BETHANY - In recent months Bethany officials have turned their attention to traffic issues at the intersection of state Routes 67 and 88 and to promoting the town for development.
Bethany Council members have asked the West Virginia Division of Highways to investigate what may be done to improve safety at the busy intersection, which is traveled by many Bethany College and West Liberty University students.
Bethany Councilman Pat Sutherland said many approaching the intersection from Route 88 are guilty of making rolling stops or lowering their speed somewhat as they approach the stop sign, but failing to stop.
Sutherland, who lives near the intersection, said after viewing many rolling stops at the sign he decided to videotape those who followed and captured 10 in that late Sunday afternoon.
Mayor Jay Eisenhauer said part of the problem may be that the road is at a steep grade as it approaches the intersection and the stop sign is set back from the intersection. While drivers often pass the sign, they also slow beyond it so they can see vehicles on Route 67, he said.
Eisenhauer suggested the answer may be in altering the intersection or moving the stop sign closer to the intersection.
He said increased enrollment at the two colleges has resulted in more traffic on the two roads and those drivers can, in some cases, be less familiar with the roads and prone to speeding.
Sutherland said a flashing caution light also has been suggested for vehicles entering Route 88 from Route 67.
Bethany officials also have been working to promote the town for development.
Council in recent years formed a volunteer committee to explore ways that Main Street might be improved to make it more attractive to small businesses and others.
Council in August entered into a tentative agreement with Lou Stein, a Wheeling-based consultant who heads a group aimed at aiding aspiring entrepreneurs.
Sutherland said Stein will be working with an intern from Bethany College to develop a marketing plan for council's consideration in January. He said town officials are seeking businesses that would be a good fit with the community and provide needed services. They might include a hair salon and barber shop or specialty shops, such as a used bookstore or art supply shop, he said.
Sutherland said the college's communications department, where he is a professor, has produced a color brochure to be distributed to students and others. It includes contact numbers for the town's police and fire departments and local officials and information about local businesses and shopping and recreational opportunities in Brooke County and neighboring areas.
Eisenhauer said the town awaits release of a $3,500 state grant secured by state Del. Roy Givens, D-Brooke, that would be used to purchase welcome signs for the town directing visitors to the police department and newly established community center at Bethany Town Hall.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)