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Ask Matt ... why hawgs park that way

Q. Why do bikers always back their motorcycles into parking areas?

I asked a Harley owner who had just parked his bike on Main Street. He said, “Motorcycles don’t have a reverse gear. When you park on a downward slope it’s hard to back up your bike when leaving but much easier to pull straight out under engine power. It’s also a safety thing.”
The Moto Cafe on NC191 (formerly Carolina Roses greenhouse) attracts a lot of bikers. Actually, it’s a really cool watering hole. Owner Jeff Herold agreed that when bikers are parked close together, it’s easier to leave pulling out head first, particularly into traffic.

Q. How do emergency responders get access into gated communities and how many are there in the county?

There are more than 30 gated communities in Henderson County. The largest ones are Carriage Park, Cummings Cove, Kenmure, Wolfpen and Windstone (Fletcher). Four have gate attendants and the rest have gates that are are opened electronically by residents either with a key pad or an electronic device in their cars commonly known as a “clicker.” So how do law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, etc. gain access? Don’t laugh but they do it with a siren. County emergency response vehicles can switch to an alternate siren tone different from the siren sound you hear on the highway. When they approach the gate, the tone’s frequency opens it. It’s that simple...when it works, and it works most of the time. Some gates can also be opened with a key pad and if necessary, response units can get gate access codes from the 9-1-1 emergency communications center.

The County has specific rules regarding entry gates. Plans for entry gates must be approved by both the Fire Marshal and the Sheriff’s Department. Emergency and law enforcement vehicles shall be provided “unfettered access to all private streets.” This is usually through the subdivision’s homeowners association. The law specifies an access control device approved by the County. The law also states that the gates be set back from the main road thus allowing vehicles to pull safely off the main road while waiting for the gate to open.

The N.C. Department of Transportation will not accept streets into their system that are in a gated community. And county school buses are not permitted to enter one either. Buses stop outside the gate for pickups and dropoffs. Based upon the data I found, there are some 2,600 residences behind locked gates in our county. At an average of two persons per unit, that’s the equivalent of 5,200 residents.

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