Sign must come down

NEW CUMBERLAND – A bright orange sign that city officials had hoped would ease truck traffic on Station Hill will come down if the state has its way.

New Cumberland Mayor Linda McNeil received an email from Paul F. Hicks Jr., maintenance engineer for the West Virginia Division of Highways’ District 6, on Wednesday telling her to remove the sign – or the state would do it for her.

The sign, which tells northbound traffic at the top of Station Hill (state Route 2) to yield to opposing truck traffic, was erected by the city in July but apparently without state approval.

McNeil said she felt the sign was necessary to ensure that trucks don’t drive on the sidewalk or hit the stone wall. State Route 2 on Station Hill is only 16 feet wide in spots and has been a perennial source of concern for city officials.

Hicks told McNeil in July that the sign would have to be removed because it was “non-approved” and could pose a safety hazard.

“The sign actually is a detriment to the travelling public because, with it being a non-standard sign, it puts the travelling public at risk for rear-end collisions,” Hicks said in the email correspondence. “Someone who obeys the sign may be followed by someone who doesn’t recognize the sign as standard, and whoever (placed) the sign can also become liable for placing the sign that caused the accident.”

Hicks reiterated those concerns on Wednesday when he said he received a call from a motorist who was worried about being “rear-ended” if he obeyed the sign.

McNeil said she will get input from city council members before making a decision. “I have to do what they tell me to do. It may be that they want to talk about it,” she said.

The sign, which was custom-made at city expense for $200, was first erected when work was being done in early July to repair a portion of the Station Hill sidewalk that had been damaged by truck traffic.

“I’ve had a lot of feedback from truckers who like it,” McNeil said. “I’ve even had one who offered to circulate a petition in support of it.”

The sign sits on private property owned by First Presbyterian Church on Court Street, McNeil said.