2018 06 21 DRAFT Bike Ped Minutes

TPO POLICY BOARD: Cities of Roanoke and Salem; Counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Montgomery and Roanoke;
Town of Vinton; Greater Roanoke Transit Company (Valley Metro); Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport;
Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation; Virginia Department of Transportation
Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
313 Luck Avenue, SW
Roanoke, Virginia 24016
P: 540.343.4417 / F: 540.343.4416
rvtpo.org
MINUTES
Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee
June 21, 2018
Members present:
Anita McMillan, Vinton
Andrea Garland, Roanoke
Wayne Wilcox, Roanoke County
Cecile Newcomb, Roanoke County
Jessica Preston, Salem
Erik Olsen, Montgomery County
Greg Walter, Greenway Commission
Carol Linkenhoker, VDOT
Robert Robillard, at-large
Lisa Wever, at-large
Kristine McCormick, at-large
Lisa Cooper, at-large Jim Lee, at-large
Vickie Browning, at-large
Colie Touzel, at-large
Jeremy Holmes, at-large
Others present:
Lisa Tays
Staff present:
Rachel Ruhlen
Amanda McGee
Frank Smith (intern)
Hunter Wolz (intern)
1. Orientation
Rachel Ruhlen explained what a metropolitan planning organization is, the relationship of the
Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee to 5RDQRNHVPHWURSROLWDQSODQQLQJ
organization, and a history of bike /ped planning in the Roanoke Valley.
A metropolitan planning organization is a coalition of local governments (cities, counties, and towns)
and transportation agencies. To receive federal transportation funds, urbanized areas with
population of 50,000 or more must have a metropolitan planning organization which identifies
regional transportation needs and advances transportation projects. The Roanoke Valley
Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) is the metropolitan planning organization for the
Roanoke Valley urbanized area. Transportation projects in the RVTPO area that receive federal
funds must be included in the 59732VFiscally Constrained List of Projects and the Transportation
Improvement Program. The Fiscally Constrained List oI3URMHFWVLVLQWKH59732V/RQJ-Range
Transportation Plan, a 20-year plan updated every 5 years. The Transportation Improvement
Program is a list of all projects slated to receive federal funding in the next 5 years.
The RVTPO Policy Board is made up of elected officials from member localities and representatives
of transportation agencies. The RVTPO Transportation Technical Committee advises the Policy
Board and is made up of staff from member localities and transportation agencies. The Regional
Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee advises the Transportation Technical Committee on
matters pertaining to bicycle and pedestrian planning.
TPO POLICY BOARD: Cities of Roanoke and Salem; Counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Montgomery and Roanoke;
Town of Vinton; Greater Roanoke Transit Company (Valley Metro); Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport;
Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation; Virginia Department of Transportation
Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
313 Luck Avenue, SW
Roanoke, Virginia 24016
P: 540.343.4417 / F: 540.343.4416
rvtpo.org
The RVTPO is staffed by the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, a coalition of local
governments that includes most of the RVTPO localities plus several rural localities.
Timeline of bike /ped planning in the Roanoke Valley:
1975: The Regional Commission adopted its first Bikeway Plan.
1981: Bikeway Plan update. The Roanoke Valley had two signed bike routes, one on Wiley Drive
and one in Salem.
1991: No progress had been made since the last update. But new federal legislation allowed, for the
first time, bike /ped and transit projects to receive federal transportation funds.
1997: The Valley Beautiful Foundation advocated for Greenways, and the Greenway Commission
formed in 1997.
2004: VDOT adopted its first Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.
2005: Another Bikeway Plan update.
2008: The League of American Bicyclists visited to give the City of Roanoke feedback on how to
become a Bicycle Friendly Community and recommended formation of a Bicycle Advisory
Committee.
2010: City of Roanoke designated a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community.
2012: The Bicycle Advisory Committee oversaw the Bikeway Plan update.
2015: The RVTPO adopted a Pedestrian Vision Plan.
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Community application, guided the 2012 Bikeway Plan update, and gave feedback and input on
locality projects and planning. The committee consisted mainly of locality staff and members of the
Blue Ridge Bicycle Club. It did not have a formal membership process, officers, or voting. It was not
clear what agency the advisory committee advised. By 2016, the Bicycle Advisory Committee had
not met in a couple of years. When it did meet, it was mostly locality staff who missed the citizen
input.
In 2018, the committee was revisioned as the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee to
the Transportation Technical Committee.
2. Nominations are open for the Chair and Vice-chair. Self-nominations are encouraged.
a. Duties of Chair and Vice-Chair
i. Attend most meetings. Either the Chair or Vice-chair must be present at all
meetings.
ii. Work with staff (phone, email, or in person) to create agendas.
iii. Facilitate meetings.
b. Nominations due by Friday, August 24, 2018.
3. Bike /Ped Action Plan
The committee Procedures state that the Transportation Technical Committee will approve this
FRPPLWWHHV%LNH3HG$FWLRQ3ODQ The Bike /Ped Action Plan will list specific tasks that the
committee will accomplish during the ~12 hours it meets during the entire year (four 2-hour meetings
TPO POLICY BOARD: Cities of Roanoke and Salem; Counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Montgomery and Roanoke;
Town of Vinton; Greater Roanoke Transit Company (Valley Metro); Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport;
Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation; Virginia Department of Transportation
Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
313 Luck Avenue, SW
Roanoke, Virginia 24016
P: 540.343.4417 / F: 540.343.4416
rvtpo.org
and one half-day workshop). )ROORZLQJWKHFRPPLWWHHVGLVFXVVLRQ, staff will draft the Bike /Ped
Action Plan, have the committee review it by email, then forward it to the Transportation Technical
Committee for approval.
The tasks on the Bike /Ped Action Plan should support the purpose of the committee and the RVTPO
work program.
x The purpose of the committee is to facilitate regional collaboration with diverse stakeholders
in planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
x The RVTPO work program item 2.07 states that Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning is a continued
effort to implement bike /ped recommendations from the Bikeway Plan, the Pedestrian Vision
Plan, the Greenway Plan, and the Transit Vision Plan.
o The most important of these are the Bikeway Plan and the Pedestrian Vision Plan.
This committee coordinates with the Greenway Commission and transit.
The following topics came up during the discussion of the Bike /Ped Action Plan.
a) TKHFRPPLWWHHVDXWKRULW to carry out tasks.
The Transportation Technical Committee specifically did not authorize this committee to advocate
directly to elected officials or to write letters of support to localities and agencies. The rationale was
that formal resolutions or letters of support should come directly from the Policy Board on behalf of
the RVTPO rather than one of its individual committees. The committee can provide feedback or
input to locality and agency staff at committee meetings and can make recommendations to the
Transportation Technical Committee if it perceives a need for a formal resolution or letter of support.
The committee has indirect access to elected officials who serve on the Policy Board.
b) What are examples of past successes of the Bicycle Advisory Committee?
Roanoke County had ideas for bike /ped accommodations on Plantation Road that they substantially
changed after receiving input from the committee before applying for funding.
The City of Roanoke welcomed committee input on projects after hearing mixed and confusing
feedback from the public on an experimental treatment.
The committee helped the City of Roanoke with the Bicycle Friendly Community application.
OWKHUORFDOLWLHVFRPPHQWHGWKHKDYHDSSUHFLDWHGEHLQJDEOHWROHDUQIURPWKH&LWVH[SHULHQFHs,
which has led the way in the region in bicycle infrastructure.
c) How do projects get started and ultimately funded? Specifically, the roundabout project on
Colonial Avenue. Why is this project being built instead of needed maintenance repairs?
Capital improvements like Colonial Avenue roundabouts use federal funding that comes through
VDOT. Virginia Western also provided some funding since this project benefits them. Roundabouts
are a proven extremely effective safety measure that slow traffic, which improves safety for all users
(bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists). There have been zero crashes at the Riverland and Mt
Pleasant roundabout since it was constructed. They cost less to maintain than a traffic signalized
intersection. However, they are still being studied for people with visual impairment. In Virginia, the
largest projects (like Colonial Avenue) are funded through the competitive Smart Scale program
which scores projects on VL[IDFWRUV%LNHSHGHOHPHQWVDQGURXQGDERXWVLQFUHDVHDSURMHFWV6PDUW
TPO POLICY BOARD: Cities of Roanoke and Salem; Counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Montgomery and Roanoke;
Town of Vinton; Greater Roanoke Transit Company (Valley Metro); Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport;
Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation; Virginia Department of Transportation
Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
313 Luck Avenue, SW
Roanoke, Virginia 24016
P: 540.343.4417 / F: 540.343.4416
rvtpo.org
Scale score. 7KH&LWVQH[WELJSURMHFWLV2UDQJH$YHQXHDQGLWZDVVHOHFWHGEHFDXVHLWVEHHQ
talked about for years and appears in several plans. Smart Scale is only for improvements, not
maintenance. The City of Roanoke has its own maintenance budget.
VDOT has a six-year time horizon for projects. Smart Scale fully funds projects, unlike in the past
when projects would get funding for planning and design but not construction, which was wasteful.
Localities are submitting Smart Scale applications this summer, and in the fall would be a good time
to start talking about the next Smart Scale application cycle (every two years).
More information about Smart Scale is at 0 1 R.
A smaller funding program important for bike /ped safety is the Highway Safety Improvement
Program (~$100,000 range). Localities use input from the public to determine these projects. This
year, the City of Roanoke is installing six rapid rectangular flashing beacons, a proven safety
countermeasure for crosswalks, funded though the Highway Safety Improvement Program.
Localities would like input from the committee to develop applications for Highway Safety
Improvement Program funding.
Localities have had difficulties applying for Safe Routes to School funding because of lack of support
from schools. Individual committee members could assist with outreach to school administration,
staff, and families to help localities get support for Safe Routes to School projects.
d) Bikeway Plan and Pedestrian Vision Plan
The committee had some interest in developing a wish list of projects, which led to a discussion of
the Bikeway Plan and Pedestrian Vision Plan. The committee could familiarize itself with these plans
and consider updating the project lists. The committee feels the RVTPO should consider coming the
plans next time one is updated. Most localities have a single bike /ped plan. The Bikeway Plan was
last updated in 2012.
e) Non-infrastructure projects
Amanda McGee reported on the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project. The
Regional Commission has conducted bike /ped counts since 2012 using the methodology developed
by the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project. The counts are volunteer- and time-
intensive and have not yielded consistent or reliable data. She is researching alternate bike /ped
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Jeremy Holmes reported on BikeShare. Station sponsors have been selecting the station locations
but the program has expanded enough that locations can be more strategic. Jeremy would like input
on either future station locations or general criteria to help him select locations.
Andrea Garland reported on the Community Based Bike /Ped Safety Assessment, a tool being
piloted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This will include a survey to
supplement crash data because bike /ped crashes are under-reported. She asked committee
members to take the survey when it is live and distribute it to their networks. Committee members
TPO POLICY BOARD: Cities of Roanoke and Salem; Counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Montgomery and Roanoke;
Town of Vinton; Greater Roanoke Transit Company (Valley Metro); Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport;
Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation; Virginia Department of Transportation
Roanoke Valley Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
313 Luck Avenue, SW
Roanoke, Virginia 24016
P: 540.343.4417 / F: 540.343.4416
rvtpo.org
suggested she look in the Transit Development Plan for safety issues and add a question to the
survey of what places people avoid.
f) General comments (including comments from committee members who were unable to
attend the meeting)
Should regularly provide recommendations to the Transportation Technical Committee
Should think regionally how to get from Salem to the Blue Ridge Parkway, for example.
/HDUQZKDWSURMHFWVDUHXQGHUFRQVLGHUDWLRQQRZDQGZKDWLVQWEHLQJFRQVLGHUHG
Learn who to contact with an idea or an observed problem
It is important to keep in mind KRZSHRSOHZLWKGLVDELOLWLHVZLOOXVHIDFLOLWLHV,WLVHYHURQHVMREWR
remember that. People with disabilities can help us understand and think about their needs.
Do bicycle and pedestrian issues ever conflict with each other? The committee speculated on this
and believes that generally these go together, and rarely if ever does anyone have to choose.
The committee commented on the importance of education and awareness, and its role in pushing
for a cultural shift in thinking that prioritizes bike /ped safety.
7KHFRPPLWWHHVZRUN is important because VDOT does look at plans and incorporates these into its
improvements.
When people are aware of the process they are empowered to get involved and get their
transportation issues resolved.
,PFRQFHUQHGZLWKEOXHFROODUELFFOLQJDQGZDONLQJ’R5RDQRNHVXUURXQGLQJDUHDVKDYH
targets for CO2 emissions and climate change?
The meeting adjourned at 6:00 pm.

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