2017-09-20 / Letters

Support road bond but not bypass

Dear Editor:

I support the highway road bond issue, but I do not support a bypass around Berkeley Springs, unless it can be limited to 18 wheeler trucks.

I have personally witnessed what happens to small towns and cities when traffic has been rerouted around them via bypass or interstates, in the name of progress. They die. Store fronts empty, as businesses are forced to close, tax bases drastically decrease, local services suffer from lack of funds, and real estate declines along with house values, as many structures stand empty.

During my tenure as Director of Personnel for the Morgan County Schools, numerous teacher applications arrived at my office as a result of the applicants passing through Berkeley Springs either on the way north or south on Rt. 522 and seeing the town and state park, these applicants stopped for a break and walked through. They ate at the restaurants, and strolled through the shops and Berkeley Springs State Park. I hired many of these extremely qualified applicants, and they moved here, bought homes, many with families, where their spouses started their own businesses or found nearby employment. Had they bypassed Berkeley Springs, they would have never seen this town, nor known about its uniqueness, while we and they would have been the losers.

Hopefully, the road bond issue passes, and hopefully, great thought goes into the negative impact of a bypass if it is not limited to truck traffic.

Margaret Miller

Berkeley Springs

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