W.Va. deserves better | News, Sports, Jobs

While Governor Jim Justice touts some road successes in the Mountain State, a Forbes Advisor study reminds us that we still have a long way to go. In fact, the study shows that only 69% of roads in West Virginia are considered “acceptable,” compared to a national average of 82.2%.

For Forbes purposes, that number was only part of the bigger picture in terms of sorting out the best and worst states for teen drivers. It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with such studies that West Virginia is allegedly the second worst state in the nation for teens. We have the third highest price for used cars and a significant number of young driver fatalities every year.

On the other hand, our gas prices aren’t the worst in the country, although that may seem like it. And we have below average teen car insurance.

Justice can’t do much about gas prices (he could use some of that $1 billion surplus to suspend the gas tax), used cars, or car insurance ; and it can’t do much to help teens stay distracted and make better driving decisions. But it can certainly do something for these roads.

As we see in Wheeling, it can’t happen fast enough. Main and Market streets downtown, which are the responsibility of the state, are more than a mess – they’re embarrassing. We deserve better – and now.

Justice will forgive some of us if we wonder how long we will have to wait between the beginning of the end and the general “acceptable” roads here. The Roads to Prosperity Amendment was passed in 2017. It is a testament to the tremendous amount of work that needed to be done that even with our successes, we are still falling behind.

Of Roads to Prosperity, Justice said, “It will stimulate economic activity like we have never seen before and it will open up access to our state that will reap the benefits for years to come.”

Really, West Virginia can’t wait.

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