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Resolve Traffic Woes

Editor, News-Register:

Returning from a month-long. 5,000-plus mile journey out west and back, I came home to a massive, and I mean a massive, parking lot on I-70 west bound. I immediately assumed that there was a serious traffic accident, possibly on Two-Mile Hill, but came to find out the nightmare on the west bound side of I-70 was mirrored throughout, Wheeling, Elm Grove, and the east bound side of I-70.

We finally reached the exit for the truck stop and thought we would duck off I-70 and take Roney’s Point Run road to old 40 and then get to Elm Grove that way. Well, the WVDOH must have thought of that also, because they had a paving crew paving Roney’s Point Run road.

It’s hard to describe the frustration level travelers feel when they run into unavoidable traffic delays. But when those traffic delays seem to be a result of very poor, let me repeat, very poor planning; I can only wonder how many heart attacks, strokes, acts of road rage, and melted ice cream will be the result.

Here’s a description of what we encountered: Old 40, both east and west, from Elm Grove to little Washington in Pennsylvania had heavy traffic, but at least it was moving. Roney’s Point road was heavily traveled, with a portion being one lane due to well-planned paving. People were lined up part way up Roney’s Point Run road waiting for their turn to travel through the restricted area. This caused traffic to back up onto old 40 for some distance while they awaited their turn to navigate the Point road to reach the Highlands, I suppose. Cars, when they were finally freed from the gridlock sped down old 40, through Triadelphia and into the bottleneck at Elm Grove. Cars and tractor-trailers were pouring off of 29th Street hill (Route 88) in Elm Grove and both lanes were filled with a variety of cars and trucks, only to find that some motorists were in the wrong lane and thus they blocked that lane trying to get let into the curb lane to proceed through the Elm Grove intersection.

We heard people cursing, and saw some using unique hand gestures in greetings to their fellow travelers. Where are the traffic engineers? Who wants to take OWNERSHIP of this madness? It ain’t working, it’s a monumental nightmare, let’s get back to the drawing board and come up with a better traffic flow plan. Do we need to work an exclusively midnight shift? Could that save lives and reduce stress on the motoring public, not to mention the hundreds of truck drivers who earn their living carting our goods from city to city? Do we need to position law enforcement at key locations (Route 40 & Roney’s Point road), Elm Grove intersections, and other points of congestion, to monitor and direct traffic? What happens when a fire department vehicle can’t get through the tangled mess, or an ambulance? Where are our elected officials when they should be seeking a brain storming session with the WVDOH? I for one am afraid to venture out of the house for fear of getting trapped in bumper to bumper traffic, or running into an enraged motorist who vents his anger by his aggressive driving and threats of bodily harm.

My advice to my fellow citizens is stay home and only travel when absolutely necessary and do so at your own peril. One week of this is not close to tolerable, but to imagine this might be what the WVDOH has in mind for the motoring public for months, and perhaps years to come is beyond my comprehension.

Wheeling will be called anything but the “Friendly City” if this nightmare isn’t addressed, and resolved.

P. Jacobs

Wheeling

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