New Blacksburg proposal could bring changes to Center Street

The ordinance would requires gatherings of over 200 people to register with the town

The ordinance would requires gatherings of over 200 people to register with the town

BLACKSURG, Va. – For people in Blacksburg, Center Street has a very different feel during the summer. Calm, quiet, and nothing like the mass tailgating events that occur during football season.

But after years of complaints, that may change.

“This event is too big. It’s reached a point where it has the potential for something bad happening just because of the numbers,” said Larry Spencer, Blacksburg town attorney.

Center Street has long been a source of concern for the town of Blacksburg.

But for students, Center Street is considered a tradition, especially for the people who live there.

“It’s a tradition here at Virginia Tech,” said Reid Burton, Center Street resident and Virginia Tech student. “It’s an integral part of game days and I really don’t think that the town should be doing anything to restrict it.”

On Tuesday night, Blacksburg Town Council will vote on legislation that will require Blacksburg residents to register any mass gathering at least 30 days in advance.

A mass gathering is considered more than 200 people, and Center Street definitely qualifies. But according to residents on the street, they know what they signed up for.

“It’s a place that when you go to live there you know that on game days, on holidays, you’re probably going to wake up early to some noise blasting through the walls,” Burton said.

The proposal also includes legal action for those found in violation of the ordinance, in terms of potential misdemeanor charges in order to encourage safety.

“What we are trying to do is not have it just this big area where people are just walking around with open containers,” Spencer said.

Town council will vote a final time on the proposal in July.

About the Author:

Abbie is a multimedia journalist finishing up her senior year at Virginia Tech. You can watch her report on weekday evenings.