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October 9, 1980


Pix #1 - Picture shows the tremendous volume of auto and truck traffic which moves through Fostoria everyday.

When John Gorsuch received land-grants from the U.S. Government back in 1832, and with others, established the village of Risdon, they undoubtedly had visions of a thriving town in the years ahead. But it is doubtful they visualized their main street, now Countyline, would become a major highway caryying commercial and passenger vehicle traffic from all parts of the U.S. and Canada.

In its early history Risdon touted - a hotel, a stagecoach stop, brickyeard, school, church, cemetery, grocery, doctor and houses...maybe other businesses not recorded in history.

In a way, the spirit of Risdon seems to have been revived in this era. Fostoria's High School, located in old Rome for many years, was shifted to the Risdon area of years ago.

Fostoria's Plaza Shopping Center is on Risdon's north and south main street. And, St. Wendelin High School is located on that same Risdon artery.

Oh, how those early Risdon pioneers would be surprised to see all the eating places now on old Risdon ground.

But the folks of Risdon never dreamed of motorized vehicles. Theirs were the horse and buggy days, with streets that were dusty in summer and muddy the rest of the time.


Fostoria's City Fathers probably never realized when they sanctioned the underpass program and the routing of U.S. 23 through our town that the day would come when thousands of vehicles would move north and south on Countyline Street and east and west on our city streets everyday.

The trucks which travel on that main artery every day are fed by state and federal highways which carry traffic east and west and north and south in this area.

Equally amazing is the variety of products that are transported through Fostoria.


Trucks carry raw products, such as logs, grain, coal and finished building timbers; finished building products, such as brick, glass and tile; food stuff, including such exotic items as a tank of anchovies head for Maine; a variety of metal products; furniture from southern factories; pertoleum products such as gasoline, propane, chemicals and wastematter; automobiles.

Some names of the companies labelled on the carriers are those readers will recognize, such as: Coca Cola, Pepsi, Vernors, 7-Up, R.C., Budweiser, Frito- Lay, Sohio, Marathon, Sunoco, Taxaco, IGA, Pillsbury, Kroger, Mayflower, North American, Pittsburgh Plate Glass, Wonder, Scott Lad Foods, Pizza Hut, Hardees, Bit Boy, McDonald's, and many others.

Whatever advantages highways bring to cities, there are disadvantages when major ones, such as U.S. 23 are routed through a central area, such as is the case in Fostoria.

The disadvantagees can only be eliminated by a by-pass. I believe a popular vote in Fostoria would be in favor of a by-pass to eliminate the tremendous traffic and accompanying noise of trucks all day and into the night.

Street crossings would be safer for school children, as well as adults, and the school boundaries could possibly be rearranged to more nearly suit parents; and the number of crossing guards could possibly be reduced by having a by-pass.

It is a shuddering thought to realize that trucks move through Fostoria carrying products that are hazardous, and in the vent of a collision could cause fire and danger to property and life.

Tank-type trucks moving through town carry products, industrial wates and chemical...all of which could create disaster in case of an accident...the kind that we have reead about in other places. It could happen here.

Progress is always admirable, but a truck route through the heart of a town is not progress. The underpass program solved the city's railroad crossing problem but that's all. Now we don't have the volume of trains we did then.


The by-pass was high on the agenda for Fostoria and for the state several years ago, but slipped to a minor position for several reasons. One was the action against the route at the eastern edge of the city by residents there and property owners along the route. Later, the state decided funds were not available for the project.

Is it too much to expect that someday soon the project will be revived, Fostoria will get the by-pass, and thus return Countyline and other streets to normal residential-business useage?

Gov. Rhoades is "plugging" for a rapid transit system, which many believe would be a wasteful project without much benefit, except for a relatively few cities and for selected groups of individuals, and even then it is questionable.

Why not make some of that proposed money available for highways...including the Fostoria by-pass?...and in do doing the dream of old Risdon's pioneers would not be thwarted...and present day Fostorians would like that action.

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