City approves High Street taxi stand relocation
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 07:09
The taxi stand on the corner of High and Wall Streets has been relocated to the Courthouse Plaza due to safety concerns following a series of incidents over the last year.
Last week, officials from the Morgantown Police and Fire departments reached an agreement with Yellow Cab to put the relocation plan into effect immediately.
Morgantown City Police Chief Ed Preston said in an official statement the relocation is an attempt to separate the large crowds going in and out of night clubs looking for transportation.
The goal is to better facilitate the late-night crowds that gather on the corner of High and Wall Streets on weekends, as the capacity is impossible to handle, he said.
"We have several night clubs on the 300 block, and if you add up the capacity, it’s in the thousands," said Ken Tennant, captain of the Fire Marshal’s Office. "Imagine all the other bars on the other streets – everyone is coming to the 300 block to try to get a ride or get a taxi."
The Mountainline Transit Authority moved its late night downtown bus stop to the Courthouse Plaza Nov. 9, after two night clubs requested relocation.
The two night clubs had a difficult time enforcing their closing time.
A series of small incidents have occurred on the block and the decision to make the move to the Courthouse Plaza was to prevent problematic situations in the future.
"It’s working out much better, and there is a lot less congestion," Tennant said. "Imagine in a time of
emergency what would happen."
Tennant said the decision was unanimous.
Robert King of Yellow Cab was also involved in the collaboration and said all parts agreed that the Courthouse Plaza would be a better solution.
James Cartwright, one of the taxi drivers who work the late-night shift for Yellow Cab, said he is confident about the decision.
"It can be chaotic – people want to cut the line, they don’t want to obey the cab stand rules," Cartwright said.
"For everyone to be able to get a ride back home,
there isn’t any other way other than a cab stand situation."
Although he welcomes the new changes, Cartwright said he believes there is no perfect solution to the problem.
"People don’t get that it’s down there. Everyone wants to get picked up down the street," Cartwright said. "It’s a double-edged sword situation."