Upshur leaders hear suggestion for bicycle lane

BUCKHANNON — An Upshur County community member has posed a suggestion to establish a bicycle lane or walking path near Brushy Fork Road to accommodate pedestrians traveling into town.

Dr. Joseph Reed’s suggestion is regarding Brushy Fork Road, County Route 7 and the pending modification between Corridor H and the road leading to the Upshur County Regional Airport, according to Thursday morning’s agenda for the Upshur County Commission meeting.

In a letter given to Upshur County Commission members, Reed stated, “Plans are progressing for road modification between Corridor H and the Upshur County Airport road; this is the most dangerous part of the Brushy Fork Road for pedestrians and bicyclers because of relative blind spots. This road, I believe, is an official west to south bypass around Buckhannon.”

Reed noted in the letter that there are a number of residents who are walking or bicycling into town.

“I would suggest exploring the possibility of establishing a bicycle lane on that road project, or establish a walk/bicycle path along the city’s utility right of way to the Event Center on Brushy Fork,” concluded the letter.

In a phone interview, Reed said questions regarding the suggestion are “Can it be done and can it be paid for? Is it too late? What are the opportunities? How (many) advantages are there?”

Reed advised commissioners could not take action on the suggestion during Thursday’s meeting.

Also discussed at the meeting, commissioners signed a proclamation for the Family Resource Network’s Tobacco Prevention Coalition stating March 21 as Kick Butts Day in Upshur County.

With Kick Butts Day, the focus is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action to help prevent youth tobacco use, reads the proclamation.

The proclamation states preventing youth tobacco initiation is a critical step in combating the pervasive problem of tobacco, the leading cause of disease and preventable death in the United States.

The signed proclamation noted nine out of 10 adult smokers began while in their teens or earlier, and two-thirds become regular, daily smokers before reaching the age of 19.

With more than 1,800 children, under age 18, in West Virginia becoming new smokers each year, current data suggests that 47,000 Upshur County children will ultimately die prematurely from smoking, according to the proclamation.

In other news:

• Commissioners approved and signed the Federal Aviation Administration Outlay request number four in the amount of $18,469 for the Airport Improvement Program project No. 3-54-0039-031-2017 at the Upshur County Regional Airport.

• The regularly scheduled commission meeting scheduled for March 8 has been canceled. The next Upshur County Commission meeting will begin at 9 a.m. March 15 at the Upshur County Courthouse Annex.