Congestion Question

The last time you experienced traffic congestion, where were you trying to go? Tell us with our first ever crowdsourcing map app!

Report congestion here. Use the buttons in the upper left to get help, add a point or a line with a comment, or view the legend.

Having trouble getting started? Click the help button in the upper left corner of the map: 

Still not sure what to do? Use the mouse to pan and the mouse wheel or the “+” and “-” buttons  to zoom in until you see the place where you experience traffic congestion. Use the search box to quickly find an address or street.

Click the “Edit” button and select “New Feature” to add a point or a line. For example, you might add a point at an intersection or specific address. Or you might draw a line along a longer segment where you experience congestion.

If adding a line, double-click to the end the line.

After adding a point or line, you can enter a comment. Tell us where you were going when you experienced traffic congestion.

The comment will be saved when you click “Close”.

RVARC receives bronze Bicycle Friendly Business designation

RVARC is now a League of American Bicyclists recognized Bronze Bicycle Friendly BusinessSM (BFBSM)!

On December 18, RVARC joined a cutting-edge group of over 1,300 local businesses, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.

“Business owners and employers across the country are looking for simple, straightforward ways to build their companies, do right by their workers and customers, and contribute positively to their local communities,” says Executive Director Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists. “Boosting participation in bicycling achieves all of that and more, and BFBs such as RVARC are wonderful models of that success. We congratulate this latest class of business leaders for recognizing that one of the oldest and easiest forms of transportation still generates significant economic and societal rewards today.”

BFB requirements identify incentives, programming, and amenities proven to enable and inspire more people to ride bikes. RVARC offers free bikeshare membership to its employees, maintains the Regional Bikeway Plan and interactive bike map, and works with localities to implement bicycle improvements. In addition, RVARC staffs the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee. RIDE Solutions, a program of RVARC, launched Zagster bikeshare in 2017, and administers the Bike Hero award and the bicycle rack donation program. RVARC planner Rachel Ruhlen likes working for a BFB because, “As a planner, I know that the more people who bike to work, the stronger the community is. Working for a BFB inspires me to bike to work more.”

According to RIDE Solutions employee Tim Pohlad-Thomas, “the most significant actions taken by RVARC in the past year have been expanding the new Zagster bikeshare program and reenergizing the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which conducts bike/walk/disability audits of on-road bike/ped facilities for localities.”

Learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program at bikeleague.org/business.

Bicycle Friendly Business and BFB are Service Marks of the League of American Bicyclists; used with permission.

2018 Regional Leadership Trip – Destination Winston-Salem, NC

The Coalition for Economic Development held its first Regional Leadership Trip in 1997. Since that time, public and private sector leaders have had an opportunity to visit other regions to see how these regions approached various issues of concern or were able to capitalize on opportunities to improve the quality of life for their citizens. Over the last two decades, Roanoke’s leaders have visited places such as Chattanooga, TN; Portland, Maine; Pittsburgh, PA and Greenville, TN. The 2018 Trip will be the 13th in a series of such events.

During the three days, we will have an opportunity to
see how the Winston-Salem area has transitioned from an industrial to a technology economy
as described in the book – From Tobacco to Technology: Reshaping Winston-Salem for the
21st Century.

Download the preliminary Itinerary which includes:

  • A tour of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
  • Presentations on promoting economic development through regional collaboration
  • A look at the Goler Community Development Corporation
  • A review of the region’s approach to building a skilled workforce, and
  • A look at how Winston-Salem transformed its downtown to a tourism center through promoting arts/culture and entertainment venues.

Please register online by Wednesday, October 17, 2018.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions. We hope you make plans now to join us October 28-30 in Winston-Salem!

September 2018 Newsletter

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission has released the September Newsletter. Below are the topics covered.

  • 2018 Regional Leadership Trip – Destination Winston-Salem, NC
  • RIDE Solutions Expands Services with New Partnership in West Piedmont Region
  • Current Unemployment Rates in the Region
  • Botetourt County Broadband Summit
  • Regional Commission and Roanoke Valley TPO Support Raising Funds for I-81
  • I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan – Final Meeting
  • Regional Commission Co-Sponsors Aging in Place Panel
  • Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission in the News

For more information or to view the full newsletter, visit: https://conta.cc/2R81gB5

Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Public Input Survey

RVARC is conducting an update of the existing hazard mitigation plan to assure that the changes in hazards and vulnerabilities within the region are identified and addressed by appropriate mitigation strategies. The public input survey is designed to help gauge household preparedness for natural disasters and knowledge of methods to reduce risk and loss. The information you provide will help improve public/private coordination of preparedness and risk reduction activities.

The current plan will be updated by means of a comprehensive review, evaluation and revision of all plan sections including the planning process, capability assessment, Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, vulnerability assessment, and the plan maintenance section. The previous version of the plan is available at http://rvarc.org/community/hazard-mitigation/

The plan will cover the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke; cities of Covington, Roanoke and Salem; and the towns of Buchanan, Clifton Forge, Fincastle, Iron Gate, New Castle, Troutville and Vinton. Other partners in the plan update include the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, FEMA, Virginia Department of Forestry, and National Weather Service.

According to Eddie Wells, Director of Community Development, “This survey is designed to help gauge household preparedness for natural disasters and knowledge of methods to reduce risk and loss from natural hazards such as flooding, wildfires and tornados. The information you provide will help improve public/private coordination of preparedness and risk reduction activities.”

The survey, which closes on September 30th, can be taken online at surveymonkey.com/r/Q7G5ZMC

If you need additional accommodations to complete this survey, please contact Eddie Wells at ewells@rvarc.org or (540)-343-4417.

Meet the renovated Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee

In August of 2016, the Regional Bicycle Advisory Committee met for the first time in a couple of years. Most of those who attended were locality staff, and they missed the citizens who had given such valuable input into the bike projects throughout the years. New staff struggled to understand the purpose and function of the committee and its history. In short, the committee experienced an existential crisis, asking why it existed, who it was, what it should do, and how it should do it.

Committee members explore the Garden City Greenway with the engineer on an annual field trip

After several deep discussions, the group worked with the Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) to develop its purpose and procedures. Its named changed to the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, reflecting the close relationship of bicycle and pedestrian issues.

The purpose of the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee is to facilitate regional collaboration with diverse stakeholders in planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in the Roanoke Valley. It develops an Action Plan to guide its efforts each year and reports to the Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) of the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization. Members are roughly half locality staff and half citizens.

The TTC adopted the purpose and procedures of the new committee on January 11, 2018 and began accepting applications for the ten at-large positions. Astonishingly, the TTC received 25 applications! Applications included teachers, bike shops, accountants, and non-profit staff. They bike and walk for transportation, for fun and fitness, or by necessity. We had a diverse pool of applicants representing “protected populations” criteria such as mobility impairment, visual impairment, minority, and low-income. With so many well-qualified applicants, the decisions were difficult.

In April, the TTC appointed the initial ten at-large members to staggered two-year terms. The committee itself will make future appointments subject to TTC approval. The committee will meet on June 21, 2018, 4:00 – 6:00 pm at the Regional Commission, 313 Luck Ave SW, to learn about its roles and responsibilities and discuss its Action Plan. Meetings are open to the public. Learn more on the committee web page.

Increasing Regional Economic Vitality through Transportation Performance Measures

The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) held its second transportation performance measure workshop on March 13th at the Green Ridge Recreation Center, a follow-up to the first workshop on November 29. Transportation for America (T4America), an alliance of civic and business leaders dedicated to transportation investment solutions, and the Economic Development Research Group, a firm specializing in regional economic evaluation, analysis, and planning, hosted the event as part of the T4America technical assistance grant awarded to the RVTPO.

As state and federal performance measure requirements continue to change over the years, local and regional governments must find innovative ways to remain competitive in terms of jobs creation, economic growth, quality of life, and overall regional viability. In this light, the workshop focused its discussions on the nexus between performance-driven investments in transportation and regional economic vitality and growth.

The workshop specifically focused on the reliance of outcome-based decision-making in regional transportation planning and the ability to detect the outcomes that may or may not result from the direct products of transportation spending. How many jobs will a transportation project create? Are people going to be able to get to work faster? How will transportation spending affect downtown businesses? Will a transportation project promote greater multimodal use? These are just a few of the questions that arise when considering how transportation decisions achieve regional priorities.

There was also discussion on the critical importance of SMART SCALE, a transportation financial mechanism and premier project prioritization rubric for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and its implications on transportation planning within the Roanoke Valley.  Click here for a detailed summary of the March 13th workshop.

A wealth of knowledge and expertise was present at this event. Over 30 local officials, planners, engineers, and transportation specialists from the Roanoke Valley attended. Among the presenters were Chris Zimmerman (Click here for presentation) and Rayla Bellis of T4America, Leigh Holt from the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (Click here for presentation), Chad Tucker, Smart Scale Manager for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Naomi Stein from Economic Development Research Group.

With the T4America technical assistance and input from the two workshops, the RVTPO will be working to incorporate more performance-based, outcome-based solutions to address many of the transportation needs in the Roanoke Valley.