Traffic Safety

Traffic safety is important to every West Virginian. Regardless of whether you are a driver, a passenger, a cyclist, or a pedestrian, laws exists to protect your life and your rights. Most of us area aware of the high profile traffic related safety initiatives in the state such as “Click-It or Ticket” targeting seat belt use and “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” focused on preventing impaired driving. While these are important and effective programs, there are even less obvious efforts and habits that can be undertaken daily to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

Pedestrian crosswalks are designed and utilized for two purposes. Both to direct pedestrians to cross the roadway in a particular spot and to notify drivers to be cautious and that they may need to stop. The Elkins City Code (Sec. 19-112) mirrors West Virginia State Code §17C-10-2 in assigning right-of-way depending on the circumstance. In situations where both a traffic signal and a crosswalk indicator are in place and in operation, both parties will be directed how to proceed by the signals. In the absence of any signals or if a signal fails, the code requires that “the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk.” However, this does not permit pedestrians to walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to safely yield. In addition, when a vehicle is stopped at a marked or unmarked pedestrian crosswalk, the driver of any other vehicle is not permitted to overtake or pass the stopped vehicle.

While pedestrians are required to use the crosswalk in the presence of adjacent intersections at which traffic signals are in operation, they are also strongly encouraged to use them when available nearby. This helps both pedestrians and drivers know what to expect and allows for a smoother interaction between the two. However, it is sometimes necessary to get across a road in the absence of a crosswalk, in which case the burden to yield falls to the pedestrian, not the driver.

Did you know that any person operating a bicycle on a roadway is granted all of the rights, as well as being subject to all the rules, applicable to the driver of a vehicle? If not, you may not be alone in that. It is a common misconception that cyclists should ride on the sidewalk, when in fact this is illegal and dangerous to both the riders and to pedestrians. Cyclists ride with traffic; use hand signals in the absence of electronic ones to turn; yield to pedestrians at crosswalks; and the like. When an adjacent bike lane is available, riders should utilize it, otherwise they should ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when passing, turning left or avoiding some condition or conflict. (See W.Va. Code §17C-11)

This information is meant to enlighten drivers and pedestrians alike of what the rules are. Pedestrians and drivers alike may be fined for a violation of these codes up to $100 plus court costs for a first offense, and even higher for subsequent offenses. But ultimately this notice is meant to remind everyone that slowing down and paying attention to your surroundings is in everyone’s best interest.  In order for Elkins to be the livable, accessible city that makes us attractive to residents, tourists, and investors alike, understanding and implementing the use of multiple forms of transportation simultaneously is vital. Beyond that, it’s an excellent example of common courtesy.

Municipal Election Filing Period Opens

The City of Elkins municipal elections are held every two years on the first Tuesday in March per the City Charter. As was announced with the Call of the Election at the council meeting on October 10th, the next election is March 5, 2019 and the filing period for those interested in running for a ward seat or the mayoral seat opened today. Candidates may file in person with the Elkins City Clerk during regular business hours from now until November 16, 2018. A filing fee of $25 for council or $50 for mayor is required at the time of filing. There are five council seats, one in each of the five wards, and the seat for mayor up for election this March. Candidates must be residents of the ward in which they file, or within any ward of the city to file for the mayor’s position. Candidacy may only be announced for one open position. The City Clerk’s office is open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, the Clerk maintains a regular work schedule during this time so please be aware that you may have to wait or return if the Clerk is not immediately available. If you wish to make an appointment or have questions, please call Jessica Sutton, City Clerk, at 304.636.1414 ext. 1211.

More information on election guidelines and candidates will be available soon.

Friendly Summer Reminders

We hope you are enjoying our second wave of summer here in the City of Elkins. Below are just a few reminders on how you can help ensure that your neighbors are enjoying it as well.

  • Please clean up after your pets. While City law only requires dogs (not cats) be leashed while out in public, it does mandate that with any pet you clean up any waste deposited on public or private property. Our City parks provide great outdoor play spaces for you and your pets and they provide free waste disposal bag stations and collection containers.
  • Everyone loves the smell of freshly cut grass, but not everyone, especially those on a bicycle or motorcycle enjoys riding through a pile of it in the street. Not only does this create a dangerous situation for riders, when the rains come (as they always do in Elkins) this material is washed into the storm water system and can cause significant drainage problems. Please dispose of your grass and other yard waste at the City’s drop-off location.
  • These warm temperatures also offer an opportunity for end of season cleaning, but remember that our sanitation department does not pick-up bulk or special items as part of your normal trash collection. If you have large or unusual items, check here to see if the City can accept it and if not, other ways it may be disposed of.

Police Civil Service Testing

The City of Elkins Policeman’s Civil Service Commission has announced testing dates for entry-level officers. For general information on how the civil service process works and how the City utilizes this process to fill vacant positions, click here. If you are interested in participating in the upcoming testing, you may download the application packet here, or contact Executive Secretary Lucinda Barrick at Elkins City Hall, 401 Davis Ave. or 304.636.1414 ext. 1110 during regular business hours and request an application. The testing will be conducted at the following times:

  • September 8, 2018 @ 9:00 a.m. – Physical Fitness Test
  • September 8, 2018 @ 12:00 p.m. – Written Examination
  • September 25, 2018 @ 5:30 p.m. – Interviews scheduled for candidates who successfully completed the PT and written tests

Candidates must be between the ages of 21 and 45 as of September 8, 2018, and must have submitted a completed application to the Elkins City Clerk prior to 4:00 p.m. on September 7, 2018.

COE Strategic Plan

Since late 2017 City of Elkins’ elected and appointed officials have been working on a strategic plan for the City and it is nearly ready for adoption. With the help of a highly experienced and qualified facilitator, officials met in February 2018 to kick off the process. Over the following months, the plan was discussed a section at a time in open council meetings until a rough final draft was completed. Our facilitator then returned to help tighten up our draft and fill in any gaps in preparation for adoption. However, before council takes action, they will introduce the draft to the public in an effort to solicit any input citizens may have.

What is a strategic plan? Well, its a document that establishes the direction of an organization by identifying focus areas and setting milestones and deadlines to aim for.

Why would the City be interested in having a strategic plan? It is a great management tool that helps the organization to create long term goals, prioritize projects and focus resources.

What will the City do with the plan once its adopted? Council committees and Administrative Officers will use the plan as a guide in making decisions and recommendations about how to best use City revenues, in directing employee work flow and in measuring performance.   

We encourage you to read through the proposed City of Elkins 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and let us know what you think. Comments may be submitted by the following means:

  • written comments can be mailed or hand delivered to Elkins City Hall, 401 Davis Ave, Elkins WV 26241, or by email to the City Clerk at jsutton@cityofelkinswv.com
  • verbal comments may be made during the public comment period of the upcoming Elkins Common Council meetings on August 2nd, August 16th and September 6th.
  • The City will host an open house 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22 at the Randolph County Community Arts Center located at 2 Park St., Elkins.