Editorials, Opinion

The wheels on the bus don’t go that fast

At the Monongalia County Commission meeting late last week, parents of Ridgedale Elementary School students raised concerns about the intersection of Grafton and Goshen Roads. The matter came up again at the subsequent MPO meeting.

The school is nestled in the “V” of Goshen Road and Grafton Road — U.S. 119 — and traffic tends to fly by. On certain stretches of road, like Grafton, speed limits are considered more like guidelines, and the suggested 55 mph — 35 mph closer to the school — is ignored.

Tom Bloom had it right when he said the intersection needs a stoplight. Municipalities are often reluctant to add any features that contribute to congestion, but forcing Grafton Road travelers to stop and allow school traffic through is the best solution: A bus carrying several dozen kids can’t jump out into traffic and go from zero to 55 in a few seconds, and personal vehicles are up against line-of-sight issues that make turning onto U.S. 119 a white-knuckled-grip-on-the-steering-wheel experience.

Commissioners said they would pass on the parents’ unease to the DOH. This is something that should be done sooner rather than later, and the commission needs to make clear that, while the DOH has many projects on its plate, this is a problem that needs to be dealt with quickly. Where children’s safety is concerned, there cannot be delays.