Bellaire traffic changes eyed

BELLAIRE – Councilwoman Pat Thomas broached the subject of adding four-way stop signs at three intersections on Belmont Street during Thursday’s village council meeting.

In particular, the intersection of 32nd, 33rd and 34th and Belmont streets.

Thomas explained she’s been approached by a number of residents about pedestrians having difficulty walking across Belmont because of north and southbound traffic.

She’s also been alerted to the difficulty east and westbound traveling vehicles have in pulling onto Belmont.

Thomas was reporting the findings by council’s safety committee which also consists of Councilmen Jim Williams and Josh Meyers.

“It was suggested we put four-way stop signs at those three intersections, as well as any type of sign we have the asks motorists to yield to pedestrian traffic,” Thomas said.

It was then decided an vote was needed to draft an ordinance to put the signs in place.

Prior to taking that vote, Police Chief Mike Kovalyk was asked his opinion on the matter.

Kovalyk was more than willing to oblige, especially considering this was the first time his opinion had been sought in relation to the four-way stops.

“Honestly, I think it will bottle up the flow of traffic,” Kovalyk said. “We used to have signals in place before and we took them out.

“There are two-way stop signs now. If you put in four-way stops, it will congest traffic.”

Kovalyk explained he was not in attendance at the safety committee meeting and was not made aware traffic issues were being discussed.

“I wasn’t made aware of a discussion on it,” Kovalyk said. “If you have a traffic problem, you might want to come to the police department first.”

Instead of voting on the drafting of an ordinance, the members of the safety committee agreed to meet with the chief sometime next week to observe traffic flow problems on Belmont and possibly Guernsey streets in order to assess if four-way stops are needed and, if installed, what type of negative effects that could have on traffic flow.

  • Councilman Jerry Fisher brought up the issue of political signs within village limits. In particular, he wondered why there were so many signs scattered throughout town considering the village has an ordinance prohibiting political signs prior to 30 days before an election.

“I don’t think any of those politicians checked to see if they could put them up,” Fisher said. “The ordinance has been on the books for a long time.”

Fisher said he spoke with one candidate about taking down the signs but said candidate, whom Fisher did not name, has yet to retrieve the signs. Fisher added the village ought to take them all down and make the candidates come and get them.

  • Council accepted the resignation of Russell Burkhart, the village’s code enforcer, effective Oct. 1. Burkhart will still serve as the deputy code enforcer, assist demolition coordinator Marla Krupnik with her work and also supervise the community service workers that the village utilizes. Burkhart cited the increased workload as the main code enforcer, without assistance, as his reasoning for resigning the position.
  • Council set the date for the village’s Halloween observance. It will take place Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 6-7 p.m.
  • Belmont County Sheriff candidate Dave Lucas spoke before council about his candidacy.
  • The next village council meeting will take place Thursday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m.

Hughes may be reached at