Roanoke Valley Transit Vision Plan Currently Under Development

IMG_2888Transit is an essential tool for helping the Roanoke Valley achieve its goals related to developing our economy and workforce, improving our personal health, and preserving our natural environment. The Roanoke Valley Transit Vision Plan is currently under development, with a draft expected to be available for public review in May and a final plan submitted this summer.

For more information about the Roanoke Valley Transit Vision Plan check out the project website at www.rvarc.org/transit or contact Cristina Finch, Manager of Transit Planning and Programming at cfinch@rvarc.org or (540) 343-4417.

Transit Vision Plan Public Workshops- January 21, 2016 Sessions

IMG_2888The RVTPO is currently working on a long-term Transit Vision Plan that will help shape future investments and planning for the Roanoke Valley’s transit services in the urban portions of Bedford County, Botetourt County, Montgomery County, City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, City of Salem, and the Town of Vinton.

In November, members of our regional community attended our first Transit Vision Plan Workshops, where we focused on identifying critical transit connections and citizen’s general service preferences.

Building on the November sessions, the next phase will begin Thursday, January 21 and will focus on obtaining public input on draft short, medium and long term recommendations for regional transit. There are 2 locations. The open house style workshops will have short formal presentations at 12:30pm and 1:30pm (Campbell Court) and at 5:15pm and 6:15pm (Vinton Library). Refreshments will be provided.

The workshops will be offered at two locations in the Roanoke Valley.

CHOOSE 1 OR BOTH MEETINGS
Both locations are wheelchair accessible.
Thursday, Jan. 21, Noon–2pm @ Campbell Court (2nd floor) (Directions)
Thursday, Jan. 21, 5pm-7pm @ the Vinton Library (Directions)

If you are unable to attend, please see meeting materials and provide comments via: www.rvarc.org/transit

Media inquiries contact: Cristina Finch cfinch@rvarc.org | (540) 343-4417

Video courtesy of Dale Saylor on Vimeo.

 

RVARC Receives Transportation Planning Excellence Award from FHWA and FTA

bustop accessibility covershot

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) jointly announced the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) as one of this year’s eight Transportation Planning Excellence Award (TPEA) recipients.

“Building a world-class transportation system doesn’t happen overnight, and never by accident,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These important awards recognize the critical role planning plays in meeting America’s future transportation challenges.”

The RVARC’s “Bus Stop Accessibility Study” was recognized as a national example of addressing the link between pedestrian and transit, and developing new ways to determine, evaluate and compare bus stop activity. It used survey data to identify the most active bus stops and those with the greatest number of mobility impaired riders. The study’s results led to more accessible bus stops with better overall system efficiency.

“Given the limited funds available for infrastructure improvements, data-driven tools like this one help to prioritize local transportation investments,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “Thanks to pioneering work like theirs, the transportation community is now able to specifically pinpoint the areas needing improvements, and why they are needed.”

Selected by an independent panel, the awards are a biennial recognition by the FHWA and FTA of outstanding transportation planning practices performed by planners and decision makers in communities across the country.

Project leader, Cristina Finch of the Regional Commission, states, “We are so grateful for this award; there is no higher honor than to be recognized as a national leader in planning.  This Study reflects new ways to use existing data to better understand and justify the improvements needed for people to access transit.  With so many bus stops in the transit network, this Study provides direction on where investments are most needed.”

This year, eight winners were selected of 35 TPEA submissions from around the nation. Criteria for selection included: community, public involvement and partnerships; context sensitive solutions; innovation and effectiveness; equity; implementation and strategy; multi-modalism; and potential for long-term benefits.

“It’s important to recognize the creative efforts of the nation’s transportation planners,” said Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese W. McMillan. “The future of our infrastructure system begins with their vision. RVARC’s innovative evaluation process led to a major bus route adjustment and pedestrian enhancements to bus stops along a high-activity, low-income corridor.”

National Association of Development Districts features the Roanoke Valley

NADO recently featured the Livable Roanoke Valley project as part of the Sustainable Communities Learning Network. Since 2011, the NADO Research Foundation has participated in the Sustainable Communities Learning Network as one of the capacity building teams supporting communities and regions that received planning grants as part of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI). Through this program, 143 communities and regions across the country conducted three-year locally-driven planning and visioning efforts to address critical issues such as housing and transportation, economic and workforce development, natural resource protection, education, and other important areas. You can read more from NADO here. 

Wayne Strickland, Executive Director, Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission from NADO on Vimeo.

Introducing the “Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization” (RVTPO)

TPO Name Change Resolution 09-25-2014 – small (Resolution establishing that the RVAMPO should be commonly referred to as the RVTPO)

It has been observed that the term Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) does not directly communicate the transportation planning focus and role of the MPO to the public at large.  Therefore, the RVAMPO Policy Board decided that henceforth the RVAMPO should be commonly referred to as the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO).  The use of RVTPO more clearly communicates the purpose and role of the body.  The official name for contracts, agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) will remain the RVAMPO.  For day-to-day planning activities, plans and routine matters facing the public, we will henceforth refer to ourselves as the RVTPO.  Please bear with us as we make the transition over the next several months.  The Policy Board did not want us to go through undue extra expense in this transition.  So we will be gradually transitioning letterhead and other items as our stock is used up and replaced.

You can think of RVTPO as a friendly nickname that makes us more personable.  Instead of going by William we are now going by Bill by way of analogy.