Corridor study planned for Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG – Officials will hold a public meeting to kick off a south Parkersburg traffic corridor study.

The meeting will be at 2 p.m. Friday in the executive conference room on the second floor of the Municipal Building in downtown Parkersburg. The meeting is open to the public.

Called a “design charrette,” Friday’s meeting is intended to engage people in the planning process upfront and build consensus. In addition to learning about the project, participants will have an opportunity to discuss their concerns about the existing roads and potential improvements with professional architects from around the state of West Virginia.

Earlier this year the city of Parkersburg was selected to participate in a design and visualization study by the West Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The study area will focus on portions of Camden Avenue between Pike Street and Division Street, and Division Street between Camden Avenue and West Virginia 95 in south Parkersburg. The area along these two roads was selected because of its access to U.S. 50, proximity to downtown Parkersburg and overall redevelopment potential.

The study will address existing conditions along the roads as they relate to land use, parking and accessibility issues. Anticipated outcomes from the study include design proposals and land-use development strategies, which enhance the economic vitality of the corridor. Recommendations laid out by the WVAIA will be considered by city officials and staff when applying for future transportation enhancement grants and future development projects in the study area.

If supported by area businesses, residents and property owners, the group’s recommendations could be used to develop a new overlay zoning ordinance along these roads and other commercial corridors in the city. The end goal is to retain and attract businesses to the community, as well as make highly traveled corridors more bike- and pedestrian-friendly for adjacent neighborhoods.

Recommendations will be presented to the city in late December or early January 2014.