Traffic Commission Meeting

7 Oct

On Wednesday October 2, a traffic commission meeting was held in the council chambers at 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Amongst the various array of traffic issues that needed to be discussed, the bicycle board spoke about their upcoming plans to create more bike lanes and look at how that would conflict with pedestrian safety. One board member even spoke up on her concern, saying that turning a corner could be quite dangerous for both the biker and a walking pedestrian. This pedestrian bike plan will be taking place in 2020, with a final committee meeting soon discussing final recommendations. This process has been over a year in the making and will be holding this recommendations meeting that will be open to the public from six to eight o’clock October 17th with its basis on biking and walking infrastructure.  The committee went over their reports on new business in the area and a workshop plan to formalize transportation-related citizens requests and examine not only the accessibility of such concerns, but the efficiency of the process. There was an update on the 2019 Pave Project, which was supposed to be done September 30th, but is still yet to be completed. There is a possibility that there may be a lawsuit for up to 20,000 dollars over the time extension, but since they are 99% finished with the project with only tiny things to still do- or so they say- it is still up in the air. One thing notably mentioned was the topic of vaults. I know that I personally was a little confused on what exactly this had to do with traffic, but the little nugget of information was brought to me by Matthew Cross, the chair of the traffic committee, when he explained that most businesses have vaults under them that used to serve as public bathrooms or fire halls. The vaults are now structurally deficient so there will have to be renovations to them, most being on High Street, so there may be traffic problems with stabilizing these structures in the foreseeable future. One of the biggest upcoming implementations, however, was the news of an Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) system going in at intersections that were in the most need, which was agreed upon at the meeting Wednesday night. Now you may be wondering, what exactly is an LPI? This system is to stop traffic congestion and create a crash analysis in and around stop lights. This new system would be groundbreaking since no one in West Virginia has done it yet, but first the committee needs to get this plan finalized and approved since there is a possibility of being scrutinized for it. The LPI’s would be inserted at Oakland and University Avenue most likely but will know more after testing is done by some willing and helpful grad students. Cross commented on the innovative idea saying, “anything we can do to make our pedestrian safety better.” He also noted that one of the biggest problems with new ideas like this is that most of city’s jurisdiction is authorized by the DOH city only contractors, making it hard to get projects like this passed and funded- much like most of the traffic problems in Morgantown, we must wait and see how it turns out.

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