Grafton Business Owners Voice Concerns About Upcoming Paving Pro - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Grafton Business Owners Voice Concerns About Upcoming Paving Project

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GRAFTON -

When people hear a city or town road is going to be paved, its a great feeling.

But in downtown Grafton, the feeling is bittersweet.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation is planning to eliminate all crosswalks in downtown Grafton, causing small business owners to be concerned.

"It's kind of nice to have these people slow down and stop because they notice our businesses are here," said Cindi Mason, Mirage Sound Owner. "They notice there are things downtown. These unique little shops. They stop and they take a look around and they eat and frequent our shops."

The Department of Transportation will start repaving Main Street in Grafton beginning Tuesday.

"The state wants to put up signs saying 'Watch for Pedestrians' ," said Kevin Stead, Grafton City Manager. "They want to eliminate having the white lined, striped cross walks."

"It's great that they are going to mill the roadway and put new pavement down especially with memorial day coming up and so forth," said Tom Hart, Arts and Treasures Owner. "Let's do the complete job and not leave the crosswalks out. Lets do the total package."

Several small business owners and the City of Grafton have been in contact with the state.

Both sides aren't budging.

"They're just disregarding our concerns," Mason said. "Or they didn't even ask for our thoughts on it to begin with."

"The Division of Highways feels that the crosswalks gives a false sense of security," Stead said. "But the crosswalks, in our opinion, gives us a sense of a pedestrian friendly atmosphere."

"People only come to a town to shop that is pedestrian friendly," said Owen Phillips, Something Country Owner.

Business owners feel eliminating the crosswalks will cause them to see a decrease in customers.

"We have visitors that come here to visit our Mothers Day Shrine and to look at our railroad history here," Mason said. "If they can only cross the street at either end of town, they aren't going to stop and see other buildings."

The city will continue to talk to the Department of Transportation until they can come to an agreement.