Williamson Street residents voiced concern for proposed lane modifications to their road at a group assembly Thursday night time, asking metropolis officers to as an alternative enhance the well-known northwest Roanoke thoroughfare in different methods.
The town council is scheduled to vote Monday on submitting a number of funding purposes to a Virginia Division of Transportation grant program known as SMART Scale. Included in these purposes are plans to cut back visitors to 2 lanes on a stretch of the street, an addition of motorcycle lanes and different pedestrian enhancements.
A current crash on Roanoke’s Williamson Street proper in entrance of the top of the world enterprise …
Throughout a public remark session at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church on Thursday night, residents advised metropolis officers they had been towards the plans, as an alternative requesting extra assist for native Williamson Street companies, amongst different concepts. Residents known as for higher road lighting, and a curbing of homelessness and crime alongside the road.
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“Williamson Street might use some assist, however it must be assist that the entire group needs to see occur and assist,” stated Invoice Tanger, throughout some opening remarks. “It’s very onerous to get the town, and/or VDOT, circled and get sure issues accomplished.”
Atomic Tv is celebrating 70 years in enterprise on Williamson Street, stated proprietor John Combs. However he doesn’t like what he sees.
“You bought buildings empty, you bought income loss,” Combs stated. “There are such a lot of different issues that should be accomplished to this street even earlier than you concentrate on doing something to make it a two-lane and having restricted entry to the companies.”
He stated vagrancy is damaging his enterprise.
“Williamson Street is the jewel of Roanoke,” Combs stated. “There’s much more issues to handle than this. I simply hope someplace alongside the way in which, you possibly can promote Williamson Street for what it truly is.”
Out of 10 folks signed as much as converse, others shared related considerations that Williamson Street faces challenges better than street security.
“I’m taking a look at totally different choices about shifting my enterprise off Williamson Street, as a result of I don’t like what I’m seeing,” Combs stated. “What’s going to occur goes to occur. We’ll simply must stay with it.”
A petition towards the modifications to Williamson Street has 3,000 signatures and counting, stated Clay McClintock, president of Noble Neighborhood Watch.
The Better Williamson Street Space Enterprise Affiliation has signed on in favor of the proposed road modifications, stated Government Director Valerie Brown.
“All of us share the street, we solely have a finite quantity of area,” Brown stated. “We simply must make that area as secure as we will for all concerned.”
With 500 auto wrecks on Williamson Street the previous 5 years and 12 pedestrian-involved collisions in that point, metropolis and VDOT officers agree one thing must be accomplished to gradual motorist speeds and enhance security.
Metropolis Transportation Supervisor Dwayne D’Ardenne famous that SMART Scale grant awards will not be assured, as a result of chosen tasks compete regionwide for VDOT funding. He additionally stated development on Williamson Street probably wouldn’t begin till 2030 or 2031.
“We’re attempting to resolve the crash downside,” D’Ardenne stated, including there may be ample time for additional group enter. “We’re not going to go design this and construct it subsequent yr. That’s simply not the way in which these tasks work.”