Roanoke City Council members address school zone speed limits, gun violence task force

Speed limit changes approved, task force formalized

ROANOKE, Va. – As expected, the speed limits in over two dozen school zones in Roanoke City will be lowered -- some to 15 miles per hour, some to 25 miles per hour when students are coming to and leaving school.

The change takes effect at the start of the school year in August.

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea supports the change but is concerned it may not be enough.

 "The only thing I'm concerned with is, do they have the right spots, because I know an area on 29th Street between Melrose and Salem avenues where a young man got hit by a car," Lea said. "Maybe we need to put speed bumps or something there."

He also offered his thoughts on the city's gun violence task force.

It has been in place for a couple of months to help reduce gun violence, but was formalized today.

"We want to get grass roots ideas and thoughts," Lea said.

Vice Mayor Joe Cobb made the recommendation to formalize the task force.

"I've been working with the mayor and City Council to create a task force to look at some of the root causes of violence, specifically gun violence," Cobb explained. "From here, we'll be inviting a larger group of community partners, including citizens to be part of the working groups that we create to bring some recommendations back to council this fall."

He believes there's a lot of support for this effort. 

"We're very excited. People are eager to be a part of the solution and find creative ways to address some of our challenges," Cobb said.

Anyone interested in joining the task force should contact the city clerk's office or Cobb.

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