Aug. 19 letters to the editor

Walking, biking still not a
bad way to get anywhere
New pedestrian crossing systems have been installed at two locations in Morgantown.
Everyone please alert yourself to their function whether you are walking, biking or driving.
These mid-block crossings are located on University Avenue near Evansdale Drive and Falling Run Road. They are pedestrian activated flashing beacons with a duration of 20 seconds.
This provides walkers with the means of communicating to drivers their need to cross a busy and potentially dangerous high volume traffic corridor.
The city of Morgantown, WVU and Monongalia County have funded these units in an effort to keep pedestrians safe. People send their children here for a higher education so as a community we must manage our personal transportation activity with respect to all residents and visitors.
For decades the petroleum and automobile industries have conditioned us to become drivers to the point where we have neglected the place of walkers.
This needs to change. As our town continues to grow the accumulation of cars on our roadways is becoming unmanageable.
We greatly appreciate the presence of the state Division of Highways with funding for road upgrades in Monongalia County. But our Appalachian geography can only allow so much.
At this point we have a great opportunity to make a conscious shift toward a system of inclusion for walking and biking. A design and planning firm is in the final stages of developing our city’s new pedestrian and bicycling network.
For this to succeed we need local and state agencies to combine with WVU to embark on an educational transition campaign.
This also means everyone should take a close look at themselves. Why are you driving when you could be walking or biking? If the answer is because you don’t feel safe then get involved with us to change the environment.
Walking by nature is a more healthful way to move yourself depending upon distance, and biking is a viable alternative with our rail trail system.

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