Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission News
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COVID-19 Dashboard
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission staff has prepared a COVID-19 dashboard to track regional cases and also includes demographics and mapping of vulnerable populations.

Included in the dashboard are unemployment claims, nursing home locations, and zip code COVID-19 data. COVID-19 cases and deaths are updated hourly from Johns Hopkins. To access the dashboard, click HERE.
Image captured 4/29/2021 at 10:00am
Regional Commission Partners with Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation on Historic Church Bicycle Tours
With group rides prohibited due to the pandemic, RIDE Solutions, the region’s commuter assistance program, developed several self-guided, themed, bicycle tours featuring everything from local foods to art to history. With sites and historic context from the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation, RIDE Solutions created four tours featuring 38 historic churches: Downtown Roanoke, Northeast Roanoke, Northwest Roanoke (all under ten miles), and a 37-mile Roanoke Valley Loop.
 
Many churches have a century or more of history with pastors that served for decades and were deeply involved in the community and the Civil Rights movement. Some of the buildings themselves have been the home of more than one church through the years and most congregations have moved a few times responding to changes in the size and locations of their congregations. Segregation and urban renewal impacted Black churches and white churches.
 
The tour routes bicyclists on greenways, bike lanes, and quiet neighborhood streets. Using the Ride with GPS app, bicyclists can follow the route and read a little about each church listed. A bicycle is an ideal way to explore the churches and experience the neighborhoods surrounding each church: fast enough to make the distance, slow enough to soak it in, and easy enough to stop and look.
Chesapeake Bay Program’s Bay Barometer Shows an Ecosystem in Recovery
The information released in the 2019-2020 Bay Barometer report shows that the Bay is still in recovery from short-term weather impacts and long-term water quality degradation from excess nutrients and sediment. The annual report gives an update on the progress being made toward the 10 goals and 31 outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Read the full report here.
RIDE Solutions Releases Video in Celebration of Earth Day 2021
In honor of Earth Day 2021, RIDE Solutions, Earth Day Roanoke, and Big Lick Entertainment hosted a virtual celebration with an engaging and entertaining selection of videos for local and national organizations.

The live video feed can be viewed here: Earth Day 2021: LIVE FEED

RIDE Solutions' video, "The Trip Not Taken", can also be viewed below.
RVTPO Endorses Transportation Needs Assessment
The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) is in the process of updating the Roanoke Valley’s Transportation Plan.  A new component of that plan is a Transportation Needs Assessment, which the RVTPO Policy Board endorsed at its April 2021 meeting. With an understanding of the current transportation needs in the region, the RVTPO is poised to prioritize those needs and begin identifying solutions to address them. The full plan update is expected to be completed by Fall 2022.
Applications Being Accepted For VEE’s James River Water Quality Improvement Program
The Virginia Environmental Endowment is currently accepting applications for its James River Water Quality Improvement Program. The program aims to fund projects focused on producing significant water quality benefits through on-the-ground investments and initiatives. Funding priorities include projects related to riparian buffer installations, agricultural conservation practices, and stream restorations.

Applications are due by June 15th. Visit the program’s page for more details.
Upcoming RVTPO Public Hearings
Upcoming Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization Public Hearings on May 27, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.:


  • Public Hearing on the Approval to increase Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funding for four transportation projects:
  • Increase committed funding by $3,083,069 towards the Roanoke River Greenway – Greenhill Park (Roanoke County) to Riverside Park (Salem) for a total commitment of $7,673,829.
  • Increase committed funding by $82,000 towards the Oak Grove Streetscape Improvements – Crosswalk for a total commitment of $218,748. 
  • Increase committed funding by $234,262 towards the Gus Nicks Boulevard Pedestrian/Bicycle Crossing for a total commitment of $403,912.
  • Increase committed funding by $336,110 towards the Walnut Avenue Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations (W. Lee Avenue to 1st Street) for a total commitment of $881,360.
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 Highlands Economic Impact of the Arts
  • Roanoke Valley Transportation Plan
  • Rural Long-Range Transportation Plan
  • City of Covington Downtown Revitalization Planning Grant Assistance
  • City of Roanoke Neighborhood Walk Project
  • City of Roanoke Pedestrian Safety Campaign
  • Promotion and access improvements for the Roanoke River Blueway
  • RVTPO Surface Transportation Block Grant Funding Program FY22-27/28
  • Botetourt County Community Mobility Design Challenge
  • Regional Study on Transportation Project Prioritization for Economic Development and Growth in the Roanoke Valley

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