Traffic changes to take place on a downtown Beckley street

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – After a downtown Beckley employee’s car door was clipped on the one-way Prince Street, where three lanes of traffic flow between the former Beckley Police Department down to the intersection of Robert C. Byrd Drive, the issue was presented to Ward 1 Councilman, Tom Sopher, to try and fix the problem.

The Beckley City Council met Tuesday to take the first vote on turning the three lanes of traffic into only two.

“In front of the old police department there was a little island, well, the city works removed this island and now they are going to change the striping on the road so there will only be two lanes going down the hill, so those parkers on the right side will have plenty of room to open their door without someone taking it off for them,” Sopher says.

The lane change wasn’t the only traffic safety concern put on the table at the meeting, the other being the speeding issue on the street, as it also presents a hazard for people getting out of their parked cars.

“When cars top that hill where the former police headquarters was, a lot of times they’re driving too fast, they’re trying to make a green light at Leslie C. Gates, and then trying to beat the green light at Robert C. Byrd, even,” says Beckley Mayor, Rob Rappold.

Another problem area for speeding brought up at the meeting is the Clarence W. Meadows Memorial Boulevard, the new Beckley bypass, a 50 miles-per-hour speed limit that the Beckley Police Department plans to crack down on.

“It’s more like a public awareness announcement for you, if you speed out there excessively, you just might get you a ticket,” Sopher adds.

Traffic will remain three lanes on Prince Street from Leslie C. Gates Place to the Robert C. Byrd Drive intersection.

The Beckley City Council unanimously approved the ordinance on first reading.

A final vote will be taken on the new traffic ordinance at the next city council meeting on Dec. 28.

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