Time will not wait much longer for us to repair our roads

A lot of issues you can just ignore or take a break from occasionally.
However, the one issue there is no escape from — not even a respite from — is our area’s road conditions and the fact we have to live, or die, with them.
Despite the Roads to Prosperity initiative, $45 million in new equipment for the Division of Highways, interactive maps of roadwork and other big ideas, images and distorted facts, we’re still at risk daily on our hazardous roads.
For all the talk, the big plans, the seemingly abandoned orange pylons and Road Work Ahead signs, we are reminded of a recent poll on the state’s economy that asked are thing better, worse or the same.
The resounding answer from about half of the 501 respondents to that question was the same — stagnant — while another 30% said worse. If that same question were applied to our state’s roads it stands to reason the results wouldn’t be any better, if not worse.
Still what is even worse is that the days are getting shorter and our calendar’s window of opportunity to repair local roads is closing. Summer is making its last stand as fall is only two weeks away.
Anyone who might scoff at our observations about how awful our road conditions are need only drive from say, our newspaper’s facility into downtown Morgantown on W.Va. 7. In your own vehicle, of course.
We know, some will say the heavy truck traffic is responsible for that. But pardon us, “Isn’t the DOH responsible for this, too?” There’s also any number of state roads that hardly see anywhere near the amount of truck traffic on W.Va. 7 that still pose a significant hazard.
And it’s not just that potholes on the state’s roads threaten to damage our vehicles if we hit them at the speed limit anymore.
What’s become far more common and far more dangerous are the frantic efforts by most drivers to dodge these potholes. To do so, of course, they are forced to almost come to a sudden stop in traffic, drive into the opposite lane or skirt the outer edges of roads.
All of which are maneuvers that can potentially cause accidents resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities.
We have no evidence, aside from our own experiences, that would attest to an increase of accidents from the increasing number of potholes. There are any number of causes for accidents ranging from distracted driving to drunken driving.
Yet, we urge law enforcement when investigating an accident to ensure road conditions, and not just weather conditions, are taken into account.
Critical issues like road conditions and public safety should not be driven between the lines of costs and benefits.Indeed, they should come down to doing what’s right.

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