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Can we get rid of traffic?

By David Kaplan, dkaplan@wdbj7.com
Published On: Nov 08 2013 04:05:28 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 08 2013 08:13:16 PM EST

It's tough to outsmart traffic, but that's exactly what the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is trying to do.    

ROANOKE, Va. -

Officially, it's called "Roanoke's Regional Congestion Management Plan."

Unofficially, it's one group's goal to completely get rid of traffic congestion in the Roanoke Valley.

It's tough to outsmart traffic, but that's exactly what the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is trying to do.   

Over the past three years, the group has isolated and studied the ten busiest intersections in the entire Roanoke Valley.

They've surveyed drivers, used mapping software to look at traffic patterns and problems and gone out to take pictures of the intersections.

With this data, the Commission hopes to work closely with localities to create smarter, more efficient intersections.

Whether it's physical changes like widening a road, or technological enhancements like change the timing on traffic lights; the long-term hope is to create the best traffic flow at the lowest cost.

"Therefore in 20 years from now, when people say we don't have traffic congestion, maybe it goes unsung, but we're successful," Mark McCaskill said.

Roanoke is growing.

The 2010 U.S. Census has the population of the urban parts of the Roanoke Valley above 200,000.

By law, that meant localities had to do these long-term traffic studies; the commission went a step further to figure out long-term solutions.

So which intersections are the busiest?

  1. Elm Avenue and 581 (Roanoke City)
  2. Hollins Road and Plantation Road (Roanoke County)
  3. Brambleton Avenue and Electric Road (Roanoke County)
  4. Electric Road at Tanglewood Mall (Roanoke City/County)
  5. Route 24 Interchange (Vinton)
  6. Apperson Drive and Electric Road (Salem)
  7. East Main Street and Electric Road (Salem)
  8. Orange Avenue between 581 and Bonsack (Roanoke City/Botetourt County)
  9. Exit 150 off Interstate 81 (Botetourt County)
  10. Grandin Road and Brandon Avenue (Roanoke City)