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New roadway project in Northwest Roanoke aims to protect pedestrians

A new project in Northwest Roanoke is aiming to save lives by adding safety measures to the Salem Turnpike area, near Lansdowne Park.

A collaborative effort to address safety concerns in Northwest Roanoke.

From city officials to healthcare professionals to community organizers and residents, the Lansdowne community walkability project is putting safety, art, and accessibility as the priority.

“We wanted to take a road that was too wide where cars were going too fast and slow and calm all of that down and make it a safer place for kiddos to come across, play basketball, visit the new park and head to the grocery store,” Kristin Adkins, Population Health Manager, Roanoke city & Alleghany health districts said.

“So specifically, here, we have 800 people, this is our largest housing development in the city of Roanoke, and this is considered a food desert. So currently if they wanted to go to an official grocery store where there is fresh produce and meats and all, they would have to get on a bus. This new resource here, the Melrose Plaza and the grocery store it will include, it made this specific location really effective,” Rob Issem, Complete Streets & Vision Zero Coordinator, City of Roanoke said.

For people who live in the area, it’s a huge relief.

“We have a request and desire from the neighborhood itself to increase that because there have been some issues with speeding through the area and we have children we got families,” Phoenix Keesee, Resident at Lansdowne Park said.

This project brings several safety measures to the Salem turnpike area, new pedestrian signs and street art designed by kids in the area.

“Art in this instance is saving lives, its slowing traffic, its saying children can cross here, with the way the trucks flew down this road, it was dangerous,” Dr. Simone Paterson, Lead artist for the project said.

This project will change the conditions around northwest Roanoke neighbors to make it easier to make healthy and safe choices.

“We in health sometimes we just tell people what to do. Eat healthier, get on your bike and exercise and really people often don’t do that not because they don’t know but because it isn’t safe it isn’t convenient it isn’t something they can pull off in their daily lives,” Adkins said.

Source: WSLS News 10

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