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Letter: Do we really need a new bus station?

Letter: Do we really need a new bus station?

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Do we need a bus station?

“Go with original bus plan” (Oct. 14 letter) is half right. Developing the Campbell Avenue bus station for high-rise commercial use is a winner for taxpayers and downtown ambiance.

But the real issue is, do we really need a bus station at all? Think of it: Most bus passengers catch their bus on a street corner, which has no roof and no matter what the weather.

This applies to school buses as well as Valley Metro. A few bus stops have flimsy plexiglass shelters that are not heated and boast simple benches, but there aren’t many of them.

There’s no reason why bus patrons can’t board buses parked along a public sidewalk, say, between Jefferson Street and Second Street. Yes, there are a few curb cuts, driveways and fire hydrants in those two blocks.; but at least 20 buses could be legally accommodated in that area. Anyone waiting more than 10 or 15 minutes could stand on the Amtrak platform in inclement weather between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. where there are no Amtrak trains using it. Greyhound and Smart Way buses could use the parking ramp on the parking garage next door to Campbell Court or one across the street if desired.

There is probably no real need for an Amtrak station either with only one train in each direction. If an agent is needed, the lower level of the pedestrian bridge from Hotel Roanoke to Salem Avenue could used for this purpose.

With a city as close to the edge of current revenue resources and the possibility of a downgraded municipal bond rating, the last thing we need is another “edifice complex” built at taxpayer expense.

Randolph Gregg, Roanoke

A Roanoke Thanksgiving

I am thankful for

fine friends, gracious neighbors, and presently forgotten adversaries,

the smell of smoke outside, its rich and deep and ageless burning notes that sound upon the palette,

the hills under all my days, which pluck up my breath,

all the countless “hellos” their slopes will yield,

the mountains’ incandescence in this cooling season,

the colors now igniting their high and wooded perches,

this new home, this Old South,

this ranging, easy vale of firming winds and firm tradition,

its gentle people, and their surprising hearts —

this fair, far Star City.

Eric Nolan, Roanoke

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