Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission News
Celebrating 50 Years of Regional Service
Regional Commission Through the Years
1989
The 5th Planning District Commission purchased a 3-story office building and 17 space parking lot at 313 Luck Avenue in downtown Roanoke.
Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee Conducts Bike Walk Disability Audits of Regional Roads
The Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee has conducted six bike, walk, and disability audits of roads. Locality staff meet with committee members and walk, bike, or wheel a few blocks of a road, taking notes of issues they experience and chatting about possible solutions. Since October, the committee has audited:
  • Roanoke - Andrews Rd, Ferncliff Ave, Grandin Rd, and Jefferson St
  • Salem - Main St downtown
  • Vinton - Washington Ave and Gus Nicks Blvd

Locality staff have initiated repairs and incorporated suggestions into repaving projects and capital projects that were already funded.

RVTPO Brings Title VI Training to Roanoke
Metropolitan planning organizations like the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) that receive federal funds must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its related authorities. RVTPO worked with FHWA and VDOT to bring Mohamed Dumbuya, Title VI Coordinator and Civil Rights Program Manager for the Virginia Division of the Federal Highway Administration, to Roanoke to give a Title VI training to 23 people representing 12 agencies on February 27, 2019.

Title VI and its related authorities prohibit discrimination, intentional or unintentional, on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, and age. The related authorities protect minorities, people of low income, handicapped persons, and people with limited English proficiency and mandate fair and equitable treatment of persons displaced as a result of programs and projects receiving federal funds.
For the RVTPO, Title VI means:

  • Ensuring that all stakeholders have opportunity to comment on plans, programs, and projects,
  • Making sure that the benefits and burdens of plans, programs, and projects are shared equitably,
  • Documenting the methods of administration, and
  • Documenting Title VI data.

For more information contact Rachel Ruhlen at rruhlen@rvarc.org.
Regional Commission Hosts Vanpool 101 Workshop
On Monday, March 25th, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) hosted the Division of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and AECOM for a Vanpool 101 workshop. The workshop was attended by professionals from across multiple regions. 
 
Vanpools are a group of commuters that 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. As vanpool begins to grow throughout the state, DRPT has been working with AECOM to explore options for implementation through Transportation Demand Management (TDM) agencies like RIDE Solutions. 

Throughout the workshop, attendees learned about the basic requirements of running a vanpool program. Participants were presented elements that lead to successful vanpool programs such as; innovative partnerships, employer involvement, and a guaranteed ride home program.  

During the presentation, implementation strategies were presented for the three major regions covered by the RIDE Solutions program; New River Valley, Roanoke Valley, and Central Virginia.

For more information, contact Tim Pohlad-Thomas at timpohladthomas@rvarc.org.
Governor Northam Announces Amendments to I-81 Legislation
Governor Ralph Northam today announced amendments to Senate Bill 1716 and House Bill 2718, legislation passed by the General Assembly providing $151 million in dedicated funding for the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan. The amendments would ensure that the $2 billion program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) in December 2018 is implemented, while also generating critical revenue for interstates across the Commonwealth.

The amendments create equity in transportation funding by bringing Virginia’s truck registration fees, and diesel and road tax rates more in line with those of the other states along the 855-mile I-81 corridor. The funding mechanisms also include a 2.1 percent increase in the regional motor fuels tax along the I-81 corridor, ensuring all users contribute to funding I-81. 

These amendments establish dedicated funding for I-81 and Virginia’s other interstates, including I-95, I-64, and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA). While $151 million will be invested in I-81, I-95 will receive $40 million, I-64 will receive $28 million, $20 million will go to the NVTA, and $43 million is reserved for investment in other interstates as prioritized by the CTB.

“This year I worked closely with Democratic and Republican legislators to reach a long-term agreement that would address the critical safety and reliability issues along the I-81 corridor and make historic investments in the economic competitiveness of this vital region of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “We can’t wait another year to find a solution—I am pleased to offer amendments that will establish dedicated funding sources to support improvements that will lead to a major reduction in crashes and travel delays.”

For more information, view Governor Northam's Press Release.
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  RVARC.org .