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Friday, December 01, 2006

What the heck is going on downtown?

Warning, Rant ahead!!

Tonight I took my family to the Circus. When we arrived, an hour and fifteen minutes early, we were told that we had to park downtown and take the shuttle unless we were handicap or had a preferred parking pass. I wanted to strangle the guy who was working the parking lot, but it wasn't his fault. Did I miss a memo? What the heck is going on here? There was another event going on at the auditorium of the Civic Center and another event downtown. Apparently, this created the need for Police Officers at every stoplight near downtown and the Civic Center. We ended up parking near the Civic Center and walking. Now imagine my amazement when I got inside and realized that there was a Roanoke Express size attendance ( just under 1000 probably). Just imagine if the place was packed. The Circus was decent, only one ring and not exactly how I remember the circus as a child. But never the less enjoyable for the kids.

My suggestion is before you sink millions of dollars on another venue at the Civic Center (the exhibition hall), taking away hundreds of parking spaces, why don't we make sure we have enough parking for events. Maybe they should take that big vast expanse that was going to be an amphitheatre and pave it. Then create a walking path or raised walkway over 460 to the Civic Center. Maybe parking is the reason why the place wasn't packed.

Since I am in rant mode, I have another no-brainer. Valley View Mall is constantly adding stores, and currently following the City's lead by taking away parking, creating more tax revenue for the City. Why not go ahead and finish the entrance/exit at Best Buy? What the heck is going on here? That place is a mess. I like visiting the Valley View area, but I don't understand why that project never got finished.

It seems to me that the City needs to prioritize it's needs and start working on the traffic problem which exists in many places in Roanoke. I can think of many areas which are very congested; Colonial near Towers mall, 460 from 581 to the County line, Valley View Mall, Hershberger and Williamson, Several spots on Brandon Avenue, Avenham and Franklin, to name a few.

I am glad I had time to cool down since the parking incident. I know I don't hit on stuff like this much, but I just couldn't help myself. If you were wondering if the Circus was worth it, the answer is yes. The kids loved it.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Roanoke needs to hire a consultant, to tell them that people have to drive to get to events, once there they have to PARK!

Ms. Elenaeous said...

The Civic Center parking situation is horrendous. My husband and daughter attended a concert recently and I had them leave almost two hours before it started so that they wouldn't have to shuttle from anywhere. The geniuses who book the shows booked another event at the exact same time in the other forum. I see a potential problem with the plans they're touting for the rec area which would go at the Victory Stadium site...great ideas but absolutely no parking! What gives?

Anonymous said...

The Civic Center has always been a joke. I can remember graduating from HS and parents of friends not being able to park because there was a convention at the CC too. Roanoke City is constantly the butt of many jokes and they wonder why??? Here's another waste of money for you...the land near the City Shop that was supposed to be the "NEW" stadium. What a joke, Darlene and most of City Council need to be run out of town.

Anonymous said...

News flash, Roanoke City is doomed to dwindle unless Roanoke County and the City learn how to partner like Charlotte, NC and it's surrounding county division does. Otherwise, using US Census data, the county population of 88,172 in 2005 will increase to 90,729 by 2010 at it's current 2.9% growth rate. At the city's growth rate of -2.7%, the county will outnumber the city in 2010!

Folks in Roanoke City might benefit from a visit to Franklin County to learn how to effectively attract growth and guide it effectively. Franklin County with a population now of 50,000 is the fastest growing county in SW Virginia with a 5 year population growth of 6.5%. In fact, in the past 25 years, Franklin County has kept pace with Roanoke County on a per capita basis (each gaining about 15,000 people in the past quarter century). Since growth is so high in Franklin County, property tax remains extremely low at $0.52 per $100, which also accelerates growth. If you project current trends outward to the year 2090, Franklin County population will be 146,858; Roanoke County will be 143,348 and the city will have dwindled to 61,291. Obviously if this trend continues, our children's children won't have to bother with parking at the civic center because they'll all be driving to a massive Franklin County Coliseum with a parking spot for every seat in the house ;)

To be honest, I see Franklin County's growth rate doubling to about 12% within 10 years. That's going to be a big problem for Roanoke County because some of that growth is going to come from an exodus from both Roanoke City and Roanoke County.


Anonymous said...

The people in Franklin Co don't think that growth is a good thing. The only ones who like it is the newbies that moved from the city so they can say ain't, and act like they know someone that sells moonshine.
People who have lived there for generations can't even hunt without someone crying about poor Bambi and being afraid that they will shhot the yuppie next doors poodle, thats running loose.

Anonymous said...

Yeah you may be right? But the city seems to be geting more low income houseing and adding to the people on govt houseing. There will be more vacant building's and more fires cause of that. The strain on ems service will increase! Seem like job security to me?

Anonymous said...

Yawl spinnin da time on dis blawug wurrin 'bout othus dey no good wurrin doe fur de time is goiyn tell hah da sweet Lord uhbove is goiyn wurk tings auwt.

Anonymous said...

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Sean said...

"People who have lived there for generations can't even hunt without someone crying about poor Bambi"

You should stop talking out of your arse; that way you'd make more sense. Everyone wants the doors to paradise locked once they arrive, even the "natives". I'm a newbie. I own 74 acres in Franklin County (so far), and I hate to rain on your blanket statement but I have four hunters I let hunt on my land (and noone else, that's just good management). Anyone else gets the stink face from four guys with high powered rifles. And I don't have poodles. I hate poodles. 99% of the folks moving to FC hate them too in case you haven't noticed, on account that it's impossible to find one around here. If you really are a hunter whose family has lived here for generations, then by god, you should own enough land of your own to hunt on by now! If not, it's too late to cry about it. Two centuries of freeloading on someone elses land is quite long enough dontcha think? If you find posted land, all you need to do is ask for written permission. You'd be shocked how easy it is to get written permission if you're polite and respectful; even when they say no thanks. It's their damn land after all, and their right as landowners. Owning your own land. What a novel concept.


Anonymous said...