Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission News
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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 10/27/2021 at 2:00 PM
2020-2021 Annual Report Released
The Regional Commission is pleased to present its 2020-2021 Annual Report. Read how the Commission works to improve our region in the areas of economic/community development, rural and urban transportation, the environment and more.
The Report was distributed at the Commission's 52nd Annual Dinner held on October 29th, 2021 at the 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke, Va.

Copies of the report are available at the Commission office or can be found online HERE.
Commission Hosts 52nd Annual Dinner
On Thursday, October 28th, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission hosted their 52nd Annual Dinner. The dinner was attended by Commissioners, Staff, and their families and friends.

The Regional Commission would like to take this opportunity to thank our 11-member governments, various stakeholders and the citizens of the region for their continued support over the years.
RIDE Solutions Receives Award from Association of Commuter Transportation
The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) recognized RIDE Solutions as one of the 2021 Best of Chesapeake Chapter Award Winners.

RIDE Solutions was awarded the "Pivot Award” for adjusting their social bike rides from in-person to socially distant self-guided bike tours. Along with the tours they had used in the past, RIDE Solutions added a lot of new tours bringing their total to over 40 self-guided tours that bring arts and culture together with active transportation and help residents learn new connections between neighborhood and town centers.

For more information on RIDE Solutions self-guided tours, visit ridesolutions.org/bicycle-tours.
Regional Commission Partners with Eagle Rock Ruritans
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission in partnership with the Eagle Rock Ruritans is launching a temporary Tuesday Shuttle during November and December 2021 to collect data about transportation barriers for northern Botetourt residents. This project is part of the Community Mobility Design Challenge, funded by the National Center for Mobility Management, which supports communities in seeking innovative ways to address the personal well-being of community members that face transportation barriers to recreation and physical activities, healthy food, personal safety, economic opportunity, or community and peer support opportunities.
 
The Tuesday Shuttle will provide transportation for northern Botetourt residents on Tuesdays from November 16 through December 14, 2021. It is operated by RADAR and residents can schedule a ride by calling 1-800-964-5707. Data collected from the Tuesday Shuttle will be shared with Botetourt County. 
October is Riparian Buffer Month!
Riparian buffers are areas of land adjacent to waterways that provide a “buffer” between a stream and a land use. This allows for nutrients and runoff to be captured before they enter the stream. Buffers also help shade streams, stabilize streambanks, and provide wildlife habitat and corridors. These Best Management Practices (BMPs) are extremely cost-effective, and there are a number of funding sources dedicated to putting trees in the ground. The James River Buffer Program provides cost-free installation and maintenance to landowners or localities who are interested in enhancing water quality. Learn more about the program here.
Regional Commission Receives NADO 2021 Impact Award
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission received a 2021 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Roanoke Valley Transportation Needs Assessment.

The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization, staffed by the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, created its first-ever transportation needs assessment, identifying hundreds of needs from dozens of existing plans and studies, open-ended comments from past surveys, a survey conducted for the current update of the long-range transportation plan, and input from stakeholder interviews. Documenting the region’s transportation needs provides a robust foundation that will result in thoughtful and deliberate project selection and validate and justify decisions as the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization updates its long-range plan.

The NADO Impact Awards are presented in honor of the late Aliceann Wohlbruck who was NADO’s first executive director and served 24 years as a tireless champion for regional approaches to economic development in rural communities.
 
For more information about this award-winning project, contact Rachel Ruhlen at rruhlen@rvarc.org.
Regional Commission Staff Assist with Field Days at Catawba Sustainability Center
6th graders from Read Mountain and Central Academy Middle Schools recently had the opportunity to visit Catawba Sustainability Center to learn about water quality and chemistry, wildlife, and soil health. The events, put together by Mountain Castles Soil and Water Conservation District, provided hands on activities for students to learn about the topics. Students sampled for aquatic macroinvertebrates, took water samples, classified soil types, and simulated population changes in wildlife. It was a great chance for students to connect with the environment and apply knowledge learned from in-class lessons.
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.

  • Roanoke Valley Transportation Plan
  • Rural Long-Range Transportation Plan
  • City of Covington Downtown Revitalization Planning Grant Assistance
  • City of Roanoke Neighborhood Walk Project
  • City of Roanoke Pedestrian Safety Campaign
  • Promotion and access improvements for the Roanoke River Blueway
  • Botetourt County Community Mobility Design Challenge

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