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Old 02-10-2015, 04:11 PM
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Saw John Howard working on their lobby this past week up on the Mileground. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Mileground expansion? New lanes will require John Howard to lose the lobby anyway. Hopefully this means the project will start up this summer or late 2015.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:42 AM
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I heard it from a reliable source that the project has been postponed for a year because the bozos we elect to govern us locally can't agree on whether to push for a divided road with a roundabout by Hartman Run, or a 5 lane road with a center turning lane with a regular traffic lighted intersection by Hartman Run with 4 lanes going down the hill to Point Marion Road. For the life of me, I don't understand why more people don't run for public office around here. There are only 2 opposing the incumbents in this year's city council election.

My source told me that the outcome is pre-determined in any case with the turning lane proposal being the one that will be utilized but they have to give the idiots time for the futile debate on the matter. In the meantime, everyone suffers.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:29 AM
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The 4- vs 5-lane issue has been around for nearly 3 years now. And the people in charge are in an unenviable position with this one. If you go with the four lane with concrete barrier median, you take much less real estate from existing businesses and can install a roundabout at Airport Road. However, it limits access if you want to go somewhere on the other side of the street; you'd have to go down to one of the roundabouts and use it to turn around. However, it would better accommodate pedestrians with adequate sidewalks and, importantly, a island/refuge in the median to make crossing much safer (think Mon Boulevard between the CAC and Coliseum or Grumbein's Island). The 5 lane would have a stop light at Airport Road (less efficient than the roundabout) and would eat up about 10-12 more feet of real estate on either side. This is also more of the "stroad" concept which is the designation for a place between a normal street with easy access to shopping and a road primarily used to move traffic (think 705 and how dangerous that road is for pedestrians), which instead of a good compromise becomes bad at both of the prior objectives (Patteson is an outlier as there are huge employers and many college students adjacent to the area). But the five lane would allow people to turn wherever they please (increased chance for wrecks, though) and let people who work at John Howard cheat death as they go from the Nissan to the Subaru dealerships.

The point is, if you're a business, you probably lose either way. If you're one of the leaders, you're in the same boat as there's really no good option, especially as the end of the project where it meets the four lane at the bottom of Easton Hill will have to have a stoplight (terrain isn't conducive to a roundabout), which decreases the effectiveness of "upstream" roundabouts. (Note: this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that many people will take Airport Road/Hartman Run, thereby reducing traffic down Easton Hill and mitigating issues at the light down there). And, ultimately, the DOH is going to decide what to do anyway; they control the road and the funding for the road, and the people making decisions and planning this at the DOH are traffic engineers. Their one goal is to move traffic. By and large other issues such as safety and alternative transportation choices are left by the wayside (not to mention totally ignoring the effect of induced demand).

Widening the Mileground is a bad, but necessary, idea because you lose either way. Businesses are hurt, traffic isn't totally fixed, etc. If the City, County, and State could have all been on the same page back in 2005/2006, this would be a moot point. We'd be able to drive on a connector from the 705/Stewartstown Road intersection down to an upgraded West Run and meet the existing four lane, bypassing the Mileground and fixing everything. But by the time they got the State to fund the project, the West Run apartment complex and Copper Beech were build, effectively killing any chance for that road (not to mention the pie-in-the-sky West Run Expressway).

Edit - apparently the word f-r-o-g-g-e-r is caught by the content filter. Why?
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:43 PM
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Very interesting observations elewis, and I absolutely agree.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:19 AM
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I agree too, but it is clear the center turning lane will be constructed because that is the solution of choice for the businesses situated there, and because they will get substantial money from the state for the loss of road frontage space. They should set a deadline for the debate, then proceed as planned, but since state government has already wasted all the money they can and now are in a position of actually having to rob essential services to operate, they might well want to drag this thing out to the detriment of all of us.

One thing that upsets me is this is one of the primary entry ways into Morgantown, and they plan to keep the overhead wires in place rather than burying them when they do the project. The state will only pay to relocate the above ground wiring, and local government has not stepped up to provide the rather minimal extra cost it would take to make it an attractive entryway.
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