Editorial: Traffic Light Needed at the “Bottom of the Hill”


Photo Courtesy of Austin Clark

Drone footage captures the intersection of Rt. 19 S. and Minuteman Drive

Staff Editorial

The fatalities that occurred at the Minuteman Drive/Rt. 19 intersection over Labor Day weekend have sparked many emotions among the students, teachers, faculty and the public.  

Many people believe that installing a traffic light “at the bottom of the hill” would reduce problems at the intersection.  

We agree. 

Adding a traffic light will reduce those problems that intersection brings. A traffic light would reduce wrecks, reduce traffic speed and eliminate the bottleneck of traffic coming to and from LCHS. 

It will take the cooperation of many to see a traffic signal installed including: Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, Lewis County Board of Education, West Virginia Department of Highways and Lewis County Commission.  All these groups working together to install a traffic light at the intersection will improve the safety of all who drive through this intersection 

Some have registered concerns about having a traffic signal during lower traffic periods of time like after school hours and during weekends. 

The traffic light could be set to operate off a timer.  When school traffic is at its height during mornings and eveningsthe traffic light will operate on the standard green, yellow, and red-light sequence. During light traffic hours, the traffic light will operate on a blinking yellow/red light schedule. 

Sgt. Mike Cayton said he believed adding lights to the intersection might also help during evening hours. He said adding lighting to the intersection will help driver visibility. 

We also agree with lighting the intersection. 

Finally, the last major problem with the intersection is driver error. 

Drivers often fail to bring their vehicle to a complete stop when it comes to right of way, while some drivers keep going even when it is not their turn to do so.  

Other students use the stop and dart method of navigating this intersection.  They briefly stop and then go no matter what traffic is approaching. Drivers often complain that they have had someone pull out in front of them almost causing an accident.

We would love to see a traffic light and better lighting installed. 

Until then, drivers need to remember that Rt. 19 always has the right of wayNorthbound and Southbound. Also, drivers must wait their turn before entering the intersection, to prevent wrecks from happening.  

It is our hope that these measures will prevent another fatality at the intersection.