Regional Commission, Roanoke County, and Roanoke County Public Schools issue RFP

The County of Roanoke, on behalf of the County, Roanoke County Public Schools, and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is requesting formal, sealed proposals from professional Architectural & Engineering firms registered and licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide multiple open-end contracts for certain Planning, Architectural and Engineering (PA&E) services.

For more information, visit: https://www.roanokecountyva.gov/bids.aspx?bidID=889

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!

Regional Commission News September 2018

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.

Job Opportunity

Transportation Planner (Part-Time)

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is currently seeking applications for a part-time Transportation Planner (job description).  The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is the regional planning agency serving 11 jurisdictions in western Virginia. The Regional Commission staff also support the functions of the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization, a seven-jurisdiction area encompassing the urbanized area of the Roanoke Valley. The Regional Commission is a leader in driving collaboration and strategy within our communities on transportation issues that are critical to the economic growth and quality of life of this region.  Under the direct supervision of the Director of Transportation, is responsible for performing transportation-related professional and technical work independently and in teams. Such work may include preparing and developing plans and reports, creating maps, conducting field work, maintaining databases, analyzing and interpreting transportation information, presenting information to stakeholders, and representing the Commission to local or state organizations.

This position will be part-time at 20 hours/week.  Salary will be negotiated depending on qualifications.  The position is open until filled and initial candidates will be selected for first round interviews on Friday, July 27, 2018.  To apply, send a cover letter and resume to sdean@rvarc.org or by mail to the below address:

Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission
P.O. Box 2569
Roanoke, VA  24010

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.