Parking in Morgantown: a Bitter College-Town Problem

It’s no secret that parking in Morgantown is terrible. With a growing population (outward–ahem, the sprawl of West Run) there is a serious lack of parking. Because of this, it’s also no surprise that the towing companies are sketchy in this area.

https://twitter.com/T_money0807/status/401015230307643393

https://twitter.com/asmead802/status/402835305881149440

The good news is there are some people and groups trying to fix these problems.

  • Shannon Martin, a Morgantown native and sophomore at West Virginia University is working on extending the amount of time you can park at the meter. It varies by location in Morgantown, but the maximum time is typically 10 hours. Considering Morgantown’s demographics (a large college-age population) and tourism in the area, this rule is inconvenient for students and visitors. Between move-in day for students, home football games and other attractions that bring tourists to our hometown, parking in Morgantown has a large impact. Martin is currently working on a petition to extend these hours.
  • SALA recently had a “Know Your Rights” campaign to raise awareness of towing companies breaking the rules. Check out this recent article about Ben Seebaugh’s experience with the towing companies around here.
  • The City of Morgantown is trying–really! With the Morgantown Parking Authority, the City of Morgantown featured a parking spot of the week this past summer, though they stopped in July. (They do have a decent, up-to-date map on the site that’s pretty helpful.) The Parking Authority also lets you pay citations online now, which is very convenient for students.
  • WVU is helping, too. (Here’s a handy map they made!) On Sundays they have a little-known shopping shuttle that goes out to the mall and the University Town Center so you don’t have to make the drive. Similar to the City of Morgantown, they let you pay WVU parking tickets online, too.

Keep in mind you don’t necessarily need your car in Morgantown, anyway (here’s looking at you, incoming freshmen!) Though it is rickety, the PRT  is a great alternative to driving around Morgantown. Mountain Line is another great option for going back and forth among campuses. The Caperton Trail (known as the Rail Trail) is another great way to get around Morgantown that’s healthy and fun. Additionally, all of these are free for students (you don’t even have to pay for gasoline!)

Riding the PRT is a great way to travel around Morgantown! (Though arguably, this video is terrifying.)

video from West Virginia University Transportation and Parking

What are your thoughts on parking in Morgantown?

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10 thoughts on “Parking in Morgantown: a Bitter College-Town Problem

  1. I like that there isn’t a ton of filler in this post. Almost every sentence has something useful in it. Also, you don’t spend a ton of time explaining towing and parking problems, and that’s good! If you’re reading this post you are probably involved in Morgantown, and if you’re involved in Morgantown you more than likely know about the crappy parking situation. That second tweet is really telling of the situation.

    And yes, I agree that that video is disturbing.

  2. Anyone can put up a post an complain about parking, but you made it GREAT. Starting off with student reaction tweets in the beginning is very important to draw viewers in. Also, adding the bullet section helps break up your post. Everyone knows about the parking situation but you added conversation and reaction!

  3. I really enjoyed the way you embedded tweets into your post in order to give real examples of people struggling with the parking problem. I think more people should use the public transportation in Morgantown because not only do you not have to worry about parking and the corrupt tow thugs, but you cut down on traffic.

  4. I like how you spend the majority of the post focusing on the attempts to address/counter the parking issues, rather than just primarily talking about the problem itself.

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of turning a post revolving around such a frustrating topic into something that focuses strictly on the negatives, but you implemented a rather constructive tone.

  5. I love this post. It is different and more interesting then the regular Morgantown Parking Problem posts/articles/news casts that we see around campus. You linked another blog to explain “sketchy Morgantown Towing Companies” and it was a useful source. The tweets you embedded keep a readers attention and I believe adding tweets can never fail to enhance a story with the communities opinion and emotion. I also like how you mentioned what was going around campus and town to fix some of the parking problems in Morgantown. I was unaware if or what was happening and now because of this post I can hunt down a petition and help it as well.

  6. Good post. I think this is a very relevant issue for anyone in Morgantown. I quickly found I did not want to deal with this problem early on and opted to live in South Park. I have had jobs only downtown and have never driven during class hours to expect parking. I simply don’t have time to deal with it. It doesn’t help that a lot of student housing is out of town, though. I think it would also be nice to mention that a lot of these student housing areas offer bus systems. I’ve heard there are flaws in these as well (limiting times, etc.) so it could be interesting to mention.

  7. Well, now that I’ll have terrifying bad dreams about Pete the PRT (the real PRT is enough of a nightmare), I really like your post. This is definitely a relevant issue in Morgantown, and I struggle with this same problem at least once a week. Living along West Run, I usually drive to the Coliseum and park there and then take the PRT downtown. But, this problem is made even worse when there’s an event at the Coliseum (like on Thursday), and almost the entire parking lot is blocked off for basketball parking. I know that the city and university are trying, but unless they can find an undiscovered, uninhabited area of land somewhere near campus, this problem will continue to exist.

  8. As others have said, this is a really good post that explains the issue well without just being negative (which is easy to do when talking about parking Morgantown).

    What I think about parking in Morgantown though, is largely negative. I’ve probably exhausted the “WVU ruined Morgantown by letting too many students in” argument by now, but it applies here. Parking is just one more problem exacerbated by cramming 60,000 people in a town that wasn’t built to hold that many. And though WVU tries, its transportation alternatives are not reliable enough for many students to choose them over driving. The PRT can break down and the buses can get off their schedules, so students can’t depend on them when they can’t afford to be late.

    The one positive thing I can say about the parking situation is that some parking options are not terribly priced. If you get into them, some of the university lots only cost about $25-40 a month. I rent a space in the city garage (from 7 a.m.-midnight) on Chestnut Street, and it comes out to $75 per month. That’s the cheapest non-university lot I could find.

  9. I like this post for several reasons.

    You start out by addressing the issue that everyone is aware of, but then you list (with links) the things people are doing to try and take care of this problem.

    Also, as I was reading, I thought how well this issue ties in with the rest of everything that our blog has been discussing. I’m like, “Sure, the PRT is ok, but I don’t want to go grocery shopping and lug all that stuff from the store to the PRT then home.” Then I thought, well it would be cool if they put a grocery store on High Street. I thought well, you don’t really need a car if you live downtown…but living downtown is so expensive.

  10. Great finds here! Spotlighting these multiple efforts to address parking gives us a nicely robust look at the bigger picture – it’s not just “here’s a thing/guy.” As I’ve mentioned before, I’d caution you to be a little careful with attacks in your voice (e.g., “the towing companies are sketchy” could do with some greater substantiation), but overall you’re handling tone well.

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