Taylor Barnhill:
Because of the scale of this road and the amount of traffic that it will bring, more than ever it becomes the big cultural blender. It blends the people and the activities into this homogenous soup that looks just like every other place in North America, and the world for that matter. The icons of transportation nodes are the chain businesses and gas stations, and they're all the same all over the world now. So you have this homogenous stuff that is created, and the uniqueness of place and culture disappears. [...] So there's a question of whether you fight to maintain traditions or whether you work to do kind of damage control in accepting change. I don't know the answer. I'm frustrated every day that I get out of bed about it. Every time I walk back on the ridge behind my house, which is a mile from the four-lane that goes by Mars Hill, all I can hear is the drone of traffic in the distance. This is a place where eight years ago you couldn't hear any traffic because there wasn't enough traffic to make any noise. I could go up there and feel like I was a hundred miles away from everything, and I no longer can do that because there's interstate noise. Even though the interstate is not completed, it's already there. So I don't know what the answer is.

- Taylor Barnhill, member of the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition and a Madison County resident

Interview with Taylor Barnhill by Rob Amberg, November 29, 2000, Interview K-0245, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Click here to access the full interview.