UPDATE: Public Opinion Sought in ATV Traffic Proposal

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
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UPDATE 8/27/13 @ 11:20 p.m.
LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- County commissioners are considering opening up more area to ATV traffic in Lincoln County, but they're seeking public opinion first.

Commissioners tell WSAZ.com they're thinking about opening McCorkle Road from Little Johns Way to Route 214, along with Route 3 from Ivy Branch to Morrisvale.

The move is meant to boost the economy of local businesses along with the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system.

Part of McCorkle Road (from Corridor G to Little Johns Way) was already opened to four-wheelers in June.

That decision led some neighbors to speak out about safety concerns.

"It's dangerous now, as it is," Mary Dunlap said. "There's been all kinds of wrecks up around this curve."

Other neighbors like Joseph Linville say they'd like to see it go forward.

"We've been [riding] already for a long time, especially on the secondary roads," he said.

Commissioner K.K. Matthews told WSAZ.com the courthouse is currently accepting public comments on the issue through letters, emails and phone calls.

He says the commission will use those comments to make a final decision sometime in the spring.

Matthews says he's considering a new policy that would require public comment for all similar proposals in the future.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Plans to open up a Lincoln County road to ATV traffic has neighbors speaking out about safety concerns.

The county commission voted 2-1 at their last meeting to allow off-road vehicles on McCorkle Road from Route 119 to Little Johns Way.

It's all part of a plan to bring in more traffic for the new Ivy Branch Trail, an expansion of the Hatfield-McCoy trail system.

Developers say it'll give the area an economic boost, but neighbors like Louie Runyon aren't buying it.

"It's a dangerous situation at this time with just the local traffic," he said. "The additional Hatfield-McCoy traffic is going to create problems."

Venny Van Hoose is pastor of the McCorkle Free Will Baptist Church and says he dreads seeing the increase in traffic.

"ATV accidents seem to be on the rise as well as fatalities, so we're concerned for our community," he said.

Property owner Ben White plans to build an ATV resort near McCorkle Road and told WSAZ.com the measure is a big benefit to the area.

White says the Department of Highways is addressing safety concerns by widening McCorkle Road.

He also says the trail system will be heavily patrolled by law enforcement and that all riders will be required to show a trail pass.

Runyon maintains the measure is a tragedy waiting to happen.

"I just want to see this thing headed off before it creates problems of life and death for people," he said. "It's going to happen."

County Commissioner K.K. Matthews told WSAZ.com there are other ways to access the trail system than using McCorkle Road, and he's planning to propose alternative routes.

Matthews was the only commissioner to vote against the measure.

This is a developing story. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updates.

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