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Martinsburg roadway now open to two-way traffic

August 04, 2005|by CANDICE BOSLEY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Viking Way, a street near Martinsburg Mall that provides access to Mountain State University, restaurants, the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce and a handful of other businesses, is now a two-way street.

Drivers who want to turn onto King Street from Viking Way are only allowed to turn right, per a Division of Highways recommendation, according to city officials.

The street had been open to drivers turning onto it from King Street, although occasionally people would drive on it in the wrong direction.

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Perhaps it was one of those same drivers who could be seen disobeying the right-turn-only sign Wednesday afternoon and driving straight across King Street's five lanes to Old Mill Road.

The street opened to two-way traffic Tuesday, after City of Martinsburg employees installed new yellow lines and white arrows.

Large signs advise drivers the street is now open to two-way traffic.

Businesses on Viking Way include Holiday Inn, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Shoney's, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, Days Inn and Martial Arts USA.

The street parallels a portion of Foxcroft Avenue, which is home to a Wal-Mart, a shopping mall, hotels, restaurants, offices, banks, a car wash, a movie theater and other businesses.

Last March, Martinsburg City Council members unanimously approved an idea to change the name of Viking Way to Van Wyk Way, in honor of the late developer Bruce Van Wyk.

Van Wyk, who died on Christmas Day 2003 after undergoing surgery, turned a piece of "gone-to-weeds farmland" into the mile-long shopping district.

The street renaming proposal was rejected by Van Wyk's widow, who said her husband had said he never wanted the name of Viking Way to be changed.

In 2000, Van Wyk told The Herald-Mail that Viking Way was named after he did something his widow did not appreciate and told him he had the sensitivity of a viking.

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