In many communities, the primary needs and concerns about the future transportation network are related to the need to move greater volumes of vehicular traffic, and to move it quickly in, around and through the town. Shepherdstown, however, has a much different set of needs and desires, with the majority of the community’s aspirations for its transportation network focused on ensuring that it is community in which pedestrians and bicyclists can move easily in and around town and where automobiles are just one of several forms of transportation that need to be accommodated.
Situated at the crossroads of several regional highways and having one of the few regional crossings of the Potomac right next to its downtown brings significant volumes of vehicular traffic through town. The presence of Shepherd University compounds the trafic congestion issues, with commuter students flowing in and out of town at regular intervals throughout the day. The heavy traffic volumes and limited number of routes in and around town creates chokepoints at the intersection of Duke Street and German Street and other locations in town and puts stress on the local streer network to handle peak traffic conditions. Solutions to these issues must be balanced with the need to maintain the historic character of the community, which limits opportunities for widening roads or making significant modifications to traffic patterns in the core of the town. Moving forward, the community has decided on a path that will help it retain the features of the local transportation network that give the community its unique character, while also building a future transportation network that achieves the goal of being a community where there is true choice on how people move about town, whether on foot, by bicycle or by car.