A town meeting this week in Berkeley Springs, WV, about the
fate of U.S. Highway 522 drew an angry crowd as residents called for banning
trucks from the highway.
The Hagerstown Herald-Mail reported that Russell
Mokhiber, the resident who organized the June 15 meeting, was vehemently
opposed to trucks using the highway and proposed an outright ban.
Mokhiber said the residents want to “get this done before
something bad happens.” Other residents chimed in, saying it was a safety issue
and accusing truckers of using the highway to avoid a weigh station on nearby
But all was not bad for the trucking industry. Morgan County
Commissioner Bob Ford spoke out against the ban, and instead proposed building
a bypass for trucks to use.
“We made it clear to Gov. (Joe) Manchin that we won’t be
banning trucks on U.S. 522,” he said.
John Taylor, an OOIDA board member who lives in West
Virginia, said he was unable to attend the meeting but heard from those who did
that it did not go well for truckers, in spite of Ford’s pledge.
“This is a pretty arrogant group of people,” Taylor said of
the anti-truck residents.
Taylor said he is hoping to organize another meeting and
include more representatives of the trucking industry.
“We did not have a strong enough show of force there,” he
– By Terry Scruton, senior writer