The latest on the programs and projects of
the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.
Around the Region
 May 2018
National Bike Month Activities Throughout the Area


May is  National Bike Month , an annual celebration to increase awareness and participation in bicycling as a healthy, economic, and sustainable transportation option. The CSPDC, along with its Bike the Valley and Rideshare Programs, are assisting the City of Staunton and Harrisonburg's Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition with events and activities on Bike to Work Day, May 18th. The   Staunton Bike/Walk to Work Commuter Breakfast  will be held downtown at the Wharf parking lot from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.   Harrisonburg's event  will be at Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Both events are free!

Visit  Bike the Valley and  Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition for updates on activities being held throughout May in addition to Bike to Work Day, including: Ice Cream Ride, Glowstick Ride on the Bluestone Trail, the Bike, Run, Sweat and Beers Ride, and the annual Ride of Silence. For more information on Staunton and Harrisonburg's Bike/Walk to Work Day events and the CSPDC's regional bicycle and pedestrian program, contact Ann Cundy ann@cspdc.org.
Senator Warner Presented VAPDC Legislator of the Year Award

Earlier this month, CSPDC Director, Bonnie Riedesel, presented U.S. Senator Mark Warner with the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) Legislator of the Year Award . VAPDC created this award to honor legislators who serve as ambassadors for the advancement of regional planning and multijurisdictional cooperation for economic and community development in Virginia. The 2018 award was the sixth annual Legislator of the Year award, and past recipients have included Virginia Senator Frank M. Ruff and Delegate Steve Landes.

Senator Warner was in the region to meet with farmers and other agricultural businesses to discuss issues affecting these industries. He expressed his appreciation for the contributions and collaborative work that PDCs do across the Commonwealth.
Chesapeake Bay WIP III Begins

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has begun phase III of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP III). The State is required to submit a draft plan to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in March 2019 that will ensure pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay are in place no later than 2025.
 
DEQ has contracted with the CSPDC (and 14 other PDCs across the state) to assist the Non-MS4 localities in the region with refining and identifying Best Management Practices (BMPs) and programmatic actions, at regional levels, that will meet local area planning goals for the WIP. Our process will begin in June 2018 and wrap-up in December 2018.
 
A parallel process with the agricultural community will be taking place with services and technical assistance provided by the Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
 
For more information on this project and next steps please contact Liza Vick (540-885-5174), regional planner, at the CSPDC.
TAP Grants Announced

On May 3, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) shared its draft FY 2019 Six-Year Improvement Program with the region. The draft plan includes two years' worth of project awards through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which funds bicycle, pedestrian, and Safe Routes to School projects. Eleven (11) TAP and Highway Safety Improvement Program applications submitted by CSPDC member jurisdictions were awarded during this funding round. Congratulations to our local partners on a diverse set of projects totaling almost $2.5 million to expand local and regional non-motorized networks! View the draft Six-Year Improvement Program project list for the Staunton District   here.
BRITE Bus Awarded Safety Grant

BRITE has been awarded a $30,000 state demonstration grant to outfit three of the BRITE buses with pedestrian collision avoidance systems. These Drivers Assistance Systems are a low level of vehicle automation and serve to improve safety and performance of vehicles. The purpose of the project is to identify whether the installation of such systems results in a reduction of incidents or near-misses, and/or savings in fuel use or maintenance costs.
Pedestrian collision avoidance systems are expected to improve safety by providing alerts and assistance to bus drivers and reduce wear and tear on vehicles by encouraging more predictable bus movements.

The project will be monitored by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the Virginia Transportation Research Council.
Bike the Valley Rebrand
 
CSPDC staff have been working on a rebranding of our Bike the Valley program through a Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage grant. We have developed a new logo, tagline, rack card, print ad, and popup banner for the program, and are in the process of creating a new WordPress website for the program. The new website will be mobile responsive and will ultimately feature new information about trip planning, mountain biking, gravel road routes, as well as the classic road rides. Bike the Valley is a resource for local cyclists and visitors looking for cycling adventures in the Valley.
GO Virginia Announces Next Round of Proposals

The GO Virginia Region 8 Council is now accepting proposals for projects to be funded through the Commonwealth's GO Virginia initiative to grow and diversify regional economies. GO Virginia is an initiative by Virginia's senior business leaders to foster private-sector growth and job creation through state incentives for regional collaboration by business, education, and government. The Region 8 Council has approximately $828,000 in per capita GO Virginia funds to award for collaborative projects that involve two or more localities and a private sector partner. Projects should be focused on the targeted industries and eligible activities identified in  Region 8's Growth and Diversification Plan . In addition to the per capita funds, approximately $11.3 million in competitive statewide GO Virginia funds are also available for projects where two or more GO Virginia regions partner.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the project application guide available on the  Shenandoah Valley Partnership website prior to completing an application. The upcoming application deadlines are June 1, 2018, for per capita and competitive applications, and August 3, 2018, for per capita applications.
 
Click here for Region 8 Application Process Infographic.  
Farm to Fork Fondo 
Farm to Fork Fondo is coming to the Shenandoah Valley, May 19-20. This non-competitive bicycling event is organized for riders to choose the distance best for them, from 10 to 100 miles, and includes several on-farm aid stations where participants sample chef-prepared treats made from each farm's ingredients. Its mission is to highlight and support the symbiotic relationship between cyclists, farmers, and beautiful landscapes. There are currently Farm to Fork Fondo rides in eight locations throughout the Northeast, expanding into Virginia for the first time this year at Belle Grove Plantation with stops at several Fields of Gold Farm Trail members -  Woodstock Brewhouse North Mountain Vineyard , and  Route 11 Potato Chips . More information and registration is available on their  website .
Opportunity Zones Nominated

Governor Northam has announced the nomination of 212 Opportunity Zones   to the U.S. Department of Treasury for inclusion in a new federal tax tool that targets low-income Census tracts and provides an incentive for investment in those Census tracts. Virginia's Opportunity Zones are already areas of significant effort and focus at the state and local level, and these zone nominations are intended to attract additional private investments.  Ten tracts within the CSPDC region were nominated.
VAPDC and VAMPO Host Joint Workshop on June 8


The Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC) and the Virginia Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (VAMPO) will host a joint training conference on Friday, June 8, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The training conference will bring in state and federal speakers to discuss several planning topics including transportation and bike-ped planning, broadband opportunities, housing programs, and Title VI/Civil Rights training. To view a copy of the agenda and to register for the workshop, please click here .
New Monthly Resiliency Digest Available

CSPDC's Shenandoah Valley Project Impact has developed a new monthly e-newsletter with timely tips for being ready before, during, and after emergencies. Succinct and informative, the Resiliency Digest highlights events and resources that can help you protect yourself, loved ones, business, and community.  Take a look at the   May issue and subscribe today.
Staunton Completes Paver Project

The City of Staunton received grant funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for a project to install 4,000 square feet of permeable pavers in the downtown Wharf parking lot. The CSPDC assisted the City of Staunton by completing the Davis Bacon Labor Standards requirements as a part of the grant, and the contract was awarded to and completed by Moffett Paving & Excavating Corp. of Staunton.

"The pavers are designed to store runoff, reducing the volume of runoff from the parking area and the negative impact of runoff on our streams, lakes and the Chesapeake Bay," said Nickie Mills, the City's engineer. "They will also provide an aesthetic benefit as they will extend the traditional brick paver look into the parking area of the Wharf lot."
Wellhead Protection Implementation Grant Program Announced

The FY 2019 Wellhead Protection Implementation Grant Request for Applications has been posted to eVa with an application deadline of June 1, 2018. Those eligible for funds include localities or municipalities owning or operating a groundwater-based community water system(s) with a protection "Strategy In Place" and an active 'Source Water Protection Committee'. Please contact the CSPDC for more information on grant writing assistance.
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