Roanoke Police Cracking Down on Elm Avenue Traffic

Roanoke, VA - One of Roanoke's busiest intersections has been busier lately as law enforcement ticketed dozens of rush hour motorists for blocking intersections.

Already known as one of the bigger rush hour headaches in the Roanoke Valley, the 581 / Elm Avenue interchange has been getting an update for the past few months, making an already big problem worse according to many.

"Obviously it's a very well traveled corridor within the city and during rush hour time that problem is just exacerbated... especially with the construction going on. So it's sort of a no-brainer that this intersection needed some attention," said Captain Sam Roman of the Roanoke City Police Department.

Roanoke Police teamed up with state troopers to make a statement.

Police say one big problem is people blocking intersections; something they want stopped.

The problem is so bad that even as officers waved people in for a ticket, others immediately moved in to once again block the intersection.

Police insist this operation isn't so much about enforcement as it is education.

"It's not all about enforcement. We really want people to be aware of the traffic patterns, the signs, the pavement markings because the whole thing here is we want to maintain effective, efficient and safe flow of traffic," said Roman.

Police are making very visible examples during rush hour and on the evening news, trying to change a behavior that many have grown used to.

"All of us have our own pattern; our own system of doing things. Sometimes when a traffic pattern is altered it takes a little time to get used to it," said Roman.

Police say they will use these types of operations, as well as individual enforcement, as this construction project moves ahead.

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