Patton Avenue Is The Worst Part Of Asheville

For all those who didn’t know, I live in Asheville, North Carolina. It’s nice. It also has Patton Avenue in it, so there’s that.

Patton Avenue is the Bermuda Triangle of Asheville. It will add ten minutes to your travel time, regardless of the stoplight combination you get while driving down it. And don’t let a word like “combination” give you the idea that the pattern of lights is anything other than “always red.” Patton Avenue stoplights are like creepy pictures with eyes that seem to be staring at you when you just barely see them in your peripheral vision. They might look green out of the corner of your eye, but if you look straight at them, they’re always red.

Asheville, NC. Not pictured: Patton Purgatory

Asheville, NC. Not pictured: Patton Avenue Purgatory

I’m not sure what it is about Patton Avenue that debilitates a car’s gas pedal, and a driver’s ability to use it. I’ve never seen a larger group of people simultaneously discovering that their brakes exist than I have every second of every drive down Patton Avenue. The main stretch, which starts somewhere near Denny’s, and ends around the Sisters of Mercy center wipes your brain clear of any driving knowledge that you previously held, meaning that Patton Avenue is a clusterfuck of car horns, u-turns performed by people unsure of what the letter “u”  looks like, and protracted, common movements. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a family of four take three minutes to go right, then Patton Avenue is the ultimate spectator sport. Confident motor skills are an anomaly on Patton Avenue. Everyone there drives like going over 35 MPH would burn a cross into their hands.

I don’t know who designed Patton Avenue, but I’m certain that their last, dying thought was “Shit, that could’ve gone better.” And that’s under the delusion that any one, normal being birthed Patton Avenue, honking and braking continuously, into life. If my theory is correct, Patton Avenue is a deal between God and Satan, where Satan said “You get joy, but I get to make Patton Avenue,” and God responded with “That doesn’t seem fair.”

Why are there so many people on Patton, all the time? It’s mostly chain fast food places, and nine times out of ten, if you talk to anyone in Asheville, the conversation will be about your health and what could possibly be damaging it (KFC and rising employment rates, probably.) Shouldn’t they be going to other places in Asheville, solely on principle? Or is Patton Avenue the secret test that every Asheville resident must pass each day so that they can go along living in Asheville. “To remain in the place you love, you must survive driving behind a truck that doesn’t know how to switch lanes, wants to very badly, BUT WILL NEVER LEARN HOW.”


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11 responses to “Patton Avenue Is The Worst Part Of Asheville

  1. (1) Asheville? Wow. Would have never guessed that. (2) You are so lucky–what a beautiful place to live. Felt blessed (literally, which is how a few still use the word) each time I got to drive through those mountains and their “it really IS blue!” mists. (3) Oh–was this supposed to be about your POST? Really good, of course! The un-u-turns (“Darlene, sugar, is THAT what a ‘u’ looks lahk?”), the “protracted common movements” (what a visual that conjures–so good, sir–so good)… Still smiling.

      • Would have guessed major metropolitan area–but, apparently, Asheville now IS. Have been there only….4x. Shopped for a place to live permanently in ’03, when my then-spouse was poundin’ on me, and again in ’09, after our 3-year divorce finally ended. Asheville was a top contender, but found I could no longer handle skeeters. L.A. has none. But: Every single d*mn day, during my walks along dry concrete “rivers” and brown dirt hillsides bare of undergrowth, I ache for the Eastern woodland greenery.I grew up with. You know–the stuff you see out your window every day.

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