Greenway System Grows – In Vinton This Time

Dignitaries cut the ribbon on the new section of the Glade Creek Greenway.

Phase One of the Glade Creek Greenway that begins in Vinton is now a reality. The 2000’ long linear trail starts at Walnut Avenue in Vinton and runs to Virginia Avenue (Dale Avenue in Southeast Roanoke), where via a sidewalk runners, walkers and bikers can connect to the Tinker Creek Greenway.

From there they can go on to the Roanoke River Greenway after taking a few side streets near the 13th Street water treatment plant. “[Then] you’ve got 8 and a half miles in the city and they are going to construction right now on their next piece,” said greenways coordinator Liz Belcher at a recent ribbon cutting.

Belcher also said the last bits of funding and right-of-way issues are being ironed out, along with the engineering and final construction. “Hopefully all of that will be finished in the next four years.”

The 2007 update to the greenway plan focused first on the Roanoke River Greenway said Belcher, then on “multiple connections” north and south – including “neighborhood connections. Glade Creek was a number two priority for that specific reason.” Funding for sidewalk connections and bike lanes that pedestrians can use to reach the greenway system is another imperative, she said.

Vinton Mayor Brad Grose said it was “really important” to have a connection from near downtown Vinton to the Roanoke River Greenway and that is now a reality with Phase One of the Glade Creek Greenway. “It’s really a great thing for our citizens and everyone can use it.”

Grose also singled out the multiple organizations that came together to make the new greenway a reality. “A lot of hard work and dedicated people helped make this happen.”  He added that several government entities and landowners who gave up easements were at the top of that list.

The mayor also likes that greenway system users can also head into Vinton – perhaps stopping off in the downtown corridor for refreshments. “There is a certain economic development aspect,” noted Grose.

Phases II and III of the Glade Creek Greenway project will connect to the new apartment complex going in at the old William Byrd High School, then on to the terminus at Vinyard Park in Roanoke County.

Gene Marrano