• Our Mission

    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.

  • Planning

    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. 

  • Transportation

    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.

Serving its member governments for 50 years

Tuesday Shuttle FAQ

Oct 19, 2021

The Tuesday Shuttle will collect data about transportation barriers for northern Botetourt residents. This data will be shared with Botetourt County. The Tuesday Shuttle will provide transportation for northern Botetourt residents on Tuesdays from November 16 through December 14, 2021. Residents can schedule a ride by calling 1-800-964-5707.

The Tuesday Shuttle is a partnership between the Eagle Rock Ruritans and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission and is operated by RADAR. It is funded by the National Center for Mobility Management through the Community Mobility Design Challenge which supports communities in seeking innovative ways to address the personal well-being of community members that face transportation barriers to recreation and physical activities, healthy food, personal safety, economic opportunity, or community and peer support opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Tuesday Shuttle?
The Tuesday Shuttle will collect data about transportation barriers for northern Botetourt residents. This data will be shared with Botetourt County. The Tuesday Shuttle will provide transportation for northern Botetourt residents on Tuesdays from November 16 through December 14, 2021. Residents can schedule a ride by calling 1-800-964-5707.

Who is eligible to ride the Tuesday Shuttle?
To ride the Tuesday Shuttle, you must be a resident of Botetourt County AND live in one of these zip codes:
Eagle Rock: 24085
Buchanan: 24066
Clifton Forge: 24422 (Botetourt County residents only)
Natural Bridge: 24579 (Botetourt County residents only)

While the purpose of the Tuesday Shuttle is to collect data about transportation barriers for senior citizens and people with disabilities, you do not have to be a senior citizen or have a disability to use the Tuesday Shuttle.

How much does the Tuesday Shuttle cost?
The Tuesday Shuttle is free.

Where will the Tuesday Shuttle pick me up?
The Tuesday Shuttle can pick you up at your home in northern Botetourt. 

Where will the Tuesday Shuttle take me?
The Tuesday Shuttle can take you to destinations in Botetourt County, Alleghany County including Clifton Forge, Covington, Craig County, Roanoke County, the City of Roanoke, and Salem.

Is it a round trip or one-way?
Most rides will be round trip, but if you don’t need a ride home, tell the scheduler when you schedule your ride.

How do I schedule a ride?
Call 1-800-964-5707 between 6 am and 9 pm Monday through Saturday. This is the number for RADAR Transit which operates the Tuesday Shuttle.

How far in advance do I need to schedule my ride?
Please call at least the day before your ride. To ensure that you will have a ride, call earlier. 

What days and hours can I get a ride?
The only restriction is whether RADAR has drivers and vehicles available. Call 1-800-964-5707 to determine if your trip can be accommodated.

What about COVID? Is it safe to ride the Tuesday Shuttle?
RADAR drivers wear masks and passengers are required to wear masks.

How many people will be on the Tuesday Shuttle with me?
Because of scheduling logistics, you may be the only passenger on your trip. Maximum shuttle capacity is typically 4 passengers (including caretakers).

What dates will the Tuesday Shuttle run?
November 16, November 23, November 30, December 7, and December 14, 2021.

Will the Tuesday Shuttle continue after 2021?
No. It will run only November 16 through December 14, 2021.

What is the purpose of the Tuesday Shuttle?
The Tuesday Shuttle is a partnership between the Eagle Rock Ruritans and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission and is operated by RADAR. It is funded by the National Center for Mobility Management through the Community Mobility Design Challenge which supports communities in seeking innovative ways to address the personal well-being of community members that face transportation barriers to recreation and physical activities, healthy food, personal safety, economic opportunity, or community and peer support opportunities. Data about transportation patterns and needs collected from the Tuesday Shuttle will be shared with Botetourt County.

Is this the same thing as the Botetourt Van Service?
No. The Botetourt Van Service is operated by Botetourt County. The Tuesday Shuttle is a temporary service developed by the Eagle Rock Ruritans and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission and operated by RADAR that will gather information about transportation barriers for people in northern Botetourt.

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Newly Released US Census Bureau Data Shows Continued Growth in Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area

Aug 12, 2021
An initial analysis of data released today by the U.S. Census bureau showed continued population growth in the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke, and the cities of Roanoke and Salem. According to the 2020 census, population in the MSA grew 2.1% over the previous decade. Statewide, population increased by 7.9%, which represents a lower growth rate than the previous 2000-2010 Census.

“We’re pleased to see that the region continues to grow,” says Matt Miller, Director of Information Services for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, who performed the analysis. “And while the growth rate was lower than in previous years, this tracks with trends we are seeing nationally.”

The City of Roanoke, with a 3.1% growth rate, saw its population increase to over 100,000 for the first time since the 1980 Census. At 4.9%, Roanoke County saw the largest population growth of the jurisdictions covered by the Commission. Overall, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission area – which stretches from Franklin County to Alleghany County – saw a growth of 1.6%.

“Overall, this data affirms trends we’ve seen the last few decades,” added Miller. “Small but consistent growth in our urban areas, and loss of population in our rural counties, cities, and towns.”

While more data is expected to be released by the Census, these population estimates will be used in the near term to help governments redraw local, congressional, and state legislative districts.
Table Caption: Population change data in Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission jurisdictions
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Faster, Dangerous Traffic: What is Roanoke doing about it?

Jun 22, 2021

This article appeared in the Roanoke Times on June 28, 2021

Pedestrian crashes in the Roanoke Valley from 2015 to 2020

The pandemic brought less driving – but more, and worse, crashes

During 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, driving dropped and traffic fatalities climbed – particularly pedestrian traffic fatalities. In Virginia, driving decreased 16.6% yet traffic fatalities increased 2.4% to 847 people killed in traffic, similar to national trends.

This is unexpected. In the past, the crash-rate rises when people drive more. When driving plummeted in the 2008 recession, traffic fatalities dropped too. As the economy rebounded, Americans drove more  and traffic fatalities climbed. In 2017, traffic fatalities in the U.S. hit a high at 37,473 and pedestrian fatalities reached 5,977. In the ten years before the pandemic, Virginia’s roadway deaths have grown from less than 700 in some years to over 850 in others.

The difference this year is that driving decreased but traffic fatalities didn’t. They increased.

Pedestrians are disproportionately represented in traffic fatalities and injuries

Traffic safety professionals say that pedestrians are “overrepresented” in traffic fatalities and injuries. meaning people walking are far more likely to get hurt or killed in a crash than we would expect, considering how many trips are made by walking. Two percent of travelers in Roanoke are pedestrians, but almost half of the people killed (7 of 16) and one-quarter of the people injured (70 of 297) in 2020 were walking and the outlook for pedestrians has gotten worse in recent years.

In 2020, the number of pedestrian fatalities in Virginia were about the same (123) as in 2019 (126), but when you consider that less driving happened, the rate of pedestrian traffic deaths actually increased 17%. The pandemic year was deadly for pedestrians in the Roanoke Valley. More pedestrians were injured (70) and killed (7) in 2020 than in any year since 2013.

The burden is not shared equally. Black and brown pedestrians are at greater risk of being injured or killed in a traffic crash than other people. In Roanoke, most pedestrian crashes occur in neighborhoods where more than ten percent of the population are minority race or ethnicity.

What’s going on?

There are many contributing factors, but one key suspect stands out: an increase in speeding during the pandemic.

Speeding is deadly. In a collision with a car traveling 20 mph, 95% of pedestrians survive, but in a collision with a car traveling 40 mph, 85% of pedestrians do not survive. And although traffic congestion feels dangerous, congestion actually slows down traffic speeds. Even if there are more crashes overall because of traffic congestion, they are fender benders with no injuries. Last year, with fewer people driving, there was less traffic congestion and therefore, faster (and deadlier) traffic speeds.

The Roanoke Valley saw a 178% increase in speeding-related fatalities. The City of Roanoke and Roanoke County both had double or more the number of speeding related-fatalities in 2020 compared to 2019.

What are we doing about it?

The City of Roanoke launched a pedestrian safety campaign in 2020, “Every Corner is a Crosswalk”, and this year is focusing on traffic speed awareness with the “No Need to Speed” campaign. Brandon Avenue, which was due for repaving, is getting a safety make-over which involved trying out temporary lane closures and a survey with hundreds of responses before the final design. In 2020 alone, the City invested over 1 million dollar in pedestrian safety improvements focused on intersection upgrades such as pedestrian push buttons, audible signals and more street lighting in the City Downtown and other pedestrian corridors like Williamson Road and 9th Street SE.

The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization developed a Pedestrian Vision Plan in 2015 with an interactive map. The Virginia Department of Transportation worked with the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission on the Roanoke Valley Regional Transportation Safety Study to understand regional issues.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has two initiatives that should make a difference. Its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Arrive Alive, is similar to a Vision Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities as the guiding principle of its transportation planning. Its Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, created just a couple years ago and has already been updated, comes with funding to guide cities and counties to invest more in pedestrian safety. In the state legislature, a handsfree ban and removing a barrier for localities to lower speed limits may help.

Having local, regional, and state plans and initiatives in place is important to take advantage of federal funding that will have a strong impact in reversing the trend of rising traffic fatalities.

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