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Stop Speeding, Littering First

No doubt quite a few people living along rural roads in the Ohio Valley can empathize with residents of the McGregor Hill Road area of Belmont County. Some of them are so fed up with speeders and the louts who see the road as a trash dump that they want county commissioners to officially vacate a section of the route.

A section of the road already is closed because of a slip. Like so many other highways, the pavement also is riddled with potholes and cracks.

On Tuesday, a delegation of people living along the road asked Belmont County commissioners to vacate it.

Mike Banig, who began the initiative, told commissioners he was told that for it to be considered, he would have to collect 10 or 12 signatures on a petition. He was able to get 22 and “could have got a lot more,” he said Tuesday.

Another person who lives along McGregor Road, Sharon Banig, complained about motorists driving too fast on it. And, she added, “There’s a lot of people who have gone down the road with trucks and dumped trash on property that does not belong to them … I’ve picked up whiskey bottles, pop bottles, beer bottles, syringes …”

Not everyone agrees the road should be vacated, however. One man told commissioners it is a valuable shortcut for some drivers going to various places, including Neffs and the Ohio Valley Mall. The highway also is important in emergency situations, he added.

Pultney Township Trustee Frank Shaffer added the quarter-mile section of road is used heavily.

Perhaps the best point was made by Andy Barricklow, who has relatives living along the road. “Vacating a road is a permanent decision to fix what I think are temporary problems in the form of speeding and litter,” he said.

He is correct. Before they consider vacating the road, commissioners should determine whether concerns about those who misuse it can be addressed.

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