What the heck is going on downtown?

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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.

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