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Truck Traffic in Downtown Morgantown is Perfect Example of Dysfunction

The cold war between the Monongalia County Commission and the Mayor and Council for the City of Morgantown is perfectly exemplified in the battle over whether heavy truck traffic should be permitted on WV Route 7 (Walnut St. to University Ave.) in Downtown Morgantown.

The area in question is the path the trucks take down WV Route 7 through Sabraton (Earl L. Core Drive to Powell Ave. to Rodgers Ave.) and into South Park (E. Brockway Ave. to Brockway Ave.) before crossing the Deckers Creek Bridge to enter Downtown Morgantown. The trucks then pass through on Walnut St. before turning left or right onto University Ave. The trucks then exit the downtown area by either crossing over the Monongahela River, staying on University Ave. heading south or north.

Kalea Gunderson on WDTV (5) [CBS] reported on the reaction from downtown business owners after the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Morgantown cannot ban truck traffic within city limits. There is no doubt that the truck traffic damages the road surface and causes plenty of pollution in many forms (air, noise, dirt, etc.), but there is no real alternative for the trucks to take.

Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom said this about the issue on his Facebook page-

Good story……I would only consider using the 1% sales tax to fix this problem if the City would drop their $3.00 wage tax…..we requested them not to go thru with their appeal and start working with us to help get the funding to pay for the alternate route…We were ‘not Politely’ told to stick it….

This is exactly what I am talking about when it comes to the ongoing dysfunction that is holding this area back from realizing its full potential in terms of development. Because the city and county aren’t talking to each other: trucks continue to tear up downtown Morgantown, needed traffic issues are not addressed, and anyone drawing a paycheck in Morgantown continues to pay this asinine $3.00 fee. In other words while the people we elect and pay act like spoiled brats we – the citizens – suffer.

I continue to send Tweets of my stories to people on Morgantown City Council and the Mayor, but I have yet to hear any response from them. I reference the comments by Tom Bloom because he actually talked to me. I posted the comment from State Sen. Bob Beach because he reached out. Hello Morgantown?! Is anybody out there?!

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5 thoughts on “Truck Traffic in Downtown Morgantown is Perfect Example of Dysfunction

  1. I can really feel the frustration coming through in this piece, Craig, but I guess when you look into this stuff as much and as deep as you have over the past few weeks, it’s just natural that you’d want to go crazy. I have a question that I really want to see addressed somewhere, either here or elsewhere: what exactly is the point of this $3.00 tax? What it actually paying for? It sure as hell isn’t going to help the roads, which is what we had all hoped for.

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    1. David,
      The asinine $3.00 fee is supposed to go to roads and police. The roads are joke. I also just read a Facebook conversation where folks are scared to go downtown due to the lack of police presence there after dark. The government for the City of Morgantown is out of its depth. A few local businessmen (bar owners) have considerable influence and that is why things are as they are. I for one will be leaving this region and state by May 15th and will probably never return.

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  2. There’s no “way” around it, just like the physical traffic we face here in Morgantown. If you’re wanting to go anywhere in Morgantown and need to get there via downtown roads, good luck. Love add-in by reporter Kalea Gunderson. That brings a sense of seriousness to the story. I really like that you incorporated the map. I think that helps pin point the area as well as its surroundings.

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  3. I lived on East Brockway until this February and I can personally say that walking there in the morning with the truck traffic was actually pretty dangerous plus my porch and apartment stayed pretty dirty because of the pollution and forget keeping windows open! It’s horrific the damages these trucks do to the road and when the holes that they cause get to big, they actually drive up on the sidewalk. It was crazy to see every morning. Again I think that it’s amazing that such a small town can experience so much dysfunction. And the sad thing is that the repercussions of this dysfunction is visible and yet nothing is being done. Situations like this make me glad to be leaving Morgantown is the coming months.

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