Regional Commission News May 2018
Connect
Collaborate
Cooperate
Regional Commission to Host Open House
The public, area stakeholders, regional organizations, local government officials and staffs are invited to attend the Regional Commission's Annual Open House on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 between the hours of 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Commission office. 

Projects of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization, and RIDE Solutions will be showcased at the Open House.


For more information visit www.rvarc.org or contact Jackie Pace at Email: jpace@rvarc.org, Ph: (540)343-4417, or Fax: (540)343-4416.
RVTPO Allocates RSTP Funding to SMART SCALE Applications
At their May 24th meeting, the RVTPO Policy Board directed staff to allocate $9,000,000 of an available $9,121,092 in Regional Surface Transportation Program FY19-24 funding to two of the RVTPO Round 3 SMART SCALE applications. The allocations are as follows:

• $6,000,000 to the I-81 Southbound Auxiliary Lane from Exit 141 to 140 project
• $3,000,000 to the Orange Avenue Improvements (from 11th St. to Gus Nicks Blvd.)

Both projects have been previously applied for, however, the I-81 auxiliary lane project ultimately was not selected for funding and the Orange Avenue project did not score well enough for consideration. The leveraging of additional funds has proven to increase the cost-benefit when projects are scored. Although this is not a guaranteed way to ensure project funding, it can increase a large-scale project’s chances over those which are not leveraged. Both projects were identified as regional priorities in the recently adopted Regional Study on Transportation Project Prioritization for Economic Development and Growth.

RVTPO staff is currently developing the SMART SCALE applications which will be submitted by August 1.

Contact Bryan at bhill@rvarc.org or (540) 343-4417 for more information.
Regional Commission to Hold Two Official Public Hearings
The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) is amending Vision 2040: Roanoke Valley Transportation, its Constrained Long-Range Multimodal Transportation Plan (CLRMTP) to include: 1) Approved FY19/20 Transportation Alternatives (TA) and FY19-24 Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) projects not previously included in the fiscally constrained list; 2) Projects desired by local governments for which SMART SCALE funding is currently being pursued in Round 3 and not previously included in the fiscally constrained or vision list; 3) Other projects proposed in the draft VDOT/DRPT Six-Year Improvement Program for consideration into the Fiscally Constrained List of Projects; and 4) How safety performance measure targets are being pursued, per new federal legislation. Public comment is being accepted until June 21, 2018 via the website: www.rvarc.org.

The RVTPO is amending the FY2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to include: 1) New SMART SCALE, RSTP, and TA projects receiving federal funding; 2) Addition of the purchase of two minivans with ramps by Lutheran Family Services of Virginia; and 3) How the program of projects in the TIP contributes to achieving safety performance in the CLRMTP. Public comment is being accepted until June 21, 2018 via the website: www.rvarc.org.

Official public hearings on both the amendments to the CLRMTP and the amendment of the FY18-21 TIP will take place at the RVTPO Policy Board meeting on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission office (Top Floor Conference Room), 313 Luck Avenue, SW, Roanoke, VA 24016.  

The RVARC and RVTPO strive to provide reasonable accommodations and services for persons who require special assistance to participate in public involvement opportunities. Public notice of public participation activities and time established for public review of and comments on the CLRMTP and TIP satisfy the transit program of projects requirements. For special accommodations or further information, contact Bryan Hill (Ph: 540-343-4417 or E-mail: bhill@rvarc.org). Hearing impaired persons can call 711 for access. The RVTPO fully complies with Title VI of the Civic Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For more information, or to obtain a Discrimination Complaint Form, see http://rvarc.org/transportation/title-vi-and-ada-notices/ or call 540-343-4417.
Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary
RIDE Solutions and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional commission are proud to announce Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions has celebrated it’s 1-year anniversary. This anniversary and the successes of the first year would not have been possible without the help of all our program sponsors, local government officials, and organizations who have created an environment that has allowed bike share and biking in general to not only survive but to thrive throughout the community.

Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions – First Year Facts
  • Trips
  • 17 stations and 84 bikes in the City of Roanoke and Town of Vinton – Almost doubled our size in our first year!
  • 7,174 trips across 2,552 members – Over twice our goal of 1,000 members in the first year.
  • Members
  • 54% are from the Roanoke Valley – Bike share provides transportation for our citizens while still supporting tourism and economic development.
  • 53% of our users are Millennials; 15% are over the age of 50 – Bike share is very rider friendly and is being used by people of all ages.
  • How are we riding?
  • 62% of users are riding 45 minutes or less – These riders are likely using the trip for transportation and are more likely to be one way.
  • 38% of trips are an hour or longer – These are folks likely taking a recreational trip to enjoy a leisurely ride on the greenway.

While we celebrate the success of our current system, we continue to look ahead to new areas to expand our system. We are currently working with the City of Salem on a goal of adding up to 4 stations by the end of 2018.

If you are not a member of Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions yet, sign up today at, www.zagster.com/RIDESolutions and take advantage of our discounted hourly rate in June!
RVARC Presents to Age Friendly Community Stakeholders
On Tuesday, May 8th, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission presented information about transit funding to the Age Friendly Community Stakeholders.

These stakeholders identified transportation as a priority issue for seniors.

The Age Friendly Community Stakeholders will hold their next meeting at 3:00pm on Tuesday, August 14th. The meeting will be held at the LOA's new facility located at 4932 Frontage Road, NW. Roanoke, VA.

Contact Rachel at rruhlen@rvarc.org or (540) 343-4417 for more information.
Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee to Meet
The Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet on June 21st from 4pm to 6pm.

The meeting will be held at the Regional Commission building, 313 Luck Ave, SW.

Contact Rachel at rruhlen@rvarc.org or (540) 343-4417 for more information.
Nine Regional Census Tracts Nominated as Opportunity Zones
Nine census tracts in the region were recently nominated as Opportunity Zones to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Federal agency overseeing a new revitalization tool known as the Opportunity Zone and Opportunity Fund. The nine tracts in the region are shown below, and a map of the nominated zones across the state is available via the Department of Housing and Community Development.

As identified in the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, each state was allowed to submit nominations of qualified census tracts based on a proportional allotment across the country. In Virginia, 212 tracts were nominated and align with local and state economic incentives and priorities. The Opportunity Zone program will generally allow investors to receive tax benefits on unrealized capital gains through investment in qualified and designated census tracts. The nomination of opportunity zones by Virginia is an initial step in the implementation of this program.
Bicycling with Traffic - June 10
RIDE Solutions, a program of the regional commission, will be hosting a Bicycling with Traffic class, June 10th from 2pm to 7pm.

Learn to be safe and confident on roads and around traffic throughout the Roanoke Valley.

For more information or to RSVP, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/2036011426722444/
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
  • Assisting the Greenway Commission on completing an update of the Regional Greenway Plan
  • 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 .