Regional Commission News April 2018
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Regional Commission to work with DEQ on Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement
Commission staff will work with localities, the Virginia Dept of Health, Virginia Dept of Environmental Quality, and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts to identify implementation strategies for improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, as well as identifying regulatory hurdles and other issues which may restrict locality flexibility and capacity to create lasting change in the watershed.

RIDE Solutions Offers Social Ride Series in May & June
Discover Roanoke’s secrets, experience its history, and meet friends while learning the best bicycling practices (developed by the League of American Bicyclists).

The Social Ride Series features a different bicycle route every Thursday, 4:00 – 7:00 pm, April through June, for bicyclists comfortable on the greenways and ready to learn how to bike on roads with low traffic with trained ride leaders.

You must have a bicycle, lights, a spare tube, and water. Dress for the weather. These rides are suitable for hybrid or mountain bikes with gears. Registration available.

For more information, visit: www.ridesolutions.org/social-rides
Roanoke River Blueway Brochure Coming Soon!

The Regional Commission continues to work on behalf of Roanoke County, Town of Vinton, and the Cities of Roanoke and Salem to coordinate promotion of the Roanoke River Blueway.

We are happy to announce that brochures will soon be available in Visitor’s Centers with information about how to enjoy our valley’s premier waterway.

For more information, please visit www.RoanokeRiverBlueway.org .
Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation Awarded Brownfield Assessment Grant
EPA has selected the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation for a brownfields assessment coalition grant in the amounts of $366,000 for hazardous substances and $234,000 for petroleum sites. Community-wide hazardous substances grant funds will be used to conduct 12 Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments. Community-wide petroleum grant funds will be used to conduct eight Phase I and three Phase II environmental site assessments.

Grant funds of both types will be used to prepare reuse plans, create a brownfields inventory, prioritize sites, and conduct community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the four locations within the coalition partner locations of Alleghany County, the Towns of Clifton Forge and Iron Gate, and the City of Covington.

Contact Marla Akridge, Executive Director, Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation at marla@ahedc.com for more information.
Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions Expands Outside Roanoke City
On April 23rd, RIDE Solutions, a program of the Regional Commission, launched the first bike share station outside of the City of Roanoke. With this station, the system has expanded to 15 stations and 84 bikes.

The new station is located in Vinton at the Farmer's Market and we hope it will "Connect downtown Vinton and all the great stuff that's happening here, into the broader [bikeshare] network" said program director, Jeremy Holmes.

Mayor Bradley Grose stated that, "it adds to the cool factor" of Vinton and hopes it will draw people in that may not have visited before.

For future expansions, Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions intends to extend services into the City of Salem, Franklin County and more places throughout Roanoke County.

For more information on the bike share program and future expansion plans, visit: www.ridesolutions.org/bikeshare
Transportation Technical Committee Selects Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee Members
The Transportation Technical Committee selected ten members from 25 applicants for the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee to join eight locality staff-members.

The purpose of the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee is to facilitate regional collaboration with diverse stakeholders in planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in the Roanoke Valley.

Contact Rachel at rruhlen@rvarc.org or (540) 343-4417 for more information.
Ongoing Projects
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is always working with localities on projects that benefit the region. Some of these projects are listed below.

  • Craig County Comprehensive Plan Update
  • Alleghany County Wrightsville Neighborhood CDBG Planning Grant
  • Alleghany Highlands Broadband Planning Effort
  • Rural Transit Study
  • Stormwater Assistance
  • Vinton Zoning Assistance
  • Working with Franklin County on "Aging in Place" issues
  • Working with local governments, tourism organizations, and the private sector on a promotional campaign for the Roanoke River Blueway
  • Assisting the Greenway Commission on completing an update of the Regional Greenway Plan
  • Working with the regional local foods partners to examine "Food Hub" needs in the region

For more information on ongoing projects contact  Tim Pohlad-Thomas   or visit  RVARC.org .