Have you noticed parking lots near Interstate
Have you been meeting someone to car pool and don’t
know where to leave your vehicle?
If so, have you wondered if it is safe?
After experiencing all three of these situations, I
decided to find some answers. It was not easy. Contacts were made to the
Dept. of Highways, Dept. of Public Safety, Public Service Commission, an
information center on I79 North, and Del. David Walker.
The Federal Highway Act of 1956, signed by
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, called for an Interstate system that was
designed to serve cross country travel rather than local residents. The
Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) was designed to improve
economic development in previously isolated areas, supplementing the
Interstate system and providing access within the region.
The construction of
West Virginia’s Interstate and ADHS system has
had a profound impact on the state’s development, impacting the quality
of life of the state’s residents, providing additional safety, lifestyle
choices, and improving economic standards of living. The new highway
systems provide a more direct route to work, allowing employees to live
30+ miles away from their jobs and drive to work in a reasonable amount
No longer does an individual have to live at a
fixed job site. During the gas crisis of the early ’70s, the impromptu
park and ride system began to develop. Vehicles would be left at the
pickup site for at least eight hours while people worked.
The park and ride began after abandoned vehicles
began to cause safety issues along the new roads: littering the
intersection/interchange areas; parking along the main shoulders, on
both sides of the guardrail; parking on interchange ramps and along the
side roads that intersect the mainline routes; reducing site distance;
and eliminating run off areas.
The “designated” park and ride system in West Virginia evolved in reaction to
conditions in the field more so than an action to help the environment.
Designated park and ride facilities were developed in order to provide a
safer, more controlled means of parking for carpoolers, who were
unofficially parking along the shoulders of certain highways.
Park and rides are car parks with connections to
public transportation that allow commuters to travel, leave a personal
vehicle, and transfer to another vehicle for the rest of their trip.
The objects of park and ride are: save on fuel,
vehicle wear, reduce stressful driving, reduce congestion, reduce
pollution, reduce greenhouse gases, and reduce use of foreign oil. It
also helps the economic and environmental situation in
Expansion of park and ride facilities in the State
include lighting and asphalt parking lots with striped parking spaces.
Some of the facilities that might be used by
Calhoun residents are the following:
I79 and Rt. 5 at exit 79, Burnsville
I79 and Rt. 16 at exit 40, Big Otter
I79 and Rt. 19 at exit 67, Flatwoods
I79 and Rt. 119 at exit 1, Mink Shoals
I77 and Rt. 14 at exit 170, Mineral Wells
50 and Rt. 16 at Ellenboro
Information was provided by Alanna J. Slack,
professional engineer with
Dept. of Transportation, Division of Highways’ Program Planning and
A website with information about all park and ride
facilities in West Virginia,
with location, photos and amenities available, is being prepared by
WVDOT. As soon as it is developed, we will provide that information.