ROANOKE, Va. – A new milestone is now complete in the Melrose neighborhood in Roanoke.
On Friday, Roanoke City leaders celebrated the completion of the Melrose-Orange Target Area.
After years of input, city leaders listened and took action – they created the Melrose Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project.
Stan Hale has lived and worked in Northwest Roanoke his entire life, and he said he’s proud to see city leaders invest in the target area.
“They key factor there, being heard. It’s most important of course,” said Hale.
The Melrose Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project included updated sidewalks, bike lanes, repaved roads, more landscaping, lighting and two, new covered bus stations.
“And it’s great that they rose to our concerns and put it out there and here we are a better community and a better Roanoke,” said Hale.
Studies show these kinds of improvements also help to curb gun violence, which has plagued parts of the Melrose neighborhood.
“This is a commitment of a lot of people. And we are proud of that. And we feel that the community is going to be better. And we want all of our citizens to know that we are progressively working on this,” said Roanoke’s Mayor Sherman Lea.
Not only are the new bus stops functional, but they celebrate the diversity and sense of community in the Melrose area through artwork, designed by local artist, Dan Kuehl.
“[It’s] a collage of community members of people who live here and have lived here in the past. And have made a difference in the community,” said Kuehl.
$1.85 million was invested in the project, with a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.