Residents on Williamson Road voice concerns over proposed safety improvement plans

Over the last five years, there have been 500 car crashes on Williamson Road and 12 pedestrian crashes, five of which were deadly

If chosen, construction would not begin until 2030.

ROANOKE, Va. – People are up in arms about proposed plans to improve Williamson Road.

“You’re going to slow traffic down. Hurt business,” said one resident, Clay McClintock.

A proposed plan would turn the four-lane road into two lanes, with a center turn lane and bike lanes in each direction.

The idea is a part of the application process for VDOT’s Smart Scale fund, where the state picks select projects to receive funding for improvements.

“This is the first step in the project. We have a lot of work to do. There has been no real design done to date. We simply have a concept,” said Roanoke City’s Transportation Manager, Dwayne D’Ardeene.

Officials said their main concern is driver and pedestrian safety along Williamson Road.

“The problem is best solved on Williamson Road through a center turn lane. And the only way to do that between Compton and Angel is with a center turn lane and a single lane on either side,” said D’Ardeene.

Over the last five years, there have been 500 car crashes along the corridor and 12 pedestrian crashes, five of which were deadly.

People spoke out at a Williamson Road meeting on Thursday, hoping officials would consider their concerns and involve them in the planning process.

“Just to show them that we can come up with an alternate plan if we have a team put together from our group and them and just talk,” said McClintock.

Before any changes would be made, the project has to be chosen by VDOT.

If chosen, construction would not begin until 2030.

Officials said this is only the first step in a long planning process.


About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.