Weekly grocery shopping is a risky job for West Virginia University student Hadeel Hejazi.
Every time she needs to make a trip to the store, she walks from the Chestnut Ridge bus stop to the market by Suncrest Towne Centre Drive, which has no sidewalks.
Cars make tight turns on that road which puts the pedestrians at risk.
Hejazi, like many other students, lives near the Suncrest Towne Centre. She and most of the students in the area rely on the shopping center as it is the only one near by, and many stop in each day for basic necessities.
Matthew Cross, a chair member of the Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board said Suncrest Towne Centre’s owners chose to build their business outside the city limits on purpose.
“The developers do that because they want to save money,” Cross said.
Suncrest Towne Centre was constructed by the 705-5 Development Group, which owns 300,000 square feet of land, on which sits shops, restaurants, offices and a medical care center, among other things. The company is owned by local Morgantown developers and brothers David and Richard Biafora, both of whom have been involved in numerous legal issues concerning their real estate in the past.
Morgantown City Engineer Damien Davis says no governmental organization can force the company to construct sidewalks because Suncrest is out of Morgantown’s city limits.
“(Biafora) is a private property owner and he’s not likely to listen to someone complaining,” Davis said. And since Suncrest Towne Centre Drive is outside the city’s administrative area, the city cannot do anything to improve the situation…