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The original item was published from 1/3/2017 12:11:04 PM to 1/6/2017 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: January 3, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Transportation is Key to Reimagining 419

January 3, 2017 – Could a new diverging diamond design, like the one now open at Valley View help solve congestion and safety issues at the Route 419 and Route 220 interchange at Tanglewood Mall? Is there potential to connect the 419 Town Center Study area to the expanding greenway network? Is it possible to create an environment where cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and buses could safely coexist on Electric Road?

These ideas and many others will be explored at the next 419 Town Center Study community meeting on January 4 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 4500 South Peak Boulevard, Roanoke, VA 24018 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The planning team will present preliminary transportation and infrastructure drawings, and then provide time for informal discussions on multimodal transportation scenarios, which include:

• Changes in traffic flow to reduce congestion
• An improved pedestrian and bike network that will connect to surrounding communities
• New streets that create a more urban grid
• Green stormwater-management strategies.

In November, the study’s three-day-long Design Workshop generated discussion about the businesses that might locate in the area if it is redeveloped into a town center model. Residents also commented that the plan must support existing local restaurants and businesses.

Over 150 people participated in the workshop, bringing total in-person participation numbers to more than 450. The planning team also wrapped up interviews with more than 100 stakeholders including business owners, technical experts, local leadership and the property owners of Tanglewood Mall, South Peak and Old Heritage.

The three-day event culminated in a 20-year, “What would it look like?” draft conceptual plan, along with a more specific five-year plan based on market realities. Both plans identified ways that the study area could transform into a vibrant and authentic town center.

Tanglewood Mall and Starkey Road north of Rt. 419 were identified by participants as the most important places to start implementing recommendations. The meeting on January 4 will address vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle and transit options at these locations and within the rest of the study area.

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