Q: Behind the Roanoke Times is the neighborhood of Gainsboro. If you take 2nd Street across the bridge to the other side of the tracks, you are then in Northwest [Roanoke]. The sign in the median strip says welcome to Gainsboro, Southwest. What’s going on? Is the sign wrong? Gainsboro is in NW, not SW, right?
Harold Bowman, Glenvar Heights
A: Harold, you are correct that Gainsboro is in mostly in northwest Roanoke, but the sign actually says, “Welcome to Gainsborough Southwest Neighborhood,” and it IS in the SW part of that neighborhood and was placed there by the Gainsborough Southwest Community Organization, so it’s exactly the way they intended it to be. (Gainsboro is split between northwest and northeast, with the part of it on the East side of Jefferson solidly in the northeast quadrant.)
If you’re curious about the group, you can learn more here: (http://roanokeva.gov/85256A8D0062AF37/CurrentBaseLink/N26JBRY2031RLAREN) I’m unsure why this group spells Gainsboro differently then the city does, but that’s another story.
But to me, it begs an even more interesting question, so I’m going to assume you actually asked, “Just how is this city divided up, anyway?”
Warning: this column is about to go off on a major tangent.
As a 28 year resident of this fine community, I thought I knew how the city was divided, but once I started doing a little research and talking to friends, I found out I had it all wrong. It turns out that lots of people have all kinds of ideas of where the lines between Southeast, Northeast, Southwest and Northwest Roanoke are.
Read more and look at a really cool map!