If you have driven on Brandon Avenue between Colonial and Main recently, you have likely seen the signs announcing temporary changes in traffic patterns. Some of you may even have driven through these temporary changes. So, what exactly is going on?
A Paving Project
The City will be paving this section of Brandon in 2021, and options for how to best allocate the pavement width are being explored. Bike lanes? Less travel lanes? Turn lanes? Such an opportunity on a street like Brandon does not come around very often, so it’s critical that we not miss this opportunity.
In addition to detailed measurements and engineering analyses of what is possible, the temporary changes in traffic patterns allow City officials the opportunity to actually see how some of these considerations would affect traffic flow. Similarly, the temporary changes afford drivers to experience what traveling on the street might be like if various changes under consideration were actually implemented. Both of these are critical to the decision-making process.
Your Help is Needed
In addition to these considerations, the City is requesting residents to complete an online survey, sharing thoughts and offering responses to a series of questions. The results of this survey will be combined with the results of the physical tests of options, to arrive at a final determination regarding the number and size of lanes, and any resulting bike lanes or other changes that may be possible as a result.
The Roanoke Way
Why bother with all of these steps? Simple, we are a city that takes transportation seriously, values complete streets that safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and automobiles on each street, and we genuinely need engaged citizens to help us in the decision-making process. I think it important to note that these are not the norms everywhere. One need not travel very far outside Roanoke to encounter streets indifferent to the needs of bicyclists or pedestrians. Few communities would take the time to physically test options to see how they may work in real time with real drivers. Even fewer communities would inquire as to preferences of its residents. All this for a repaving project! It is actions like these that help make Roanoke such a special place.
You can learn more about the project and access the survey by using this link. So, If you have not already completed the survey, please do so. If you have ideas, please share them. If you are driving through the area when one of the tests is underway, please drive carefully and, when back home or at the office, let us know what you thought about the changes.
Be safe and thanks for helping us continue to keep Roanoke a great place!
-- Bob Cowell