Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission News
Celebrating 50 Years of Regional Service
Regional Commission Through the Years
Regional Commission Staff completed the region-wide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission and New River Valley Regional Commission Host Joint Transportation Social
The Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission hosted this year’s Multi-region Alternative Transportation Social in Stonebridge Park. The Social is an annual event held between the Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission and the New River Valley Regional Commission to share ideas and information about alternative transportation projects – anything to do with cycling, walking, or taking public transit. Close to fifty people attended this year!

This year’s event was held at Stonebridge Park, located in Roanoke County. We thank Roanoke County for their generous use of the facility, and also thank the Town of Vinton for help with identifying a good site for our event. Stonebridge Park offers ready access to the Wolf Creek Greenway, one of the oldest greenways in the Roanoke Valley. Greenways offer a valuable bicycle and pedestrian resource in our Valley, and we were happy to showcase this facility to our New River neighbors.

We had several exciting topics for discussion this year. Presenters gave valuable updates on Virginia Tech’s new e-scooter program; the RideShare App created by RideSolutions; changes to transit systems in the Roanoke Valley; transit planning in Radford; the New River Valley Bikeway, Walkway, and Blueway plan update; and on-road site visits conducted by the Roanoke Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to survey accessibility of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in our area. These robust and varied presentations helped staff to make new connections between projects and to share opportunities and hurdles they have encountered in developing their programs. 

Next year, it’s New River Valley’s turn to host. We can’t wait to see what exciting new topics we’ll have to share. Thanks to everyone who came out!
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Approved
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, in conjunction with its member localities and the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Committee, has developed a Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan identifies hazards, evaluates risks, and establishes community goals and objectives and mitigation activities that are appropriate for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany region. The 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 previous 2006 and 2013 plans. 

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan has been approved by both the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The plan approval is pending adoption resolutions from the participating jurisdictions. Local governments must have an approved hazard mitigation plan in order access state and federal hazard mitigation grant funds. 

Persons wishing to review the plan may access it on the Regional Commission’s website at For more information on the plan, contact Director of Community Development Programs at
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Phase III Released
Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler formally released the final Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement Plan for the Commonwealth of Virginia this month. More than 4,800 comments were received on this document. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed includes parts of Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke Counties, Alleghany County, the Town of Clifton Forge, and the City of Covington. For more information about the Phase III WIP, you can view the Department of Environmental Quality’s website
RVTPO Re-prioritizes Transportation Investments in Long-Range Plan
On August 22, 2019, the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) amended its long-range multimodal transportation plan, “Vision 2040: Roanoke Valley Transportation” to include new priority projects that have received funding, new priority projects to pursue in upcoming grant cycles, and accurately reflect >10% cost increases for current projects. In total, the RVTPO anticipates having $458M available between 2016-2040 to improve the region’s transportation system and accomplish the 93 priority constrained list projects. In addition, the RVTPO hopes to identify more than $1.6B for 82 vision list projects for which half of the funds would be to improve I-81.  The new plan can be found on
Work by the I-81 Advisory Committee Begins
The I-81 Advisory Committee held its first meeting on August 13 and elected Delegate Terry Austin as its chair and Senator Bill Carrico as Vice Chair. The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is represented by Mr. Bill Bestpitch. At the first meeting, the Committee began discussing project prioritization and financing. As the Committee progresses, more information about its activities can be found via
RVTPO Endorses Three Applications for the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Block Grant Program
At their August 22 meeting, the RVTPO Policy Board endorsed three applications from member localities for the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Block Grant Program (TA). The project applications endorsed are:
Project endorsement from the RVTPO is a requirement for submission by all localities in the Urbanized Area. The application deadline is October 1.

In February 2020, the Policy Board will make its Fiscal Year 2021 and 2022 allocation of TA funds (approximately $520,000).
JobsEQ® Releases Top Growing Occupations for the Second Quarter of 2019
The charts above shows the largest growing occupations over the last 5 years for the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Alleghany Highlands. The fastest growing occupations were in Personal Care and Service, which includes over a dozen occupations like barbers, childcare workers, recreation workers and morticians. Healthcare occupations in the MSA, a large section of the economy, also grew at a modest rate. Growth in the Alleghany Highlands was more limited with only eight occupation groups showing growth over the last 5 years. For more information, visit: JobsEQ®
RVTPO Approves Amendment to Transportation Improvement Program
At their August 22 meeting, the RVTPO Policy Board held a public hearing and subsequently approved Amendment #3 to the Fiscal Year 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This amendment consisted of multiple projects which have received federal funding in the last year, and which were adopted in both the VDOT and Department of Rail and Public Transportation Fiscal Year 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Programs.

During the required public comment period, prior to the RVTPO public hearing, Regional Commission staff developed and administered a survey seeking the level of importance of these projects. There were 41 respondents and several specific comments received, which showed overwhelming support for the projects.

The new projects represented a variety of highway, safety, bike/ped, and transit projects, and are as follows:
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.

  • Greenway Support
  • Local Food Plan
  • Rural Bikeway Plan
  • 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 .