Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission News
Celebrating 50 Years of Regional Service
Regional Commission Through the Years
The Cities of Roanoke and Salem, Roanoke County and the Town of Vinton agreed to provide the first year of funding for a Greenway Coordinator to be housed in the Fifth PDC office. Staff also provided assistance in the preparation of the Roanoke Valley Conceptual Greenway Plan.
RIDE Solutions and FloydFest Partner on Carpool Program
This Earth Day, the organizers of FloydFest and RIDE Solutions announced a new program encouraging attendees of the annual music festival to take miles off the road and reduce the need for parking at the festival site by carpooling to the show this July.

Floydfest draws guests from within the region, the Commonwealth, and beyond – and all those miles can add up. Not only would carpooling reduce traffic and parking demand, if just a fraction of the event’s 13,500+ attendees share a ride the impact on the region’s air quality and greenhouse gas emissions could be significant.

The program will utilize the new RIDE Solutions app and instant rideshare matching system available on all mobile devices and at The app ties into a national database, allowing potential carpoolers to find each other no matter where they live, and even to find partners along their route. Users can easily find and communicate with potential carpool partners through an simple map-based interface and in-app messaging.

FloydFest is adding even more incentives to encourage ticketholders to find carpool partners with a random drawing for a 5-day GA pass to the show this summer. Everyone who downloads the app (and adds FloydFest as their “Organization”) between now and June 1, 2019, will automatically be entered to win (1) 5-Day GA ticket to FloydFest 19~Voyage Home! To boot, everyone who uses the app and logs a trip to FloydFest 19 will automatically be entered to win (1) 5-Day GA ticket to FloydFest 2020! Visit for more info on FloydFest 19~Voyage Home.

The project represents RIDE Solutions’ first attempt to address the unique challenges of event-based ridematching. Using their new app, RIDE Solutions hopes to work with event organizers and venues to provide a robust and free carpool matching service that can help address parking issues and reduce traffic throughout its service area.

For more information on the FloydFest carpool matching program, visit
Regional Commission Hosts Vanpool 101 Workshop for Region
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) hosted the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and AECOM for a “Vanpool 101” workshop. The workshop was attended by transportation and transit professionals from New River Valley, Roanoke Valley, and Central Virginia. All three regions are included in the RIDE Solutions program.

Attendees learned about the basic requirements of running a vanpool program including elements such as innovative partnerships, employer involvement, and guaranteed ride home programs. According to Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Executive Director Wayne Strickland, “Vanpooling will be a great asset to our entire region but will be especially beneficial to the rural areas that lack public transportation options.”

Vanpools are a group of commuters who share a ride to and from work in a shared 7-15 passenger vehicle. Vanpools are similar to a carpool, but on a larger scale with concurrent savings in fuel and vehicle operating costs. Currently, hundreds of vanpools travel within the Richmond and Hampton Roads regions, which helps reduce congestion, improve air quality, and provides mobility options for commuters.  

DRPT is dedicated to both increasing the number of vanpools operating in Virginia and increasing the overall ridership of vanpools throughout Virginia. They have recently hired AECOM to explore expansion of vanpooling in other areas of Virginia through partnerships with commuter assistance programs like RIDE Solutions.

For more information on vanpooling, visit
Hazard Mitigation Plan Update
The draft Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Hazard Mitigation Plan is available for public comment. The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires that local governments, as a condition of receiving federal disaster mitigation funds, have a mitigation plan that describes the process for identifying hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities, identifies and prioritizes mitigation actions, encourages local hazard mitigation actions, and provides technical support for those efforts.

While the plan does not establish any legal requirements for the localities, it does provide a framework for natural hazard mitigation planning.The plan identifies hazards, establishes community goals/objectives, mitigation activities that are appropriate for the region, and addresses multiple hazards including flooding, severe weather, geologic hazards, and wildfires.

The planning area for the Hazard Mitigation Plan includes the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke; the cities of Covington, Roanoke and Salem; and the towns of Buchanan, Clifton Forge, Fincastle, Iron Gate, New Castle, Troutville, and Vinton. These are the same localities that participated in the 2006 and 2013 plans. 

More information about the plan is available at
RVTPO Policy Board approves procedures to allocate >$5M/year and related FY20-25 funding plan for regional surface transportation projects
Since 2013, the RVTPO Policy Board has directly allocated over $56M to key regional transportation projects. Funds have been spent primarily to promote non-motorized transportation through greenway construction (41%), upgrade vehicles in Valley Metro’s fleet (25%), and improve roads (22%). The updated Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Project Development and Selection Procedures will guide the projects eligible for funding, the entities the can apply, and the application and selection process. As of April 25, 2019 – here is the funding plan for the next six years.
Virginia Begins 2019 Ozone Season Forecasts
As warm weather returns to Virginia, so too does the start of ozone season. Ground-level ozone forms when motor vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, solvents and other chemicals react with high temperatures and sunlight. Ozone pollution poses an especially serious risk to children, seniors, and those with lung diseases like asthma and bronchitis. 
To help Virginians stay safe, DEQ issues ozone air quality forecasts from April 15 through September. Forecasts will be issued each weekday by 3:10pm EDT for Roanoke, Hampton Roads, Winchester and Richmond through late September. Forecasts use the Environmental Protection Agency’s color-coded air quality system called the Air Quality Index, or AQI.
When the forecast predicts an AQI of orange or red, i.e. levels unhealthy for sensitive people, DEQ issues a Health Alert for that region of Virginia. Sensitive people may include active children and adults, and people with cardiac or respiratory conditions such as asthma or emphysema.
To sign up for daily forecasts and healthy alerts, or to learn how you can reduce air pollution, visit DEQ’s air quality  forecast  page. Northern Virginia air quality forecasts are sent out from Clean Air Partners through  EnviroFlash . Air quality forecasts and the current AQI are always available on the DEQ  website  and through the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow  we bsite .
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.

  • Alleghany County Wrightsville Neighborhood CDBG Planning Grant
  • Alleghany Highlands Broadband Planning Effort
  • Gravel Trail Mapping for Franklin County
  • Greenway Support
  • Local Food Plan
  • Rural Bikeway Plan
  • Rural Transit Study
  • Summit View Trails Plan
  • Total Action for Progress Economic Impact Analysis
  • Urban Forestry Council
  • Working with local governments, tourism organizations, and the private sector on a promotional campaign for the Roanoke River Blueway
  • 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 .