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Letter to the editor: Signs should warn 'cyclists of roadwork

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 12:01 am

An Open Letter to Linda Bloom, Allen County Commissioner:

I’m a retired 86-year-old who enjoys riding on my motorcycle. I’ve been doing it for years.

In the last two or three years I’ve encountered an unmarked, unexpected and potentially dangerous condition on our county roads, due to a process called chip and seal. Chip and seal is done by laying down a thick coat of tar on the road, then applying a thick surface of gravel. Eventually, this process results in a hard rough surface that is noisy but has good traction for vehicles. However, this is not the case for fresh chip and seal roads. They are hard on car paint, hard on windshields and leave tar deposits on vehicles.

However, it has the potential for loss of control and severe injury to riders of motorcycles. Imagine losing control and sliding down the road that is covered with loose gravel.

One road was almost my undoing. I was coming from Monroeville and traveling west on Hoffman near Snyder Road. As I came around a curve I was immediately faced with 3 inches of gravel. There were no signs of any kind warning of this dangerous situation to motorcycle riders. I had no choice but to ride through it. If I had stopped, this extra thick layer of gravel would’ve been my undoing.

Today, my riding of these roads was again curtailed as I was planning on riding Adams Center near I469. Road crews were out in force, tarring and sealing with traffic backed up. At least I know to avoid this road for some time, especially if they will be doing the traffic circle at Wayne Trace, Maples and Adams center roads.

Allen County has more than its share of gravel roads. I do understand that. I also understand, since I’m a member of the New Haven Board of Works, that chip and seal is an economical way of maintaining our many county roads.

What I do not understand is the county’s failure to post temporary signs for motorcyclists, warning them.

Wayne A. Doenges

New Haven