The Regional Commission is updating the 2006 Rural Bikeway Plan. Last week, Commission staff held two public input meetings, one at Just the Right Gear in Catawba and the other at Jack Mason’s Brewing in Clifton Forge, to capture cyclist’s preferred routes and chief concerns in the study area. This Friday, the public will get one more chance to chime in on this phase of the plan. Visit Downshift in downtown Roanoke from 5pm to 7 pm on Friday, January 31st to let us know what on-road routes you cycle in the rural service area!
The Roanoke Valley doesn’t have much severe traffic congestion – and we want to keep it that way! The RVTPO updated the Traffic Congestion Management Process in 2020.
Modern technology has revolutionized our ability to define and objectively measure traffic congestion. Using “big data” collected from GPS-equipped vehicles and smart phone apps, we can literally see where traffic congestion occurs, how long it lasts, and how often. The traffic congestion metric that the Roanoke Valley uses is Planning Time Index.
Click on the image to see how Planning Time Index changes throughout the day.
Analysis of this data shows that the Roanoke Valley traffic congestion is not widespread, does not last a long time, and does not occur very often. Four corridors may be at risk of performing poorly:
- I-81 – State funding from the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan will improve safety and reliability.
- US460 – The Virginia Department of Transportation Route 460 Operational Improvement Study will identify ways to improve safety and traffic flow.
- Route 419/US 220 – Funded projects to provide adaptive signals and a diverging diamond interchange will improve traffic flow.
- Main St (Salem) – Main St is the center of Salem’s Downtown Plan.
Another corridor that may be at risk is Gus Nicks Boulevard / Washington Avenue, but travel time data is not available.
Input from locality staff, freight logistics managers, and the public guided this update.
- Locality staff attended a Congestion Workshop on November 6, 2019.
- The Land Use focus group discussed how local government can guide or nudge land use through the permitting process to manage traffic congestion while promoting economic growth.
- The Transportation Demand Management focus group discussed the efforts of RIDE Solutions, the local transportation demand management organization that promotes carpooling, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian travel.
- The Performance Measures focus group discussed technical details about monitoring traffic congestion regionally and at specific locations.
- Freight logistics managers provided input through individual interviews about how traffic congestion affects freight movement.
- A survey collected input from 304 participants who provided 527 comments.
On behalf of the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization, RVARC staff have published a State of Transportation for the Roanoke Valley report which details the current status of various facets of the regional multimodal transportation system. Download the report HERE or find it online at rvarc.org/plans-and-studies.