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Clean up litter, but also clear brush that makes driving risky

The citizens of Harrison and some surrounding counties should applaud the efforts of litter control groups in their respective areas in curbing the unsightly problem of roadside garbage. Few would deny that this has certainly been a problem in the past. However, from a safety standpoint, a much more serious problem that is being left largely unattended is the brush that has been allowed to grow to the point of obstructing the view of motorists.

We will admit that this is not so much a problem along the interstates, the Appalachian Corridor highways and some other heavily-traveled roadways.

However, brush and excessive foliage have grown along some area roads, especially secondary highways, in many cases at intersections -- obstructing the view of oncoming traffic from various directions -- or in front of stop signs or speed limit signs. In any case, this uncut brush could be at or near the scene of an accident just waiting to happen.

In Harrison County, Paul Hamrick, the county's litter control chairman, has stated that roadside littering and illegal dumping have become a real problem. Trouble spots he included have been U.S. Route 19 South near Sunny Croft Country Club, U.S. 19 North on Reynolds Siding Hill near the Lumberport cutoff, the Reynoldsville Fire Access Road off U.S. 50 West, and Peora Hill.

In no way do we minimize the problem of garbage that is recklessly and irresponsibly tossed along the roadways. It is unsightly and surely a poor reflection on West Virginia, a state where most citizens strive to keep roadways clean. But in contrast, the uncut brush and foliage still blocking the view of drivers is a problem that can no longer go ignored.

Some examples are the Kincheloe Road in southern Harrison County, and Lightburn Road and Gee Lick Road in northern Lewis County. We are sure there are many, many more such dangerous scenarios.

We would urge those responsible for such obstructions to make it a top priority to clear away the aforementioned dangers and make it safe for travel, even if the roads are not as heavily traveled as an interstate.

Robert F. Stealey

Telegram Editorial Page chairman

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