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Local Residents Push for Change to Come on Greenbag Road

by: Lauren McMillen

The following video was produced for a journalism class at West Virginia University. 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.- Traffic around Morgantown is continuing to increase and the congestion is causing many residents to be concerned.

The Morgantown Monogalia Metropolitan Planning Organization held an open house for the Greenbag Road Corridor Project.

Officials want to make some changes to the road and now they want to hear what the community thinks those changes should look like.

On any given day, nearly 12,000 vehicles travel along Greenbag Road, according to the Greenbag Road Corridor Planning Study. The heavy traffic has caused concerns and many Morgantown residents, like Daniel McMullen, want to see some change.

“I’ve lived there for 30 years and the traffic has really gotten bad in the last five to ten years, especially at the intersection of Kingwood and Greenbag Road. I think there needs to be a turning lane there because it backs up for half a mile in either direction,” said McMullen.

To make the commute smoother, officials want to hear the public’s opinions and plans. It’s a project that is in the making, but they want to bring a new future to Greenbag Road.

Bill Austin is the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization Executive Director. He said this is the beginning phase of the project and there is no estimate yet of the total cost.

“We will develop a corridor plan and ask the WV Division of Highways to work with us to find the funding to improve the corridor plan. At a minimum, improvements along Greenbag Road are years away, but this is the first step in getting those improvements in place,” said Austin.

Not only is the road crowded with cars, but bikers, runners, and walkers use it on a daily basis.

“I see a lot of people and I don’t think it is very safe to have them walking next to the road. That is why I think building a trail that parallels it and follows it back a little ways through the neighborhoods would be a much safer alternative than building a sidewalk right next to the road,” said McMullen.

Officials will collect and gather all of the recommendations and then come up with a draft to submit to the policy board.

If you missed this meeting, there will be a second meeting held the week of January 12th.

Click here for a copy of the script.

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