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DOT Studies Traffic In New Martinsville

June 6, 2012
BY LAUREN RIGGS - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

A traffic study is currently being performed in the New Martinsville area by traffic engineers, according to Carrie Bly of the West Virginia Department of Transportation. This study is not expected to conclude until July, but issues have already been found and are currently being addressed.

Bly reports that loop detectors, pieces of wire under the payment that a vehicle has approached an intersection from a side street or in a turn lane, are broken at the North Street and McEldowney Avenue intersections. These problems can cause traffic to move unnecessarily slowly, as the light will not change as needed. For instance, a side street may not get a signal when needed and a turn lane may get an arrow even when a car is not waiting to turn. The state DOH is working to get contractors to the area to remedy this issue in the next couple weeks.

Another issue Bly wants the public to know about is that complaints were coming in concerning too long of a wait for those coming out of side streets; hence, timing issues changed a bit at these locations. In effect, traffic on the main road will be slowed.

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A line of traffic like this one in the southbound lane of state Route 2 in New Martinsville at its North?Street intersection is a common sight lately. (Photo by Lauren Riggs)

Bly reports that the overall issue has been the broken sensors thus far, but other problems could come up as the study continues.

Dave White, head of the New Martinsville Electric Department, offered the city's take on the traffic situation. As a whole, he believes the situation is a little bit better, but there are still issues to address. White states the city is currently trying to coordinate three different problems together to make the traffic situation better for drivers. For example, White mentioned that there have been two different times when a semitrailer has hit a control box. One control box was able to be fixed, but in the second instance, the box was practically "ripped off" and a new control box is in the process of being furnished by the state.

White stated he did ask for adjustments to be made concerning the sensors at stop lights on the main road and side streets in the morning during work traffic, from noon to 1 p.m., and during the evening work traffic. He stated that while he can recommend adjustments be made to the light sensors, he is not responsible for what the exact adjustments are. He stated timings were changed on controllers to compensate for increased oil and gas traffic.

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White also mentioned the defective loop detectors in the pavement, stating that at one intersection the loop detector has been fixed, but the broken control box is still causing frustrations.

Approximately four months ago the Wetzel Chronicle created a message board seeking constructive input about New Martinsville's traffic problems. Following are a couple of the posts.

From WVMOM21: No doubt about it, traffic congestion is a problem on Route 2. But maybe until something better can be done about it, a little consideration and patience for everyone else would help. I see people using the middle lane (the turning lane) to travel long distances, thereby causing a problem for someone else who might want to turn coming the other direction. I see folks tail-gating in heavy traffic-which does nothing but irritate others. Folks don't stop for red lights, they don't pay heed to the traffic signs especially in the area of the 5-way light, few follow the speed limit. Folks are distracted by talking on their cell phones, and on and on and on. Let's all try to be a little more courteous, thoughtful and watchful of others before someone is seriously injured or worse.

From MyThoughtsOnThisSubject: When the electric is unexpectedly disrupted and traffic lights don't work, the traffic seems to flow perfectly. No back ups, no snarls, no wrecks. Eliminate all traffic lights and save the town that cost, give Rt. 2 the right-of-way, allow right turns on red again, and have everyone else follow traffic laws.

Join the discussion at under Your Community, Message Boards.



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