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Simple signage updates can bring improvement

Members of the Greater Sissonville Development Council are working to better define what constitutes their community. Since Sissonville is unincorporated, there are no town limits to say what is in or out of the northwestern Kanawha County region.

Part of the problem, reports the Daily Mail's Matt Murphy, has to do with signage.

Multiple exits from Interstate 77 are labeled Sissonville, yet once motorists leave the highway, signage on the smaller roads may be contradictory or non-existent.

"It's a problem," says Lisa Godwin, a Sissonville-based small business owner. "We have three exits and its is confusing."

Sissonville is not unique in this respect. Improving signage would be a smart move for many local

communities.

Poor signage is not just a minor inconvenience, but an issue of both safety and economic development.

Have you ever noticed a driver — often with out-of-state plates — driving hesitantly and making last minute lane changes at a major intersection? It may be unfamiliarity combined with lack of signage that caused you to think that otherwise smart driver is an idiot.

Or remember the frustration you felt when you couldn't find your way in a strange town and how that made you express some bad words about that strange area?

Imagine a business executive, scouting out areas for a company expansion that will create new local jobs, finding frustration instead of good direction while driving through our state.

When it comes time to make the final decision on location, particularly when all other things are close, the little things like well-marked roads may make the final difference.

West Virginia needs to continually look for ways to improve the safety of its highways and its economic attractiveness. Roadway signage is a low-hanging fruit — it can be fixed easily and relatively inexpensively — yet pay off in a big way.

Kudos to the Greater Sissonville Development Council. Here's hoping other local groups pick up the idea and suggest ways to make their area safer and more motorist friendly.


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