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Old 01-22-2013, 07:01 AM
 
6,663 posts, read 4,984,899 times
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It's more than 150 miles from Hurricane to Columbus, and a 2 hour 37 minute drive.

Okay, you guys got me to thinking. If you are going to insist that the best place in West Virginia to live is determined by proximity to large population bases, then I need to take a closer look at what we have to offer here in Monongalia County. Let's take a look:

We are immediately adjacent to (and only 6 miles from Morgantown) Fayette County, PA with a population of 136,097.

We are located right next door to (and only 8 miles from Morgantown) Preston County ... population 33,520.

We are also adjacent to (and only 5 miles from Morgantown) Greene County, PA... population 38,623.

We are immediately adjacent to (and 12 miles from Morgantown) Marion County... population 56,418. Add 4,000 transient students who live there most of the year and you get 60,418.

We're located 21 miles (and 27 miles from Morgantown) from Garrett County, MD... population 30.097

We're 28 miles from Harrison County (Clarksburg/Bridgeport)... population 69,099.

That's 363,854 people in jurisdictions within 30 miles of our own.

I won't count Wetzel County since that's located adjacent to our sparcely populated western end of Mon County.

Now, add in the 98,000 permanent residents of Monongalia County, and the 24,600 transient students who reside here most of the year (123,600 total) and see what that gives us...

That's a total of 491,854 people just in the immediate vicinity.

Now consider that in effect we are just over an hour from the heart of a 2 million people area and you get the real picture. And, we manage to do that while maintaining our college town charm, sans most of the negatives of urban life... low crime rates, etc.

We have nothing but small towns any place within the confines of West Virginia, but there are three places... North Central, Eastern Panhandle, and Northern Panhandle that are actually part of very large conglomerations of people when you consider the adjacent areas located in neighboring states. And, that is reflected in many ways in quality of life issues here and in the NP and EP. We all have much better access to the things only those sorts of places can provide without the negatives associated with actually living there.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Winfield, WV
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I do agree with CT, those areas of the state do have quicker access to big city influence than we do in southern WV. I grew up and have lived in the Parkersburg-Charleston-Huntington corridor for most of my life. But i was fortunate enough to have travelled a lot starting at a young age. Being from a small town in WV, going to cities such as Charlotte and Columbus used to see like another world compared to the pace of life we had. And those aren't even in the top 10 biggest metros in the US.

I played a lot of travel sports and it took me all over the state and around parts of the eastern US as well. Around ages 11-14 when we would get out and play against teams from, lets use these three cities for example: Wheeling, Morgantown, and Martinsburg. We would socialize with players, coaches, family, ect from those teams and it didn't take long to figure out they were a little more urban, as far as linguistics and accenct would go. Especially the kids from the Eastern Panhandle. To us they sounded like they were from another state! I guess as kids you pick up on these things quickly because its some of the first times you are exposed to other kids that appear to be just like you, and have the same interests, yet you come to find out that you sound different than each other.

We spent 3 or 4 days in Bridgeport as 12 year olds running around with the boys from Hedgesville having a blast at the LL state tourney. Separated by 6 hours and a mountain range but we were like brothers that week because we had baseball in common. Good times!

lol, well there I go rambling again and getting off point. I guess what I am saying is, yes southern WV is different than the NP/NCWV/EP culturally. But it's not necessarily all a negative thing. And it doesn't make the people here any less significant. In fact I think WV as a whole has a very interesting blend of people. In just about any area of the state you can find country folk, and in just about any good sized town there are many that could fit in just about any big city in the US.

Last edited by Silkdashocker; 01-22-2013 at 08:28 AM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:41 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 3,924,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silkdashocker View Post
I do agree with CT, those areas of the state do have quicker access to big city influence than we do in southern WV. I grew up and have lived in the Parkersburg-Charleston-Huntington corridor for most of my life. But i was fortunate enough to have travelled a lot starting at a young age. Being from a small town in WV, going to cities such as Charlotte and Columbus used to see like another world compared to the pace of life we had. And those aren't even in the top 10 biggest metros in the US.

I played a lot of travel sports and it took me all over the state and around parts of the eastern US as well. Around ages 11-14 when we would get out and play against teams from, lets use these three cities for example: Wheeling, Morgantown, and Martinsburg. We would socialize with players, coaches, family, ect from those teams and it didn't take long to figure out they were a little more urban, as far as linguistics and accenct would go. Especially the kids from the Eastern Panhandle. To us they sounded like they were from another state! I guess as kids you pick up on these things quickly because its some of the first times you are exposed to other kids that appear to be just like you, and have the same interests, yet you come to find out that you sound different than each other.

We spent 3 or 4 days in Bridgeport as 12 year olds running around with the boys from Hedgesville having a blast at the LL state tourney. Separated by 6 hours and a mountain range but we were like brothers that week because we had baseball in common. Good times!

lol, well there I go rambling again and getting off point. I guess what I am saying is, yes southern WV is different than the NP/NCWV/EP culturally. But it's not necessarily all a negative thing. And it doesn't make the people here any less significant. In fact I think WV as a whole has a very interesting blend of people. In just about any area of the state you can find country folk, and in just about any good sized town there are many that could fit in just about any big city in the US.
I agree.

Being more urban doesn't make northern WV inherently better than the more rural southern WV. They are just different ans both in their own way.

What bothers me is the inaccuracy some posters want to present Charleston and Huntington with. They are not big areas and having 300000 people over 5 or six counties does not make them big. They are very rural in character, and have many good things going for them.

Northern WV near Pittsburgh just has more people than south central WV around Charleston. It is far from a populated and crowded area, but it is bigger population wise. Is this really surprising given it is near some big cities in two populated states?

We need to learn to embrace and appreciate our differences. To work together to make WV a better state. This regionalism is not helping the state. More urban and cosmoplitian does not make Morgantown better than the rural and simple Charleston and Huntington. Like I said they are just different and there is no need to compete with each other.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:56 PM
 
6,663 posts, read 4,984,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silkdashocker View Post
I do agree with CT, those areas of the state do have quicker access to big city influence than we do in southern WV. I grew up and have lived in the Parkersburg-Charleston-Huntington corridor for most of my life. But i was fortunate enough to have travelled a lot starting at a young age. Being from a small town in WV, going to cities such as Charlotte and Columbus used to see like another world compared to the pace of life we had. And those aren't even in the top 10 biggest metros in the US.

I played a lot of travel sports and it took me all over the state and around parts of the eastern US as well. Around ages 11-14 when we would get out and play against teams from, lets use these three cities for example: Wheeling, Morgantown, and Martinsburg. We would socialize with players, coaches, family, ect from those teams and it didn't take long to figure out they were a little more urban, as far as linguistics and accenct would go. Especially the kids from the Eastern Panhandle. To us they sounded like they were from another state! I guess as kids you pick up on these things quickly because its some of the first times you are exposed to other kids that appear to be just like you, and have the same interests, yet you come to find out that you sound different than each other.

We spent 3 or 4 days in Bridgeport as 12 year olds running around with the boys from Hedgesville having a blast at the LL state tourney. Separated by 6 hours and a mountain range but we were like brothers that week because we had baseball in common. Good times!

lol, well there I go rambling again and getting off point. I guess what I am saying is, yes southern WV is different than the NP/NCWV/EP culturally. But it's not necessarily all a negative thing. And it doesn't make the people here any less significant. In fact I think WV as a whole has a very interesting blend of people. In just about any area of the state you can find country folk, and in just about any good sized town there are many that could fit in just about any big city in the US.
I fully agree with you. And, that brings us back to a question that is impossible to answer. You really can't say that any one place is the best place to live in West Virginia. It just depends on what you're looking for. There is definitely an Appalachian character to any place in West Virginia, but there are at least 5 distinct sub categories within the state, and some of them resemble nearby areas in other states as much as they do any other place in West Virginia.

Being from that region, I have a hunch you would agree with me that Huntington is quite different than
Charleston, for example. There is something about the Ohio Valley, the proximity to Ohio and so forth that gives the two towns a distinctly different character. Morgantown and Wheeling are both heavily influenced by the proximity to Pittsburgh, but even there Wheeling's Ohio Valley and State of Ohio proximity give it a significantly different character as do the large number of folks of German ethnic origin living in Wheeling. The Eastern Panhandle is definitely Middle Atlantic in character and is heavily influenced by the closeness of DC/Baltimore as well as Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The southern coalfields... Bluefield and environs are yet another distinctly different area with very different characteristics. Perhaps no place really resembles a large city even though it is not one than Weirton, which is so close to Pittsburgh it would really be a suburb.

Anybody wanting to locate in our state needs to consider the very different character of each of our regions and what they have to offer... amenities, job climate, social character and culture, all those things and make an informed decision based on their own particular desires. Taking three or four days driving around and looking for oneself is definitely a good idea in order to make an informed decision.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Cry: Where are the statistics that show there are significant amounts of people commuting from Morgantown to Pittsburgh? If the economy there is as amazing as you all make it out to be, I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would commute to the Pittsburgh area for jobs. And where all these commuters coming from the Pittsburgh area into Morgantown? Where would they work? Mylan? Their headquarters is in suburban Pittsburgh. The University? Maybe. I don't really recall having many professors at WVU living in PA but that could be an isolated case. The Shale? Most of those jobs are outside of Mon County and are filled with temp workers from the midwest. Target and Wal-Mart? They have their own in Uniontown. If you could provide some facts saying otherwise go for it and I'll be a believer but I am just not seeing this huge commuting link between the two. The Census clearly doesn't either.

I am not against Morgantown, and I more or less agree with CT that this question does not have one simple answer...I just want to see some facts when comments like this are made re: Morgantown being part of some huge commuting corridor to/from Pittsburgh. It never seemed like that when I was there. It always seemed like most of the people coming into town for jobs either lived in Mon County outside of city limits or in Preston or Marion Counties.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAmtneer82 View Post
Cry: Where are the statistics that show there are significant amounts of people commuting from Morgantown to Pittsburgh? If the economy there is as amazing as you all make it out to be, I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would commute to the Pittsburgh area for jobs. And where all these commuters coming from the Pittsburgh area into Morgantown? Where would they work? Mylan? Their headquarters is in suburban Pittsburgh. The University? Maybe. I don't really recall having many professors at WVU living in PA but that could be an isolated case. The Shale? Most of those jobs are outside of Mon County and are filled with temp workers from the midwest. Target and Wal-Mart? They have their own in Uniontown. If you could provide some facts saying otherwise go for it and I'll be a believer but I am just not seeing this huge commuting link between the two. The Census clearly doesn't either.

I am not against Morgantown, and I more or less agree with CT that this question does not have one simple answer...I just want to see some facts when comments like this are made re: Morgantown being part of some huge commuting corridor to/from Pittsburgh. It never seemed like that when I was there. It always seemed like most of the people coming into town for jobs either lived in Mon County outside of city limits or in Preston or Marion Counties.
They work in all kinds of places, and not all of them are from Pittsburgh. Most of them are from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Pittsburgh is not actually that big, only 300,000 people. It is the area around Pittsburgh that has 2 million people. There is big commuting to and from Morgantown into PA, including Pittsburgh. Some of the places near the border have more people working in Morgantown and Mon county than they do people working in Pittsburgh, and for some places like Uniontown it is probably 50/50 when it comes to working in Pittsburgh and working in Morgantown.

And yes some do work at Mylan, some work at the university, some work for the government, some work at private companies, some work at Target, etc. When I worked at UnitedHealthCareGroup we had around 20 people who lived near Pittsburgh, some of them 20 or 30 minutes North of Pittsburgh. Morgantown is roughly an hour from Pittsburgh it is not considered a long commute.

So yes there is no simple answer. I would say there are parts of Pittsburgh area where there are lots of commuters, south of Pittsburgh, and as you go North past Pittsburgh it becomes more infrequent. It is fair to say that not all of the Pittsburgh MSA goes into the Morgantown MSA, but a big chunk of it does including Pittsburgh itself. Morgantown also has a lot of commuters from Fairmont and Clarksburg, although that area is not considered part of the Morgantown MSA, yet it should be.

Anyway, this is all irrelevant. My point is the Morgantown area is the most populated area of WV. Regardless of where an MSA starts and ends this is true. In the same 20 square miles where maybe 55k live in Huntington Morgantown has around 70k people. In the same 30 square miles where Charleston has 55k people Morgantown would have more 75k-80k people. There is just more people in Morgantown, and they might not be counted in the census because they dont meed residency standards they are still residing in Morgantown. In the same land area where Charleston-Huntington has 300k people 2 million people would live around Morgantown.

Ok, so lets say you argue they shouldnt be counted, and only the official city limits and MSA should be counted. Regardless of where the city stops and ends, and the MSA, there is more people in NCWV, and Western PA in an area the size of the Charleston-Huntington MSA. As I said earlier if you drew a circle, lets say 1 inch in diameter in both the center of Morgantown and Charleston and then grew both circles equally Morgantown would have more people in its circle as the circle expanded 30 feet, 400 feet, 1 km, 1 mile, 5 miles, 10 miles, 20, 30, 50, 100, etc. Morgantown would have more people in its circle at any close to reasonable far distance. So perhaps half the people in Morgantown's circle dont count toward Morgantown's official population, they are still there. Perhaps Morgantown's MSA ends 5 miles before Pittsburgh's ends. It is all arbitrary. In the space where there is 300,000 people in Charleston's circle and officially in their MSA, in the same sized circle for Morgantown, there would be approx 2 million people. How you want to divide and break up the circle is pointless. What is a FACT is Morgantown is bigger at both the city level and the wider MSA level.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia 'Burbs
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Honestly, the Martinsburg area is going to surpass everyone eventually, so this ridiculous argument over which tiny little city is slightly bigger between Charleston and Morgantown is pointless. In time, it will be the Eastern Panhandle. The Martinsburg-Hagarstown MSA is pretty big, too.

Honestly, if I had to live in WV, I'd live in Weirton. It's like 30 minutes to downtown Pittsburgh and like 20 minutes to that huge shopping center with the Ikea, maybe 20 minutes to the Pittsburgh airport, too.. Cheap, relatively safe, really close to a major city. I'd be good there...

Last edited by WVUPharm2007; 01-23-2013 at 03:02 AM..
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:20 AM
 
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVUPharm2007 View Post
... and like 20 minutes to that huge shopping center with the Ikea,
Robinson Town Centre
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVUPharm2007 View Post
Honestly, the Martinsburg area is going to surpass everyone eventually, so this ridiculous argument over which tiny little city is slightly bigger between Charleston and Morgantown is pointless. In time, it will be the Eastern Panhandle. The Martinsburg-Hagarstown MSA is pretty big, too.

Honestly, if I had to live in WV, I'd live in Weirton. It's like 30 minutes to downtown Pittsburgh and like 20 minutes to that huge shopping center with the Ikea, maybe 20 minutes to the Pittsburgh airport, too.. Cheap, relatively safe, really close to a major city. I'd be good there...
Martinsburg already has a bigger MSA than Morgantown. The city itself is not bigger than Morgantown or Charleston, nor does it have a faster growth rate than Morgantown. So perhaps you are right, but we will cross that bridge when we reach it.

As of right now the tiny city that is bigger is Morgantown. It is the biggest tiny city in WV, as of now. Some tiny cities like Charleston are stabilizing like Charleston, some are still shrinking, and a few like Morgantown and maybe Martinsburg are growing.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia 'Burbs
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Originally Posted by cry_havoc View Post
Martinsburg already has a bigger MSA than Morgantown. The city itself is not bigger than Morgantown or Charleston, nor does it have a faster growth rate than Morgantown. So perhaps you are right, but we will cross that bridge when we reach it.

As of right now the tiny city that is bigger is Morgantown. It is the biggest tiny city in WV, as of now. Some tiny cities like Charleston are stabilizing like Charleston, some are still shrinking, and a few like Morgantown and maybe Martinsburg are growing.
I hate to break it to you, but Martinsburg is growing faster than Morgantown. We're talking a temporary gas boom and what will be a sustained education/health economies versus the inevitable expansion of the gigantic Northeastern Megalopolis. Martinsburg and its surrounding areas are growing because it just so happens to be where it is...and the rate at which people are priced out of the DC suburbs is a very powerful force.
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