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As Carilion expands, Roanoke neighborhood asking for change at problematic intersection

Nearly every neighbor in South Roanoke has their story about Broadway Avenue and McClanahan Street

Some Roanokers are asking for the city's help for a busy intersection.
Some Roanokers are asking for the city's help for a busy intersection.

ROANOKE, VA. – Some Roanokers are asking for the city’s help dealing with a major headache.

They fear a busy intersection in South Roanoke will soon be even busier as Carilion continues to grow the Roanoke Memorial Hospital complex.

If you drive through South Roanoke you probably know the intersection of Broadway Avenue and McClanahan Street. Ask the people that live right around it, and they’ve all got stories.

“It’s a total nightmare because people don’t stop for the stop signs here and with a three way intersection it makes it very dangerous,” neighbor Charles Whately said.

The intersection is confusing to drivers and the site of many near misses, according to people in the neighborhood. Driving down McClanahan toward the hospital you stop at the intersection, coming the other way away from the hospital you don’t. And then there’s a stop sign coming downhill on Broadway which neighbors say many drivers don’t always fully stop at.

“We want people to be able to quickly and effectively and efficiently reach from residence to place of work, and we think a roundabout would be very good here,” Neighbors of South Roanoke president Barbara Duke said.

Wednesday night, Duke led the neighborhood meeting to discuss the intersection. It’s a gateway into the area and one of the main ways people coming from the south get to the hospital complex. As Carilion continues to grow its footprint in the neighborhood, they fear the busy intersection will soon be even busier. Duke and others are willing to rally support for the change.

“I know that roundabouts are becoming quite popular in our priority for new urban design,” Duke said.

The Wells Fargo adjacent to the intersection will soon close and the neighborhood thinks now may be the time to make something happen. They’re in the early steps of trying to persuade the city and Whatley said they want to make the neighborhood work for everyone.

“I think it will make a big different because it will make it safer for people to go through the intersection, it will also speed things up for the fire department that’s going to be going in down there and also people going to the hospital,” Whatley said.

The city said it’s aware of neighbors’ concerns. 10 News asked Carilion about the situation and a spokeswoman said they’re monitoring but don’t have anything to share just yet.