Regional Commission News August 2018
2018 Regional Leadership Trip – Destination Winston-Salem, NC
The Coalition for Economic Development held its first Regional Leadership Trip in 1997. Since that time, public and private sector leaders have had an opportunity to visit other regions to see how these regions approached various issues of concern or were able to capitalize on opportunities to improve the quality of life for their citizens. Over the last two decades, Roanoke’s leaders have visited places such as Chattanooga, TN; Portland, Maine; Pittsburgh, PA and Greenville, TN. The 2018 Trip will be the 13th in a series of such events.
Business and government leaders are invited to participate in the 2018 Regional Leadership Trip to Winston-Salem, NC on October 28 -30. During the three days we will have an opportunity to see how the Winston-Salem area has transitioned from an industrial economy to a technology economy as described in the book – “From Tobacco to Technology: Reshaping Winston-Salem for the 21st Century” .
The preliminary itinerary includes a focus on innovation (the Innovation Quarter), regional collaboration, workforce development, and downtown renaissance with arts & culture.

More details about the Leadership Trip will be available in September.
VDOT Holds Roanoke Valley Transportation Safety Analysis Kick-Off Meeting
VDOT held a kick-off meeting on August 22, 2018 to launch the Roanoke Valley Transportation Safety Analysis. Planners, engineers, and law enforcement from RVTPO localities participated.

VDOT will identify locations that are more dangerous than expected given their traffic volume and prioritize them based on crash history and other characteristics. VDOT will also provide guidance on safety countermeasures which localities can apply after a deeper study of the prioritized locations.

The analysis will be concluded in the winter. This is not directly associated with a funding source, but the information will help localities design projects that are more competitive for state and federal funding.

For more information, contact Rachel Ruhlen at
Regional Commission Hazard Mitigation Plan Survey
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is conducting a comprehensive update of the existing hazard mitigation plan to assure region-wide safety and adequate preparation for the protection of the life and property of the citizens of the region. The proposed revision and update will assure that the changes in hazards and vulnerabilities within the region are identified and addressed by appropriate mitigation strategies. The current plan will be updated by means of a comprehensive review, evaluation and revision of all plan sections including the planning process, capability assessment, Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, vulnerability assessment, and the plan maintenance section. The previous version of the plan is available at 

The plan will cover the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke; cities of Covington, Roanoke and Salem; and the towns of Buchanan, Clifton Forge, Fincastle, Iron Gate, New Castle, Troutville and Vinton. Other partners in the plan update include the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, FEMA, Virginia Department of Forestry, and National Weather Service.

According to Eddie Wells, Director of Community Development, "This survey is designed to help gauge household preparedness for natural disasters and knowledge of methods to reduce risk and loss from natural hazards such as flooding, wildfires and tornados. The information you provide will help improve public/private coordination of preparedness and risk reduction activities."

The survey can be taken online at 

If you need additional accommodations to complete this survey, please contact Eddie Wells at or (540)-343-4417.
Commission Staff Apply for Regional Smart Scale Projects on Behalf of Localities 
On August 8th, applications were due for fiscal year 2020 SMART SCALE projects. Staff applied for four regional projects on behalf of localities in the Urbanized Area (RVTPO); two projects in the Rural Area (RVARC); developed four applications for the City of Covington; developed and submitted one application for the Town of Clifton Forge; and provided technical assistance to the Town of Vinton for one project. In the table linked below is a list of projects from all localities and agencies in the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany and RVTPO regions.

The projects are currently undergoing validation and scoring by VDOT and the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment. In January 2019, the Commonwealth Transportation Board will release its first scenario of projects proposed for SMART SCALE funding. Throughout this winter and next spring, there will be public comment and hearings on the proposed projects and their inclusion in the Six-Year Improvement Program, which will be adopted in June 2019.
RIDE Solutions Highlighted in Roanoke BizNews
RIDE Solutions, a program of the Regional Commission, was highlighted in this month's Roanoke BizNews.

The show highlighted the economic impact of Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions and the way it improves access to all of the great things Roanoke has to offer, for residents and visitors alike.

For more information on Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions, visit:
Commission Hosts Annual Salem Red Sox Get Together
On August 22, 2018, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission hosted their annual Salem Red Sox get together.

The event was attended by Commissioners, Commission staff members as well as family.

The Commission would like to express it's appreciation to the City of Salem for hosting us for another year.
In The News
Dr. Raymond Smoot Chosen for Rosen Slot on Commonwealth Transportation Board

On August 24th, Governor Ralph Northam appointed Dr. Ray Smoot, a business and education leader, to succeed Court Rosen on the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
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
  • 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 .