Saturday, March 10, 2012

In Roanoke, the People Speak, but Is Anybody Listening?

Roanoke City Market Building.
I got this e-mail from Spectrum Design's John Garland this morning:

A news article today "reported on ideas submitted to  The most popular ideas included:
  • “Pedestrian only plaza in downtown Roanoke.”  We designed a pedestrian only plaza for Downtown Roanoke Incorporated in front of Center in the Square that got no traction with our City Council.
  • “Rooftop dining over the Roanoke City Market Building.”  We proposed that to the city when we were first hired to perform a conditions study for the City Market Building that was promptly discounted, and we again proposed this as an idea when we interviewed for the Market Building renovation project, which we lost to the D.C. firm.
  • “Closing Market Street to vehicles in favor of foot traffic.” Again we recommended this on different occasions.We recommended the rooftop dining at the Market Building and also when we were developing plans for Center in the Square.
"I guess really good ideas take time to incubate?"

This continues to emphasize just how wrong the city was when it selected an out-of-town (out-of-state) firm to renovate one of the city's icon structures, the City Market Building, which looks like a warehouse these days. The people are speaking (again). I hope somebody's listening.


  1. Ever since Bern Ewert left, City leaders have, sadly, been followers with less than desirable guidance.
    I'm looking for Chris Morrill to spark a new era.

  2. I have been participating in the Envision Roanoke site for a few months and have found it both inspiring as a Roanoker and informative as a City Council candidate. I firmly believe in investing in Roanoke by utilizing the architectural, artistic and design talent that we already have in our city. Why should we pay for projects intended to draw business to the city by hiring business from without?

    I agree with you that the public's opinion has not been given the weight that it deserves in the development of the city--I believe in moving forward with development by bringing all of the stakeholders to the table and ensuring that everyone's voice is heard so that the council can best represent Roanoke City residents--and so they can be held accountable when decisions are made that do not represent our interests.

    I hope you'll visit my website to learn more about my candidacy here: Brandon4Roanoke.Com

    And, if you find that you can support me, visit: to get updates on events, forums, see responses to citizen's questions and more.