Maybe more citizen input could have averted traffic snarls

Preliminary work has begun on the Seventh, Pike and Greene streets intersection and construction is in the early stages at the Acme and Pike streets intersection not fair away.

Yes, these two major projects, at two of the busiest intersections in Marietta, will be happening at the same time this spring and summer, something we see as very poor planning by our city officials.

To have traffic impacted at both these sites could seriously impede traffic flow all along Pike Street and beyond and take away options for alternate routes.

Neither of these projects are emergencies. There were no land slips or sinkholes or anything that necessitates the work be done immediately and simultaneously.

Construction projects are often timed to funding becoming available and a state schedule but those can’t be the only considerations.

Many in the community feel the Seventh, Pike and Greene work is unnecessary and a waste of millions of dollars and that city council moved forward with it just because the money was available, not because the plan was the right fit.

Is the timing of these two projects also a case of our officials being too afraid to pass up funding, whether something works for the community or not?

It seems as though Marietta’s leaders, as well as the Ohio Department of Transportation, didn’t use common sense in their rush to push through these long-talked about projects.

As residents, we need to take some responsibility for this as well. Many people have spoken out to the newspaper and to individuals about their dislike for the Seventh, Pike and Greene proposal but only a few attended council meetings or voiced their objections through the proper channels. Our public officials need input in order to make their decisions. Sometimes, they will vote how they feel personally regardless of what they hear from constituents, but we believe most of our local elected officials do listen to residents and take what they hear to heart.

So, let’s make sure potential mistakes like Seventh, Pike and Greene and having these two projects completed at the same time don’t happen again.

As citizens, we need to stay informed and give our views to council and the city administration. We need to go to meetings, read the newspaper or the meeting minutes and let them know when they’re getting it wrong.

This summer may be a headache for those living in Marietta or visiting it, so let’s do more to prevent that in future seasons.