In response to Davis Mayor Tomson’s LTE, I’ll address what he conveniently left out. I admire Mayor Tomson; he’s dedicated to his community. He’s working to address the housing crisis being caused by second homeowners who drive Corridor H often. It is commendable. I appreciated his article about the short-term rentals debacle…right up until it became a re-election pitch. His current LTE feels like another pitch. I brought up valid concerns about Corridor H in 2019 and got reemed at a Davis Council meeting by the previous mayor; I know how sticky this issue is. I simply disagree with Al on some things.
The petition was started by a lifelong resident nine months ago after DOH revealed plans that showed a dangerous intersection onto Route 32 plopped right on top of the Francis Grade (aka the future rail trail) with no sign of how to connect that trail. No official truck route around Thomas was presented at that time. Of course, people were concerned. Of course, saying “just build it” was not sufficient. Of course, public pressure was/is needed and has led to needed changes. One can’t simply change the petition. These are our towns, not someone in an office in Charleston. We have something special here and that is the main attraction. Not a Walmart. Not saving a few minutes to get from one place to the next. DOH’s plans for the exit in Davis are a constantly moving target. When they finally added the truck route, it went onto 32…a quagmire! DOH changes its plans often. Revised Original Preferred Alternative? More like RRRRRRRROPA. Many of the petitioner’s original concerns still stand.
The majority of businesses in Davis want a Northern Route. Al formed a committee long ago that has significantly delayed releasing any report, yet Davis Council just voted on March 22 to support the ROPA. It seems their committee was a sham all along as they’ve put the trailer before the truck.
Irony? How about DOH designing an alternative that went straight through the eventual Thomas City Park, which they knew about. DOH is in this ridiculous position of refuting their own alternative routes to appear to have made a good faith effort. If you’ve seen their head honcho, Jimmy Wriston, on the news, it’s clear he doesn’t care about the myriad concerns that have been raised. His constant mockery is embarrassing. Another elephant in the room is the proposed mega-development between Davis and Thomas. Follow the money, folks. Always follow the money.
Al’s final point actually misses the off ramp. The original point was about through traffic; Al made it about our area being a destination. We all know it’s a destination, but some travelers are passing by, too. Their noise and lights will affect the Dark Skies initiative and the experience of Blackwater Falls, WV’s most visited State Park. While other areas decide to put highways through historic areas and family-friendly trails, that does not mean we all think it’s a good idea.