Wed
Aug 3 2011
03:41 pm

An odd thing this morning, friends and I were watching this video of a safe and sane ride on a Goldwing through the Dragon. Later we heard of yet another fatality on the mountain. WBIR reports a collision between a bike and a semi about 9:30.

This video was shot in 1995, and traffic was pretty heavy even then. I last rode it on a weekday in 1985 and saw maybe five other bikes.

243
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Brian A.'s picture

To state the obvious, a

To state the obvious, a tractor trailer has no business being on the Dragon.

Is there a road sign explicitly stating they are prohibited? I'm thinking there is only an advisory sign, but I could be wrong.

jbr's picture

There are signs on the

There are signs on the Tennessee side saying extreme switchbacks ahead, last chance to turn around. That is all I have ever noticed. I do not know about North Carolina side. Although I do not recall seeing anything there either.

Brian A.'s picture

On the KNS site a few people

On the KNS site a few people say that 129 can't restrict trucks because it's a US highway.

Eh?

I'm as much for free travel as the next guy, but some roads just aren't made for some vehicles. And somehow the marginal roads seem to attract the not-so-bright drivers. Remember when a truck somehow got in Cades Cove a few years ago? Fun times.

bizgrrl's picture

On the KNS site a few people

On the KNS site a few people say that 129 can't restrict trucks because it's a US highway.

It is a U.S. highway and was a major road east before interstates. People, including semi-trucks, did travel long distances on roads like U.S. 129 before interstates. I wonder how everyone got along back then.

R. Neal's picture

From the news report: "part

From the news report: "part of the truck crossed over a center line in a curve."

I've had a few close encounters with trucks up there. There is no physical way for them to negotiate some of those curves without crossing the yellow line and sometimes they have to take up the entire road.

I've heard the argument that it's a U.S. highway so commercial truck traffic can't be restricted. Seems like there should be an exception to that rule. Isn't Newfound Gap Rd. also U.S. 441? Trucks aren't allowed on it.

As for the motorcycles, as I've said before there should be checkpoints at both ends where bikers have to sign in, show proof of insurance and/or ability to pay for rescue/medical evac operations, and name their next of kin.

B Harmon's picture

Organ donors

As for the motorcycles, as I've said before there should be checkpoints at both ends where bikers have to sign in, show proof of insurance and/or ability to pay for rescue/medical evac operations, and name their next of kin.

Add to that a "release" or instructions to be an organ donor. Make them list what organs can be harvested.

cafkia's picture

... As for the motorcycles,

... As for the motorcycles, as I've said before there should be checkpoints at both ends where bikers have to sign in, show proof of insurance and/or ability to pay for rescue/medical evac operations, and name their next of kin.

I have driven that road in a minivan and seen many a sports car there as well. I was nearly run off of the road by a big rig (not to mention idiots in cars who were apparently unused to curves). My skill and care were nearly not enough to stop me from a potentially fatal plunge. I suggest that your checkpoint restrictions on motorcycles would be better suited for ALL vehicles wishing to traverse that particular stretch of road. Perhaps the less experienced would be persuaded take a different route.

metulj's picture

Those highways were built

Those highways were built when a semi hauled no more than a 40 foot to 45 foot trailer. Today's 53' standard is too long for roads like US129. The driver was probably avoiding scales.

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