I’m only now getting around to this news, but a few weeks ago the Williamson Road Improvement Committee organized by the Williamson Road Area Business Association approved conceptual improvements to the corridor that would add contiguous sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic circles, and other features.
Here are the drawings that the City of Roanoke’s engineering department present (click to enlarge):
The City has updated their Williamson Road Improvements page with these diagrams and additional information.
The proposal – which is still conceptual and requires additional public feedback and engineering review – suggests three new treatments along the corridor:
- Typical Section 1: Two travel lanes and a center turning lane, bike lanes on both side, new curb and gutter, and a sidewalk separated from the street by greenspace and space for utilities. This would be the “ideal” application where right-of-way and other considerations allow.
- Typical Section 2: Two travel lanes and a center turning lane, bike lanes on both sides, new curb and gutter, and a sidewalk along the roadway with utilities on the outside of the sidewalk. This would be the application where right-of-way is narrower and/or utilities cannot be moved to the inside of the sidewalk.
- Typical Section 3: As Section 1, but with a median/greenspace instead of turning lane. This would be used primarily a) when approaching an intersection to create a left turn lane and b) to create pedestrian islands in the medium where blocks are too long to expect pedestrians to walk to the next crosswalk.
Not the diagram also shows new treatments like a traffic circle at Liberty and Williamson. According to initial transportation department review, the new road design would not reduce traffic volume, but better manager it while creating additional space for other mobility options.
The next step is for the project to seek funding through a combination of the City’s annual budgeting process and/or outside funding sources such as Virginia’s SMART SCALE program. In the interim, there’s still a need for voice support for these changes. The City has added a public input form which you can complete to voice your support, criticism, or alternatives, and we encourage you to be actively involved in the future of this important corridor.
In the meantime, we’ll be sharing images of the many businesses and neighborhoods that could benefit from these kinds of changes, and will do our best to address concerns that commuters, neighbors, and business owners may have. Keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter to join in the conversation.