Intersection changes cause stir in Marietta

MARIETTA – The monthly meeting of the Marietta Township Trustees Wednesday saw controversy about the decision to put a stop sign on Browns Road at its intersection with Forshey Road.

At a meeting last month residents and trustees discussed safety issues caused by those trying to turn onto Browns from Forshey not having a clear line of sight, and that conversation continued Wednesday.

Trustee Steve Bober said everyone was trying to reach the same outcome.

“I think we all feel the same. We want to make the intersection as safe as possible,” he said.

Nearly 20 people were in attendance at the meeting held at the Marietta Township Recreation Center. Residents of both Browns and Forshey roads were there, as was Washington County Engineer Roger Wright and Commissioner David White.

Browns Road resident Jeff Day, 49, said he wanted to see traffic reports of accidents for the intersection stating that it was unsafe.

Bober said they didn’t have the data, other than complaints from residents of both roads calling the trustees about near accidents.

“I’m not going to wait for the data,” he said, adding that something needed to be done before somebody got seriously hurt.

The issue arose after a fence was put up at the residence sitting at the corner of Browns and Forshey, which cut down the visibility of those turning onto Browns from Forshey.

Larry Hearn, 45, is the owner of the house. He said he put the fence up to protect his children.

“We have a 4- and 2-year old and I’m not taking that chance,” he said, adding, “I want my children to be safe and people pulling out to be safe.”

Dorothy Cooper of Browns Road suggested making Forshey Road one way to Brant Drive.

Trustee Dan Ritchey suggested putting the stop sign up on Browns but also trying to square Forshey up with it.

“Straighten that road out; that’s what needs to happen,” Ritchey said. “We need to start taking some turn out of that road, take the angle out. That’s the only fix.”

Wright said the intersection alignment has always been incorrect and that it doesn’t match the 70 to 90 degree standard at most intersections. He said the choices were an intersection redesign that could probably cost from $10,000 to $15,000 or putting in the stop sign.

“Is it really a problem where you want to spend that to solve what a $150 sign will solve?” Wright asked. “The intersection alignment is poor. My solution is you put up a stop sign at Browns Road.”

A lot of residents showed concern for people running the new stop sign, which will be at the edge of the porch of the house directly across from Forshey Road.

Bober said the trustees couldn’t patrol the road and make sure everyone stops and that if anyone runs the sign they are “breaking the law.”

He said the alternative to the stop sign, straightening the intersection, would take a huge chunk of the township’s budget.

“It’s not a fast process and it isn’t cheap,” Bober said. “We represent everybody in Marietta Township and it’s not right to spend our budget at one intersection…Something needs done. I personally am not in favor of waiting for a long time to do this.”

Trustee John Lankford said that times change and all decisions made have to do with “the evolution of the neighborhood.”

The Marietta trustees decided to go ahead with putting in the stop sign, which should go up at the end of next week or beginning of the following week, and putting up caution signs to draw awareness to the new sign.

The trustees also agreed to go ahead with looking into straightening out the intersection. Ritchey said if the straightening occurs, the stop signs would most likely remain.

Wright said he could draw up some plans for squaring Forshey with Browns and get some quotes for what it would cost. White said he could possibly help with looking into ways to help with the cost.