy. 29 North of the Glenn Carrie intersection would give the north side of Glenn Carrie an additional outlet.
Finally, Glenn Carrie and several connecting streets desperately need sidewalks. There are numerous adults and children who walk the streets in the area. This includes children going to visit each other, going to the stores for after school snacks, or to meet the school bus. Many of the adults walking in the area are among our poorer citizens who have limited transportation available. They have to walk to the store, or to their jobs.
All these people have two choices. They can walk in the streets, in the gullies or across people’s lawns. The road shoulders and gullies are only marginally safer than the street itself. Properly paved and marked sidewalks would solve this dangerous problem.
The board of commissioners needs to address this problem immediately. Every day they wait, the situation becomes more desperate. If they don’t take action quickly, more tragedies will occur.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is frankg@mcga.net.

Column
By Margie Richards
The Madison County Journal
November 6, 2002

A Moment With Margie
Things are sweet at Sourwood
A getaway.
We all need just that sometimes.
And I’ve found that no matter how busy we are, my husband Charles and I have to take time to “get out of town” (or out of the county) every couple of months, even if it’s just overnight.
Recently we did just that, right in the middle of the week.
We headed for the hills, or the mountains in this case, leaving Madison County and Georgia behind for a scenic drive through North Carolina and along part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We ended up at a pre-arranged destination, the Sourwood Inn, a 12 room bed and breakfast perched on the side of a mountain just above Asheville. We got there just before dark and climbed the small road call Elk Mountain Scenic Drive off the parkway to enter another world.
Even Sourwood’s driveway is an adventure made up of an almost immediate sharp turn and several dips to bring you down to the front of the inn.
If you love quiet, you’ll love Sourwood.
Situated on 100 acres and with only 12 rooms, (plus a nearby cabin, called Sassafras) there’s never a crowd.
We were greeted, as most everyone is, by three Labrador Retrievers. One stuck his head in the car to give me a “personal greeting” before I could get out.
The friendly canines provide the best of company for walks on the trails around the inn.
Each of the 12 rooms is individually appointed, but all contain a wood-burning fireplace (ready for the touch of a match), a set of French doors and a small patio overlooking the magnificent valley below. Each room has a huge garden tub with a view that overlooks the valley (don’t worry, nobody can see you from the high windows) and a walk-in, fully tiled shower. I was told by one of our innkeepers that the bathroom is always a hit with the ladies in particular.
A radio is in the room, but a TV can only be found in one place - the game room in the basement. Instead, books and magazines abound. There is a fully stocked library on the main floor and sitting areas on all three levels.
A gourmet dinner (at an additional cost) is served Thursday - Sunday evenings.
Since we were there on a Wednesday, that wasn’t an option for us, but we enjoyed some provided snacks in front of the fireplace in the lobby and had brought along a few snacks of our own in case we didn’t want to drive back down the mountain to Asheville (we didn’t).
We stayed on the deck off our room until it got too cold, but left the French doors open to the night air.
With a fire crackling in the fireplace, and no TV to divert our attention, we found we had time to talk with each other and the daily concerns of our world receded a little in that peaceful place.
Awaking pleasantly to the sound of the woods the next morning, we found the entire mountain enveloped in fog.
When we opened our door we were greeted by soft music drifting up from somewhere on the main level accompanied by the delicious smell of coffee.
A hearty breakfast buffet awaited us, where we sat in front of a bank of windows and watched the fog lift from the valley below.
Afterwards, all too soon, we packed up, said good-bye to our gracious hosts (including the dogs), and headed back down the mountain.
Although it was short period of time, it was just the kind of break we needed.
For more information on Sourwood Inn, go to their website at www.sourwoodinn.com
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.

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