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Williamson Road was wide enough for all the lanes and a buffer.
Friday, June 7, 2013
There was a thought, a good one actually, to try to make the stretch of Williamson Road shooting through downtown Roanoke into a more pedestrian-friendly avenue. Not that it will ever be kind to those who dare to dart across all those very wide lanes. But an effort of sorts to provide a safe harbor in a sea of hurried drivers.
In executing the idea — a median buffer between the lanes with some mulch and a line of trees — one would have thought the city’s engineering department was playing a vehicular trick more outrageous than the bumper-car version of traffic calming executed along the city’s Southeast thoroughfares.
Up went all the lane-blocking equipment and cones. Up went the buffer. And up went the blood pressure of motorists thinking the bottle neck onto Elm Avenue was about to get plugged shut.
Now that the median is done and the only construction equipment blocking the road is that working on Elmwood Park, all should settle down. Williamson Road is wide enough for a median and all the lanes of traffic it has always hosted. Once the park is finished, there will even be space enough to park cars.
Williamson Road appeared way too wide, lending the impression of a quick cut-through boulevard, rather than a downtown city street in which increasingly more pedestrians and cyclists are thrown in with the cars and rigs.
Tempers now should have calmed, at least until the BIG Interstate 581-Elm interchange project begins. Did we hear there would be a roundabout? Sorry, couldn’t resist.
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