Who is in the right of way?Published 12:35am Sunday, November 3, 2013
It seems as if a 20-foot road of good intentions in Fayette Township is paved with gravel.
But now that gravel is the root of a dispute with the township trustees, the county commissioners and the county engineer.
The gravel was put out parallel to Burlington-Macedonia Road by Mike Finley, a Fayette trustee, who designed the avenue in an effort to provide a safe place for wheelchair-bound citizens and those with baby strollers to get from point A to point B.
While the safety of pedestrians on county and township roads is of the utmost importance and should be a priority, according to Doug Cade, county engineer, the project is on the county’s right of way and is in violation of the Ohio Revised Code.
Cade said his office was not consulted about the project.
Cade’s fear that the makeshift walkway could lead to potential legal issues should someone suffer an injury is a valid one.
Although the gravel path used no public funds, according to Finley, public funds could now be at risk if a pedestrian is hurt.
Finley’s intentions of providing a safe place for pedestrians to walk is legitimate, but the county engineer should have been consulted to develop and construct the safest plan possible.
Now it will be up to Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson to determine if the gravel path was put down legally. Whatever the result of the prosecutor’s opinion, we hope the engineer, commissioners and trustees can work together to provide a safe thoroughfare for pedestrians as well as motorists.