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Old 09-09-2011, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
388 posts, read 660,306 times
Reputation: 195

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GottaHerdOn View Post
Ok... enough with the Morgantown area thing. We all know you think it needs more highways... but keep in mind that the Elkins area is growing too. Randolph County, Upshur County, and Barbour County have all grown significantly since Corridor H connected in the early 1990's.

Morgantown already has a North/South interstate and a interstate route east, both of which were started around the same time that Corridor H was started. I wonder what the Elkins/Buckhannon areas would like if Corridor H was finished back in the late 60's/early 70's.

Nearly everyone in North Central, Central, and Eastern West Virginia have thrown support behind this road because of the greater access it will provide the region to more global ports. Logically benefiting the whole region seems to take precedence over befitting just one city.

wv metro news (http://www.wvmetronews.com/news.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=45882 - broken link)

Elkins Intermountain
Uhhh.... no. Not enough with the "Morgantown area thing." Sometimes I feel like people on this forum think we're crazy when we talk about traffic around here. The Interstates we have here are perfectly sufficient. The problem is getting around town which the interstates are no good for. The congestion problem here is absolutely real and it's not created by there generally being a lot of cars on the road, it's created by all the bottlenecks. I swear it's not an exaggeration that, during rush hour, there are literally wall-to-wall cars for at least 2 and a half miles headed east out of town. This afternoon, I left my parking spot on Evansdale campus, drove to STC Kroger, then back to my apartment in the West Run area (near the District). This may not mean much to you, but I'll just say it was only a couple miles altogether. By the time I got in, I had no fingernails, a headache, and a bad mood. There's no reason for it in a town this size. It's clearly a capacity issue and there's not one single roads project in West Virginia that's more pressing than adding infrastructure to Morgantown. Period. You're not going to convince anyone who's ever spent some time driving here on a daily basis.

According to the 2010 Census, Randolph, Upshur, and Barbour Counties have a combined population of 70,248 over 1,738 square miles. That's a gain of 3,879 people since 1990. I guess it depends on your definition of "significant growth." I honestly wouldn't contribute any population gain the Elkins area has seen or will see to Corridor H. The area would look pretty much the same even if Corridor H had been finished a few decades ago. Highways just don't bring growth like that. If you look at Interstate 68, it was an Appalachian corridor project as well and everyone was clamoring about the growth it would bring to Cumberland. Sure it improved accessibility exponentially. Sure it brought a lot of tourism to the area. Sure it provides a nice route between DC/Baltimore and points west, but a road is a road is a road. Corridor H will serve all the same purposes as I-68 and I think it'd be optimistic to expect about the same levels of traffic upon completion.

I'm not opposed to Corridor H, as there's a big gap between 68 and the next major east-west highway to its south. It will open up a relatively isolated region. What I'm opposed to are these pet projects in Earl Ray's backyard that aren't really necessary but are explained by "forethought" and "economic growth." Building big highways everywhere isn't going to improve the quality of life or bring a herd of people to some BFE town in District 3.

Frankly, I think we have a right to continually be vocal until someone listens.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,981 posts, read 5,228,091 times
Reputation: 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by drs72 View Post
Uhhh.... no. Not enough with the "Morgantown area thing." Sometimes I feel like people on this forum think we're crazy when we talk about traffic around here. The Interstates we have here are perfectly sufficient. The problem is getting around town which the interstates are no good for. The congestion problem here is absolutely real and it's not created by there generally being a lot of cars on the road, it's created by all the bottlenecks. I swear it's not an exaggeration that, during rush hour, there are literally wall-to-wall cars for at least 2 and a half miles headed east out of town. This afternoon, I left my parking spot on Evansdale campus, drove to STC Kroger, then back to my apartment in the West Run area (near the District). This may not mean much to you, but I'll just say it was only a couple miles altogether. By the time I got in, I had no fingernails, a headache, and a bad mood. There's no reason for it in a town this size. It's clearly a capacity issue and there's not one single roads project in West Virginia that's more pressing than adding infrastructure to Morgantown. Period. You're not going to convince anyone who's ever spent some time driving here on a daily basis.

According to the 2010 Census, Randolph, Upshur, and Barbour Counties have a combined population of 70,248 over 1,738 square miles. That's a gain of 3,879 people since 1990. I guess it depends on your definition of "significant growth." I honestly wouldn't contribute any population gain the Elkins area has seen or will see to Corridor H. The area would look pretty much the same even if Corridor H had been finished a few decades ago. Highways just don't bring growth like that. If you look at Interstate 68, it was an Appalachian corridor project as well and everyone was clamoring about the growth it would bring to Cumberland. Sure it improved accessibility exponentially. Sure it brought a lot of tourism to the area. Sure it provides a nice route between DC/Baltimore and points west, but a road is a road is a road. Corridor H will serve all the same purposes as I-68 and I think it'd be optimistic to expect about the same levels of traffic upon completion.

I'm not opposed to Corridor H, as there's a big gap between 68 and the next major east-west highway to its south. It will open up a relatively isolated region. What I'm opposed to are these pet projects in Earl Ray's backyard that aren't really necessary but are explained by "forethought" and "economic growth." Building big highways everywhere isn't going to improve the quality of life or bring a herd of people to some BFE town in District 3.

Frankly, I think we have a right to continually be vocal until someone listens.
It sounds like its been a problem with city planning, or lack thereof then in Morgantown rather than not enough dollars being thrown at it. I guarantee you though you have more fingernails than I do when I'm trying to get from Scottsdale to Mesa in rush hour.

You're also not taking into account that a large portion of Randolph County is very rural with the majority of the population living in the Elkins area, and I don't think you're crazy at all. I've been in Morgantown during the day and stuck in traffic... it happens. It happens in Charleston, and Huntington and on 64, and in Martinsburg and on 81... You can even be screwed if you have somewhere to get and have to go through Elkins or Buckhannon in the evenings, and especially on Fridays when people head there to relax. I just think some people in Morgantown get a little carried away with the growth that has actually taken place. You down play the Elkins area's growth, likewise Morgantown's growth seems miniscule compared to other places I've visited and now live in. Keep in mind its all relevant to the local community.

These projects you speak of that Earl Ray is promoting.. well for one they have been in the works way longer than he's been the acting gov, or even in politics for that matter.

If Morgantown really wants to take on this problem with traffic, citizens need to talk to their council members and start the chain of motion to resolve the problem. Either raise certain taxes for more roads...which will just lead to more cars, or perhaps looking into upgrading the PRT, adding bus lines, and incentives to use mass transit. Tempe & Phoenix are now connected with a light rail tram that zips along between the streets carrying thousands of people a day. Vent... get it off your chests... but start doing something to resolve the problem.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:35 PM
 
6,349 posts, read 8,110,075 times
Reputation: 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by GottaHerdOn View Post
It sounds like its been a problem with city planning, or lack thereof then in Morgantown rather than not enough dollars being thrown at it. I guarantee you though you have more fingernails than I do when I'm trying to get from Scottsdale to Mesa in rush hour.

You're also not taking into account that a large portion of Randolph County is very rural with the majority of the population living in the Elkins area, and I don't think you're crazy at all. I've been in Morgantown during the day and stuck in traffic... it happens. It happens in Charleston, and Huntington and on 64, and in Martinsburg and on 81... You can even be screwed if you have somewhere to get and have to go through Elkins or Buckhannon in the evenings, and especially on Fridays when people head there to relax. I just think some people in Morgantown get a little carried away with the growth that has actually taken place. You down play the Elkins area's growth, likewise Morgantown's growth seems miniscule compared to other places I've visited and now live in. Keep in mind its all relevant to the local community.

These projects you speak of that Earl Ray is promoting.. well for one they have been in the works way longer than he's been the acting gov, or even in politics for that matter.

If Morgantown really wants to take on this problem with traffic, citizens need to talk to their council members and start the chain of motion to resolve the problem. Either raise certain taxes for more roads...which will just lead to more cars, or perhaps looking into upgrading the PRT, adding bus lines, and incentives to use mass transit. Tempe & Phoenix are now connected with a light rail tram that zips along between the streets carrying thousands of people a day. Vent... get it off your chests... but start doing something to resolve the problem.
Those bottlenecks are on highways, and state roads. It is the state's responsibility to fix them. Anywhere else in WV, and you would admit this, but not in Morgantown. When it comes to Morgantown the rest of the state goes, "fix it yourself."

Morgantown's roads are meant for around 30,000 people, but with the students we have over 50,000. It is a nightmare. Meanwhile, rural areas are getting these great roads they dont need.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
388 posts, read 660,306 times
Reputation: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by GottaHerdOn View Post
It sounds like its been a problem with city planning, or lack thereof then in Morgantown rather than not enough dollars being thrown at it. I guarantee you though you have more fingernails than I do when I'm trying to get from Scottsdale to Mesa in rush hour.

You're also not taking into account that a large portion of Randolph County is very rural with the majority of the population living in the Elkins area, and I don't think you're crazy at all. I've been in Morgantown during the day and stuck in traffic... it happens. It happens in Charleston, and Huntington and on 64, and in Martinsburg and on 81... You can even be screwed if you have somewhere to get and have to go through Elkins or Buckhannon in the evenings, and especially on Fridays when people head there to relax. I just think some people in Morgantown get a little carried away with the growth that has actually taken place. You down play the Elkins area's growth, likewise Morgantown's growth seems miniscule compared to other places I've visited and now live in. Keep in mind its all relevant to the local community.

These projects you speak of that Earl Ray is promoting.. well for one they have been in the works way longer than he's been the acting gov, or even in politics for that matter.

If Morgantown really wants to take on this problem with traffic, citizens need to talk to their council members and start the chain of motion to resolve the problem. Either raise certain taxes for more roads...which will just lead to more cars, or perhaps looking into upgrading the PRT, adding bus lines, and incentives to use mass transit. Tempe & Phoenix are now connected with a light rail tram that zips along between the streets carrying thousands of people a day. Vent... get it off your chests... but start doing something to resolve the problem.
Thanks for making a thoughtful, intelligent reply! Seems we've seen less and less of that here lately.

I know every town has their traffic issues. I'm sure there are busy times in all of West Virginia's "cities." I can really empathize with trying to get through Elkins or Buckhannon at certain times. Keyser is the same way. Route 220 is the main drag through town and at certain times of the day, especially on Fridays, traffic will be backed up across the Memorial Bridge and into McCoole coming into town. My pap (who lives there) always says, "You'd think it was a big metropolis."

Morgantown's growth is miniscule compared to growth in major metros. I'm well aware of that. Even out in the Eastern Panhandle, some of those counties grew by over 25% in the last decade. The growth that's occurred here has occurred because of the expansion of the university and the numerous corporations and firms associated with it/here because of it (i.e. Mylan Pharm.). The problem is that everyone was so excited about all the growth that was occurring and forgot to try to keep it under control. The vast majority of the growth hasn't been smart growth and a lot of local elected officials are anti-smart growth. While projects like the Wharf District and bringing nice apartment options downtown are up-and-coming, suburban development took off when the university started to grow. Why build an apartment building downtown when I can build a massive complex on a cowpath just outside town where there are no zoning laws? Why expand shopping opportunities at the core of the community when we can build shiny new shopping centers on the outskirts? Why buy a home with character in a real neighborhood when I can build a McMansion with a big yard in a new development a few miles away? Sure growth has been relatively limited but, for a town this size in West Virginia, its not exactly commonplace. There are some city streets that could be considered main thoroughfares, but a lot of people opt for the state highways instead because they're wider, generally less curvy and narrow, and less residential. Terrain and established communities inhibit straightening up those city streets and, frankly, you'll still end up on 705 headed east, Mon Boulevard headed north, etc. If you look at West Run, it's the type of place you go down into, then must come up out of. You can come down over the hill a couple different ways but, when it comes down to it, there's no real alternative to coming back the same way. Take Van Voorhis far enough and you'll reach a dead end at the river. Again, a terrain-based constraint.

I know building a new highway is often frowned upon because it ends up attracting businesses and homes around it and then you end up with the same problem you started with. I think in our case, a new highway would free up the highways in town. If you consider a northern bypass, for example, skirting the north side of town between I-79 and I-68, it might provide an easier way out for these isolated pockets where a lot of people live, provide multiple access points for those needing to get out of town quickly, and provide an alternative for that guy on the other side of town who has to take 705 if they're trying to head east or has to take Mon Boulevard if they're trying to head north.

The PRT needs upgraded, no doubt about it, but that's to resolve reliability issues. Ridership is high, mostly students. Remember, it only runs between medical campus, towers (dorms on evansdale campus), engineering (also evansdale), beechurst (downtown campus), and walnut st. (downtown). People that live near the PRT (mostly students, by far) use it, or ride the bus, or walk. The issues arise from students who live far off-campus (stupid me!) and non-students (if I'm a professor, I'm not going to live in Sunnyside for the sake of convenience to public transit). Unless you live within the university ecosystem, the public transit system here wasn't designed with you in mind and doesn't go where you do.

Concerning the projects I was referring to, it's true that he hasn't been in his current office for very long, but he has been in politics since 1974. Perhaps some of these highways were being planned prior to that, but I'm sure he's emphasizing projects for his home area. Why does there need to be an expressway from the little town of Hinton to the interstate? It just doesn't make sense to me that that gets the go-ahead while the only projects conceived of here have long been forgotten.
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