Blacksburg's Main Street To Get A Facelift

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Townside

The Blacksburg Town Council unanimously approved major changes to a 1/2 mile stretch of North Main Street (460-Business) here in Blacksburg, including additional turn lanes and a two-lane roundabout at Main and Price's Fork. 

It's been discussed before here, here and here

Is this a benefit to the long-term viability of Main Street businesses in Blacksburg, or a short-sighted reaction to Virginia Tech's expansion?

Download vt_construction_narrative.pdf here.

Comments (4)

Paul. E.

This is absolutely a long-term approach to Blacksburg's traffic issues. I have lived in several similar sized communities,

and a few much larger, that employ this type of traffic management and it works brilliantly. Yes, it is a new concept for

the local area, but it has been proven again and again to calm traffic, ease congestion, offer pedestrian friendly landscaped

traffic management. The town definitely needs to see this through to completion.

Sep 26, 2008 07:52 AM
Jeremy Hart
Coldwell Banker Townside - Blacksburg, VA

Paul E., thanks for the note.  In your experience, is there a downside to this kind of traffic management plan?

Sep 26, 2008 08:01 AM
Paul E.

I've seen it used very effectively in Princeton, NJ - a booming university city; as well as several communities in Upstate New York.

When people express concerns over the circles you find in place like Paris, they are a completely different animal - typically 8 or 9 lanes

of vehicle traffic on major roads - the limitations of size, land, and scale of what is proposed on Main Street makes it very comparable

to the small scale circles I've experienced.


I think the vehicle and/or pedestrian incident rates in them is profoundly lower than traditional signaled intersections, and the amount

of stagnant traffic build up reduces significantly since there is a great reduction in 'stopped' time. They also provide for great landscaping

and pedestrian details - turning a hard working intersection into more of a parklike atmosphere. As for Cooks Clean center - I hope they can

figure out how to maintain the design and pedestrian function while allowing for Cook's to not suffer. 


As for the construction, yes it is messy and can be temporarily inconvenient, but unless you plan out for a 10 or 15 year period, you

really aren't doing anyone any good.


Yes, this is a 'new' thing in Blacksburg, but I recall other times when people were very skeptical and now, they find that the improvements

really do benefit the community.

Sep 27, 2008 03:40 AM
Jeremy Hart
Coldwell Banker Townside - Blacksburg, VA

Great thoughts Paul, thanks for the insight.  I can imagine some thinking of the large-scale roundabouts you've mentioned in Europe, and that's certainly not the case.  I can see the argument FOR the roundabouts, although I still am a bit skeptical given the trouble people seem to be having with the one that's on campus at Washington and West Campus.

Nevertheless, it's coming.  The impact felt to Main Street businesses is an important consideration ...

Sep 27, 2008 03:53 AM