Business owners push for sidewalks on Williamson Road after latest pedestrian death

Go north of Hershberger Road and you’ll see Williamson Road has few sidewalks

ROANOKE, Va. – A life lost Friday night on Williamson Road has people once again questioning the safety of that stretch of road.

As cars zip by on Williamson Road, business owners in the area said they have had enough.

Living in Roanoke all her life, Veronica Freites, who owns Sunshine Salon, said safety on the road is getting worse.

“I can’t imagine if somebody’s walking and they are not too careful,” Freites said. “It’s really, really dangerous and I’m concerned about this area.”

On Friday night, officers found a man lying in the 5100 block of Williamson Road, about a quarter-mile north of the road’s intersection with Hershberger Road, after being hit by a car. He later died while being treated at a hospital.

Now, business owners are pushing for sidewalks in that area, a plan the Williamson Road Business Association is still working on with the hopes of City approval.

“The road is only so big so you can only do so much but you need to maximize the best safety you can,” Valerie Brown, executive director of Williamson Road Business Association.

Freites added that more safety would mean a business boom too.

“So I think the safer they make it, the more customers we are going to have and it’s going to be more attractive,” she said.

Even if installing sidewalks comes at a high cost, Freites said it’s a price that could save a life.

“If we can find budget for things that are not as important as people losing their lives on this street, then everybody can get together to pitch in and help,” she said.


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