ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Local leaders are looking to develop a busy section of Roanoke. The idea is make improvements along Williamson Road in the future. On Tuesday, a committee made up of businesses leaders, city officials and residents focused on doing so met for the first time.
Wendy Jones with the Williamson Road Area Business Association (WRABA) said it was about 16 years ago that significant changes were made to the area, which included re-configuring the roads and adding medians along Williamson Road. Officials said they want to make the area safer for bikers and pedestrians as well.
“There’s so much traffic along Williamson Road,” said Quentin Haskins, who works at Cut City.
Through the years Haskins has seen diverse businesses come and go. He believes the Williamson Road area would benefit from upgrades and renovations.
Tuesday marked the first meeting of business leaders, city planners and others focused on developing Williamson Road.
‘Something to accommodate all the folks involved, businesses and pedestrians. The bikers and traffic going through their area,” said Walter Vance, Northwest Hardware. “Most important the people living in the area, the 12,000 or so folks living there that have to be safe walking along Williamson Road.”
The 11-member committee is also considering ways to accommodate bus route along Williamson.
“Nothing is written in stone yet, we talked about different things needed to be kept in consideration,” Wendy Jones, WRABA. “How much traffic we have now versus how much traffic we have in the future. Rather that is traffic from cars, pedestrians or bikes.”
While it’s still in the idea phase and they don’t have money set aside yet, officials hope to develop a plan that helps attract businesses and foot traffic to the area.
“I think this is crucial to the future success of Williamson Road,” said Jones. “We have to keep looking forward and growing forward.”
The committee is expected to meet again in January.