Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission News
RVARC Special Alert
With the safety and wellbeing of our community and our employees in mind, some of the staff of the Regional Commission will be out of the office for the next two weeks. This is in response   Governor Northam’s request for social distancing and teleworking and the Regional Commission’s COVID-19 Response Plan. Staff will be checking emails and teleworking from home during this time. Everyone please stay healthy as we all work through this health emergency.
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 5/29/2020 at 10:30am
RIDE Solutions Promotes Socially Distant Bicycle Tours
During the month of May, RIDE Solutions reminded people that May was still National Bike Month, even though it was necessarily different than in past years.

With many folks working from home or otherwise disconnected from their neighbors and friends at this time, getting outside to enjoy the region's natural beauty is more important than ever. To that end, RIDE Solutions created a series of Socially Distant Bicycle T ours providing opportunities to explore your neighborhood and broader community with solo or small family rides.

To learn more about these tours, please visit .
June 6 – 14, 2020 is Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week
The second week of June has been a week of celebration for the Chesapeake Bay since 2016. It is an event that encourages watershed locals to participate in activities and programs that raise awareness of the importance of the Chesapeake Bay.

The festivities are usually kicked off on the first Saturday with the watershed wide “Clean the Bay Day” event, sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. This year, the event was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but you can still get out and run your own clean-up event! Just venture out to your favorite outdoor area, pick up any litter that is around, and take precautionary steps, like wearing a mask and gloves, to keep yourself and others safe. You can also post a picture of your accomplishment with #BayAwarenessWeek to show others how you have been involved. Be sure to check the Chesapeake Bay Program’s calendar to see if there may be an event you can be involved in throughout the week.

To learn more about events happenning near you, visit:
Regional Commission Seeks Public Input on 2020 CEDS Document
Notice is hereby given that the public is extended an opportunity to review, read, and comment on the proposed 2020 Roanoke Valley–Alleghany Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The public comment period will be in effect until June 21, 2020. An official public hearing on the Annual Report CEDS will be held at the June 25, 2020 meeting of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission at 3:00 pm. Said Public Hearing will be duly advertised according to applicable laws.

If you would like to view, request, or seek further information on the draft document, contact Eddie Wells at the Regional Commission, Ph: (540)343-4417, Fax: (540)343-4416, or Email: . Hearing impaired persons may dial 711 for access. View the draft CEDS document and other project information at
Zagster Bikeshare to End Operations in Roanoke Valley
In an email to its community partners yesterday, Zagster announced that it would end bikeshare service in Roanoke because of financial strain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The effects of COVID-19 on our communities has been tragic,” the statement read. “Sadly, the pandemic has also impacted Zagster’s business, and it is with heavy hearts that we must inform you that Zagster will no longer be providing bike share services in your community. This was a difficult decision but a necessary one, for which we are truly sorry.”

The removal of bicycles and stations will begin immediately, with all equipment to be removed by June 12th. Bikeshare service had already been suspended on March 26th out of concern for the health and safety of members and service technicians at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Says RIDE Solutions Director Jeremy Holmes, “With the deleterious economic impact of COVID-19 both locally and nationally, we are saddened but not surprised at the news that Zagster’s business has also suffered and will result in the end, for the time being, of bikeshare in Roanoke. However, we know that bikeshare has been a success in the Roanoke Valley, and we also know that the micromobility market will adapt to the post-pandemic economic situation. We’re confident that new mobility solutions will arrive that will allow us to revisit bikeshare – or perhaps something more exciting! – in the next few years.”

Zagster bikeshare started in Roanoke in May of 2017 with most of the funding coming from private sponsorships. The system, which started with 50 bikes and 10 stations, quickly expanded to almost double that number, including additional stations in Salem and Vinton.

For more information, please contact Jeremy Holmes at
RVARC and RVTPO Celebrate Transportation on May 21st
On Thursday, May 21st, the  Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission  and the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization thanked their local governments and modal partners for keeping our transportation systems accessible to our citizens by releasing a video for Celebrate Transportation Day.

To learn more about the Regional Commission's role in transportation, visit:
Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization: Opportunities for Public Input
The RVTPO has several opportunities coming up this month for public input on transportation investments!

  • An additional opportunity for public input on the Draft 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program until June 18, 2020
  • An opportunity for public input on Route 460 investments for future Surface Transportation Block Grant funding via beginning June 4 until June 18, 2020
  • PUBLIC HEARING on June 25, 2020 on the Draft 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program
  • PUBLIC HEARING on June 25, 2020 on the Surface Transportation Block Grant Financial Plan – information available at starting June 4.

Visit to learn more about these opportunities for public input.
The 2020 Census is happening now. You can respond online, by phone, or by mail.
Why is a Complete Census Count Important?
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 Trail and Greenway Inventory
  • Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 5-Year Update
  • Regional Housing Study: Franklin and Roanoke Counties, and the Cities of Roanoke and Salem
  • Economic Impact of the Roanoke Higher Education Center
  • Rural Bikeway Plan
  • Local Food Plan
  • Operation of Zagster bike-share in Roanoke, Salem, Vinton
  • Promotion and access improvements for the Roanoke River Blueway
  • Work with regional local foods partners to examine "Food Hub" needs in the region

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