MORGANTOWN — Call it beginner’s luck.
Better yet, call it Weez’s Way.
In her fourth official meeting as Morgantown City Council’s 3rd Ward representative, Louise “Weez” Michael walked away with her name on a pedestrian pathway to be established between Overhill and Morgan streets in an area described as the “block end of the North Morgantown Addition.”
Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli said the right-of-way already existed as a “paper street,” meaning it’s on the books but was never actually opened for public access.
Muzzarelli explained, “This area was identified as a great opportunity to create or enhance a pedestrian pathway,” during a recent neighborhood tour with Michael.
The right-of-way is about 200 feet long and 12 feet wide. The walking path will likely be four-to-six-feet wide and created using either crushed limestone or millings from this summer’s paving work. Muzzarelli said the city will also control bamboo growing in the area.
Bollards will be placed at any potential vehicle access points to prevent parking and motorized use of the lane.
“They are ecstatic, especially the guy who has bamboo growing into his house,” Michael said. “Everybody is pretty excited about it.”
Attorney Ryan Simonton said the city would clear the prospective name with MECCA-911 before the issue returns for a second reading.
The original name was to be Alley H.
Speaking of new rights-of-way, council also recently passed on first reading the creation of a new street in the city’s 7th Ward to be known as Cypress Street.
This issue actually arose from a longstanding neighborhood dispute after a path was created across land included in the old Koontz Farm, at the end of Koontz Avenue, for construction of a neighbor’s home.
Joan Gibson, who inherited the 5.3-acre farm property from her parents, said she’s attempted, in vain, to work with the city to address this unofficial lane across her family’s land since 1994.
After sitting down with City Manager Kim Haws, Gibson has agreed to allow an easement across the property.
Haws said the city will maintain the street and will mark it to prohibit use by through traffic. The city began work on the street earlier this week.
“So, this has been an unfortunate experience dealing with this since 1994,” Gibson said. “And I would say to the neighbors who probably will want to be smug now, that I will decide how the property is sold.”