To be a regional leader in driving collaboration and strategy within our communities on issues that are critical to the economic growth, quality of life and sustainability of this region.
The Regional Commission helps local governments address regionally significant issues with planning designed to enhance our region’s infrastructure, promote our region’s economic growth, and improve and sustain our region’s quality of life.
The Regional Commission provides long-range transportation planning for the Roanoke Valley and rural localities within our region. Regionally coordinated approaches to planning and developing our region’s transportation infrastructure is central to the mobility of our citizens and supporting businesses that rely on logistics and supply chain management.
In January, the U.S. Economic Development Administration designated the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany region an Economic Development District (EDD). This designation enhances our ability to obtain grants from EDA. A key function of EDDs is to develop, maintain and assist in implementing a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and support local governments in short-term planning activities.
The EDD area will be comprised of the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke; and the cities of Covington, Roanoke and Salem.
Commenting on EDD designation, Congressman Bob Goodlatte said “The ability to attract new economic development, and with the jobs, educational opportunities, and innovation, is key to the growth of any community. This Economic Development District designation is encouraging news for the Roanoke and Alleghany region! I am pleased that the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission’s hard work and perseverance has brought this great opportunity to fruition to help strengthen local economies. I look forward to seeing how our part of the Commonwealth continues to grow.”
Wayne Strickland, Executive Director of the Regional Commission, stated “The Commission recognized the benefits of our region in being designated an EDD. The designation process took several years to complete, but the time and effort put into obtaining EDD status will result in expanding opportunities for funding important economic development projects in the region.”
Today begins a 45-day public comment period for the Draft Fiscal Year 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program for the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO). The Transportation improvement Program (TIP) is a four-year capital improvements program for all regional transportation projects receiving federal funding.
The draft TIP document is being made available for public comment by accessing the following link. Comments may be made by contacting Bryan Hill at 540-343-4417 or email@example.com. Public comment on the draft TIP will be open until Friday, March 25, 2017. Additionally, on April 27, 2017, a public hearing will be held by the RVTPO Policy Board to consider adoption of the TIP.
I attended the Safety Performance Measures Target Setting Workshop in Richmond, VA. That lengthy title might not mean much to you. I’ll try to explain why I was excited.
The U.S. Congress requires cities and states to report Performance Measures to the Federal Highway Administration every year, such as bridge conditions, freight movement, and traffic congestion.
The five required Safety Performance Measures are:
Recently, Congress also required cities and states to set targets for their Safety Performance Measures. This requirement confused me. What possible fatality target can you choose other than ZERO?
I learned that “setting targets” means to calculate evidence-based “targets”, or forecast. We forecast the number of fatalities we think we’ll have based on the numbers of fatalities we’ve had over the past several years. In Virginia, it’s been declining by about 2%, so Virginia’s target is a 2% decrease.
Congress next directed the Federal Highway Administration to assess whether cities and states are meeting their targets. If Virginia’s traffic fatalities decrease by 2%, we pass! But if we see less than a 2% decrease, we don’t necessarily fail. The Federal Highway Administration will determine if we had any decrease at all. If so, we pass! If not—we fail.
The challenge doesn’t seem to be particularly stringent at first glance. If the trend of the past few years continues, we pass. Sounds like we can do nothing and get an A+!
But that’s not true. We hope that recent efforts to improve traffic safety is one of the factors causing the decline in fatalities (although we know that there are many factors). To pass, we must at least keep doing what we’ve been doing.
What are the consequences for failure? Well, nothing really. I wonder if the original legislation did include consequences, and it was watered down. Still, I’m happy with the outcome, because what elected officials wants their city or state to be the one that had too many traffic fatalities? “What gets measured, gets managed”, and we are moving away from measuring Level of Service—how many cars we can move—and moving toward measuring Safety. What Congress has done is initiated a change in culture.
With 40,000 people dying every year on US roads, it is high time.