A Primer in Summer Changes
This summer has been a busy one for the City, developers, construction crews and traffic planners! There are a few things you’ll need to know if you’re just returning to Morgantown after a summer away.
AECOM & A. Merante Contracting, Inc., have been hard at work to finish the last of five phases of the High Street Streetscape Improvement Project. Phase V addresses sidewalks, subterranean power lines, new banner and light poles, and the same signature red stamped brick crosswalks between Kirk Street and Foundry Street.
Work got started on May 20th, and the entire project is anticipated to be 75% complete by the end of August.
This isn’t the end for improvements to downtown. The City has identified Walnut Street as the next place for Streetscape Improvements, and work on that will take place Summer 2014.
It’s also worth noting that the Post Office near the Streetscape work moved in 2011. Crews say they see people trying to get into the former Harvey O. Staggers Federal Building on High Street more often than you might imagine. The new Post Office is located just across High Street in South High Plaza, alongside Mother India, BFS Liquor, and Little Ceasar’s Pizza.
The City thanks its residents for their patience during these improvements.
High & Willey Street Paving
After the completion of the latest Streetscape Project on the lower part of High Street, the WV Department of Transportation will be paving High Street from top to bottom, as well as Willey Street from Spruce Street to the corner of University, just in front of WVU’s Downtown Library. It’s been a long time coming, but after this paving work, High Street will look like a brand new place! The Division of Highways has set the deadline for paving completion as the day before the WVU Homecoming Parade, planned for mid-October.
Trash and Recycling Toters
It’s the responsibility of the City to monitor and enforce the Solid Waste Trash Agreement with Republic Services so that trash is picked up from all properties in the City. In order for this to happen, you as a resident are responsible for making sure your toters are by the street when they need to be!
- It is the responsibility of the residents to follow the rules and place trash cans at the curb the night before their regular service day (no earlier than 6:00 pm) and remove trash and recycling cans by the evening of the service day (by 9:00 pm). You can find out which day is your service day on the Trash & Solid Waste Page.
Enforcement of these rules will be increased to make sure the City of Morgantown is presentable to visitors and has a high quality of life for its residents. Let’s keep the City of Morgantown one of the best small cities in the Country!
Roundabout (Mileground Work)
If you regularly travel the Mileground for your daily trek to work or school, you certainly are aware of the work that’s been going on to improve the traffic flow in the WV 705/Mileground area. The highly-anticipated Roundabout opened on June 25th, and aside from a few kinks in the flow, traffic density seems to have much improved. Work, however, is not done yet.
Right now, crews are completing the bypasses and tie-ins to finish the Roundabout project. When these are done, traffic flowing from Willey Street to the Mileground and from 705 to Willey Street will bypass the roundabout altogether.
The next step will be widening the Mileground (WV RT. 119). That work will begin after the Roundabout has been finalized.
The WV DOT offers these Driving Tips for the Roundabout:
New Downtown Parking Meters & Updated Violations
This June brought about new Parking Meters in three lots in downtown Morgantown.
- Lot A: Morgantown Market Place – this lot, which you can find on the corner of Spruce Street & Fayette Street, is now open 12-hour parking between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. The rate is $1.25 an hour.
- Lot B: behind Daniel’s – This lot has changed: there is 2 hour parking available between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., and the lot can accommodate 12-hour parking between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Lot E: near Bent Willey’s – This lot has also changed: there is 2 hour parking available between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., and the lot can accommodate 12-hour parking between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Rates have changed to add to the convenience of these longer-time allowable meters.
- Daytime (6 a.m. – 6 p.m.): $.75 an hour
- Nighttime (6 p.m. – 6 a.m.): $1.25 an hour
At these new pay stations, drivers will pre-pay for the amount of time they would like to stay. If, for instance, you come downtown for dinner at 8, you can pay for an hour or two of time. If you decide that you’d like to stay downtown later, you can return to any of the six new electronic parking meters and add more time.
Future upgrades include adding time to your meter using a mobile device! This can be helpful for those attending a show that they see going long – simply pull out your phone and add more time to your meter. We’ll announce these upgrades in the near future.
Also, city code has been updated to reflect new definitions and changes in violations like driving through the gate before it goes down and damaging gate facilities to garages.
Cell Phone Laws
On July 1, West Virginia State law went into effect that says anyone using a phone in a vehicle must use a hands free device. Talking or texting on your cell phone is primary offense – that means if you’re caught with it in your hands – even at a stop light – you could be pulled over, ticketed, and fined!
The West Virginia Department of Transportation is using its Just Drive campaign to get the word out about the new laws. You may have seen billboards for its “Turn it off. Put it down. Just Drive.” Campaign. These laws are especially important in Morgantown because of the high number of student pedestrians that we have. Keep our students safe – just drive!
This summer, the City has been working hard to create a handbook that all students can use. It’s called the Morgantown Resident Handbook, and it’s a primer in dealing with landlords, police & parties, and those trash and recycling toters outside of your new apartment. Look for it to be distributed in the future!
New MorgantownWV.gov Mobile-Friendly Site
If you tried to access the MorgantownWV.gov website during your time here in the spring, you may not have gotten much farther than a grey screen. Some major upgrades have been underway, and now the City’s website is more accessible than ever! Find City Council Agendas, program information from Finance, Development (Planning & Zoning), and all the Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Boards! You can also tap into the Morgantown Market Place webcam to see if the Farmer’s Market is busy, or check the Neighborhood Notices to see what planning and zoning changes could be happening in your neighborhood!
(If it’s parking you’re looking for, try the Morgantown Parking Authority’s ParkMPA.com site!
Also, you can go to busride.org on your phone and find out where the Mountain Line buses are – every one of them – and when they’ll be arriving at your stop!)
Don’t forget that you can also access Morgantown’s Citizens Request Manager by downloading the Mobile CRM App for iOS & Android operating systems. It makes short work of reporting an abandoned vehicle, getting information about building on your property, or tipping the police off to some suspicious behavior.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to follow the City of Morgantown on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, FourSquare, and YouTube!