Decision on proposed
expansion of U.S. Route 50 needs to be made soon

Let's a hope a decision on the proposed expansion of U.S. Route 50 is forthcoming.
    The proposal for creating a four-lane highway out of the current roadway continues to remain just that: a proposal. The West Virginia Division of Highways has suggested three different routes for the 18-mile section of Route 50, but it doesn't seem like an announcement of anything concrete will be heard anytime soon.
    Why? Well, it comes back to that age-old reason: money. Or, as Bill Wood, supervisor of the division's Planning and Research Division, Preliminary Engineering, put it: "It's a function of funding."
    We don't doubt the validity of the statement.
Officials have estimated the expansion project at anywhere from $150 million to $205 million.
 With costs like that, it's understandable that decisions won't be made "overnight."
But the thing is, until a decision is made as to the expansion, other much-needed improvements on this section of U.S. Route 50 are being postponed. And that's not good.
    Ask just about any Taylor County resident and he or she will tell you that the expansion (or at the very least, improvements) are desperately needed.
    Reasons include safety factors, the need to bring industry into Taylor County, easier accessibility to the mall and more.
And when studies have estimated the average daily traffic on the two-lane, twisting section of roadway at between 4,800 and 8,000 vehicles, it's a little hard to argue with them.
    Sen. Jon Blair Hunter, D-Monongalia, said that the state needs to make a decision, noting that its inaction on this matter has essentially put everyone into "limbo."
We agree.
    And we hope that if the state can't make a decision on the roadway's expansion anytime soon, it will at least initiate needed improvement projects in the interim.

Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.

The constant lament of people who park in downtown Clarksburg


    Betty Jo Nulter of 1716 Pearlman Ave., North View, has sent me a brief note that she requests that I include in Bob-n-Along. It reads:
    "Shop in Clarksburg? Why not? Its people are friendly and I have found them kind and thoughtful of others. The dark side is having to pay to park. A lot of folks are from out of town. What a welcome to give them to find a parking ticket on their windshield!
    "I can understand charging for running a red light. It could result in someone's death."
"Let's copy Rosebud Plaza-free parking, and no one has to leave a meal at a restaurant to go see if there is enough money in the meter.
    "I love my town and its people. I don't want the doors to our city to close. Before it's too late, officials of Clarksburg, again I ask for your help. Our city needs you as you need us."
    I must agree with Betty Jo. As I've pointed out before in my column, it seems ludicrous to have parking spaces available, but then, virtually the moment time runs out, someone is "slapping" an orange parking ticket on a vehicle's windshield.
Maybe some see this as some form of sport- the first one to the meter wins. I see it as a sure-fire way to chase off the few faithful who still do a little shopping downtown or in the city.

    From the "Lost and Found Department," a reader from Hanover, Pennsylvania sent a note to Clarksburg Printing, a division of Clarksburg Publishing Company, to say that he'd found a note with a red ribbon attached (obviously to a balloon) from a Clarksburg youngster.
    Hanover is a small town located southwest of Harrisburg. The note was found near Gettysburg.
The note, on a page from a Clarksburg Printing "scratchpad," read: "Hi, I am from Clarksburg West Virginia. Bye." It was printed in pencil, the handwriting of a child.
    The note, from Ted Brilhart of 92 Vegas Drive, Hanover, PA 17331, was addressed to Clarksburg Printing and read as follows: "I am sending this to you, hoping you can return it to the owner. The only clue I have is your company's name and address on the tag. This was found near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on March 18th. ... "
    If anyone recognizes having printed the note that was attached to the balloon, you may contact me at 626-1438. I'll hold the note for you at my desk.
    Also from Lost and Found, I have a photograph of a group of six individuals described as 1968 officers of the local AFL/CIO. There was no name or address for the photo to be returned, although I believe it was brought to the newsroom from a local funeral home after the recent passing of one of the individuals pictured, Albert Altovilla.
    The individuals were identified by orange, engraved labels printed by one of those gizmos that were popular several years ago. Names included Mary Coberly, John Biafore, Ray Payne, Albert Altovilla, Joe Carvelli and Ed Lantz.
Some time in the not-too-distant future, I would be interested in using the picture in in the daily Telegram feature, "A Look Back in Time" that includes photographs from 30 or more years ago.

Just one more note before I'm "ushered off the stage."
    Did you hear about the guy who heard that most traffic accidents occur within five miles of a person's home, so he moved 10 miles away?
I guess you'll have that. Another Bob-n-Along on Wednesday. Enjoy your Monday.


Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999