City looks to end Mon Blvd. parking
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 08:10
Concerns raised following a September multi-vehicle accident may force some Morgantown drivers to find a new parking spot.
Officials from the Division of Highways and the city of Morgantown are working to eliminate parking along Monongahela Boulevard – specifically the shoulder regions between the Creative Arts Center and the Coliseum.
DOH spokeswoman Carrie Bly said city officials have raised concerns in years past and now are seeking to move forward.
"There’s been an ongoing conversation with the city of Morgantown. I think back in 2009 the city expressed to us that they would like some restrictions there," she said. "The city wants to finally make the commitment. They feel that there are safety concerns to have people parking there along both sides of the road."
West Virginia University engineering professor Roy Nutter raised the issue at a January 2011 Faculty Senate meeting.
Nutter said the situation involves students parking along the shoulder and then crossing traffic. Nutter described it as a "disaster in waiting."
"We’re just waiting for a death along there," Nutter said.
The issue was resurfaced after a Sept. 21 accident in which a 17-year-old driver rolled her vehicle into six cars parked along the road.
"The safety concerns were there way before this accident happened," Bly said. "But that accident is a prime example of how keeping people off of the side of the road is a safety concern. If they’re not there, then they can’t be hit."
According to Bly, if approved by Commissioner of Highways Paul Mattox, "no parking" signs would eliminate parking along the shoulder altogether – including game days.
"It hasn’t been approved yet, but we don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be approved," she said. "If and when the commissioner gets the order the signs would go up."
The signs will be placed near the intersection with Patteson Drive and the PRT overpass, according to Bly.
Once the signs are implemented, violators will be ticketed or towed.
University spokesman John Bolt said the University fully supports the change.
"WVU officials support the idea and believe it will contribute to the safety of both pedestrians and motorists.
Once it is implemented, we will aggressively communicate the changes to the University community, and visitors to campus," Bolt said.