Amendment #4 to the Roanoke Valley Transportation Plan

The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) is no longer accepting comments on amendments to its transportation plan.

Comments will be accepted until September 22, 2021 and a hearing will be held at 1:00 pm on September 23, 2021 at 313 Luck Avenue SW, Roanoke VA. For accommodations call (540) 343-4417 or E-mail: bhill@rvarc.org. Hearing impaired persons call 711 for access. The RVTPO strives to provide reasonable accommodations for persons who require special assistance to participate in public involvement opportunities.  The RVTPO fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in all programs and activities.

View the proposed amendments in an interactive map here.

View the complete Roanoke Valley Transportation Plan here. Proposed amendments are listed below.

Amendment #4 includes four priority transportation needs and ten projects identified as priorities to pursue for the Roanoke Valley, adding new projects to the budget list which have received funding, projects with updated costs greater than 10% over original costs, and adding new priority projects to the vision list.

 Inclusion of Roanoke Valley Transportation Priorities Brochure in Appendix E.  References four priority needs to address in the region and 10 priority projects to pursue:

Reduce Congestion on Route 460 East of I-581 to be addressed by four intersection/interchange projects.

Provide a safer way for people to walk and bike to destinations in Salem, Roanoke City and Roanoke County to be addressed by four greenway projects.

Left turn lane on Peters Creek Road eastbound to Valleypointe Parkway is too short for staking vehicles to be addressed by an interchange project at I-581 & Peters Creek Road.

Congestion in Exit 150 Park and Ride Lot – too small for use by commuters and AT users to be addressed by expanding the parking lot.

 

 

City of Roanoke & Roanoke County

Salem, Roanoke City & County

City of Roanoke & Roanoke County

 

Botetourt County

Project NumberInclusion of projects to the constrained list which have received funding since last Plan adoption:Location of Project
A4-18US 460 / Laymantown Road Intersection ImprovementBotetourt County
A4-21Roanoke River Greenway Bridge the Gap Phase II Segment 2City of Roanoke
A4-23Patterson Avenue Pedestrian ImprovementsCity of Roanoke
A4-2411th Street Streetscape ImprovementsCity of Roanoke
A4-313th St. SE ImprovementsCity of Roanoke
A4-4Wasena Bridge (Main Street) Bridge ReplacementCity of Roanoke
A4-27Greenway Connection -Riverland RoadCity of Roanoke
A4-28Route 460 / Orange Avenue at Seibel Drive / Hickory WoodsCity of Roanoke
A4-29Route 460 / Orange Avenue Improvements at King StreetCity of Roanoke
A4-30Route 460 / Orange Avenue Improvement near Blue Hills DriveCity of Roanoke
A4-1Franklin Road Sidewalk Improvements, Route 220 B Phase 2City of Roanoke
A4-32Dry Hollow Road Safety ImprovementsRoanoke County
A4-33Fallowater Lane ExtensionRoanoke County
A4-34I-81 – add NB lane between Exit 128 and Exit 137Roanoke County
A4-44Oak Grove Streetscape ImprovementsRoanoke County
A4-8Route 460 / W. Ruritan Road Intersection ImprovementsRoanoke County
A4-9Route 460 Intersections – Carson Road to Huntridge RoadRoanoke County
A4-45Pedestrian Crossing Improvements on 419 and at Plantation / Hershberger Road IntersectionRoanoke County
A4-46Route 220 Access Management Improvements ProjectRoanoke Co./City of Roanoke
A4-36Downtown Streetscape ImprovementsCity of Salem
A4-37Downtown Salem – Main Street, Union Street to Broad StreetCity of Salem
A4-38Downtown Salem – Roanoke BoulevardCity of Salem
A4-39Apperson Drive Bridge ReplacementCity of Salem
A4-40Roanoke River Greenway Golden SpikeCity of Salem
A4-41Apperson Drive (Route 11) / Orchard Intersection ImprovementsCity of Salem
A4-42Main Street / Market Street Intersection ImprovementsCity of Salem
A4-14Gus Nicks Boulevard Pedestrian / Bicycle CrossingTown of Vinton
Project NumberAcceptance of projects with updated costs greater than 10% over original costs:Location of Projects
A4-19Route 220 Superstreet ImprovementBotetourt County
A4-43Tinker Creek Trail ExtensionCity of Roanoke
A4-29th Street Multimodal ImprovementsCity of Roanoke
A4-22I-581 Exit 2 Interchange StudyCity of Roanoke
A4-25Hollins Road & Orange Avenue Intersection ImprovementsCity of Roanoke
A4-26Aviation Drive / Valley View Boulevard Pedestrian ImprovementsCity of Roanoke
A4-20Roanoke River Greenway – Aerial Way Drive to Roanoke Avenue, SWCity of Roanoke
A4-27Plantation Road Bike / Pedestrian / Streetscape Phase IIRoanoke County
A4-6Route 11 & Route 117 Pedestrian Safety ImprovementsRoanoke County
A4-10Roanoke River Greenway – Blue Ridge Parkway Crossing along Highland RoadRoanoke County
A4-12Valleypointe Parkway RealignmentRoanoke County
A4-13Route 419 Streetscape Improvements Phase 2Roanoke County
A4-35Starkey Road / Buck Mountain Road Intersection ImprovementsRoanoke County
A4-7Route 311 / Route 419 Intersection Safety & Congestion ImprovementsRoanoke County
A4-11Pedestrian Improvements on Route 11 (Williamson Road)Roanoke County
A4-31Roanoke River GreenwayRoanoke County
A4-5Roanoke River Greenway, Green Hill Park to Riverside ParkRoanoke County
A4-15Glade Creek Greenway, Phase 2Town of Vinton
60 and A4-16Walnut Avenue Bicycle & Pedestrian AccommodationsTown of Vinton
A1-12

A4-17

Hardy Road / Dillon Woods CrosswalkTown of Vinton
Project NumberInclusion of new priority projects to the vision listLocation of Projects
N/AOrange Avenue at I-581 Interchange ReconfigurationCity of Roanoke
N/AOrange Avenue at Williamson Road Intersection ImprovementCity of Roanoke
N/AOrange Avenue & Kimball Avenue / Plantation Road Intersection ImprovementCity of Roanoke
N/AVirginia Tech Carilion Access ImprovementsCity of Roanoke
N/AWilliamson Road Pedestrian ImprovementsCity of Roanoke
N/AWest Main StreetCity of Salem
N/AConstruct Roundabout at Mill Lane / West Riverside DriveCity of Salem
N/ARoanoke Boulevard Sidewalk ExtensionCity of Salem
N/ABuild Roanoke River Greenway – Mill Lane/W. Riverside DriveCity of Salem
N/ARte. 1663/Old Cave Spring Rd. ImprovementsRoanoke Co.
N/AHinchee Trail Parking Lot (previously on the constrained list)Roanoke Co.
N/AEast Roanoke River Greenway, Phase 2Roanoke Co.
N/ARoute 460 and Alt. Route 220 Intersection ImprovementsRoanoke Co.
N/AChaparral Drive Pedestrian ImprovementsRoanoke Co.
N/AWest Main Street Pedestrian Improvements, Phase 3Roanoke Co.
N/AWalrond Drive Multimodal Improvements from Plantation Road to Walrond ParkRoanoke Co.
N/APlantation Road at Food Lion/Walmart near Hollins Road Safety ImprovementsRoanoke Co.
N/ARoute 460 at Dow Hollow Road Intersection ImprovementsRoanoke Co.
N/AGlade Creek Greenway at Vinyard Park WestRoanoke Co./Vinton
N/AWashington Avenue Corridor StudyRoanoke Co./ Vinton
N/ARoute 419 Corridor StudyRoanoke Co./City of Salem/City of Roanoke
N/AI-81 Corridor Improvements Exit 137 to 128 southboundMulti-Jurisdiction
N/AVinyard Road Corridor Improvement ProjectTown of Vinton
N/AVinyard Road Roadway ExtensionTown of Vinton
N/ATraffic Lights Replacements and SynchronizationTown of Vinton
N/AWalnut Avenue SidewalkTown of Vinton
N/ASpruce Street/East Virginia AvenueTown of Vinton
N/AVirginia Avenue / Hardy Road Corridor Improvement ProjectTown of Vinton
N/APedestrian Connections from Downtown Vinton to River Park Shopping CenterTown of Vinton
N/AGarthright Bridge rehabilitationTown of Vinton

Please take the survey here.

Faster, Dangerous Traffic: What is Roanoke doing about it?

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.

Transportation Improvement Program

The survey is now closed.

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a four-year schedule of all federally-funded and regionally-significant transportation projects to be implemented in the RVTPO region. It functions like a budget and projects can only be funded if they are consistent with the goals of Vision 2040. RVTPO is updating the TIP and would like to know what you think of the proposed projects.

Review the complete TIP here: Transportation Improvement Program 2021-2024.

 

The FEDS Want to Hear From YOU

The Federal Team reviewing the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization wants to hear from YOU. However, due to the COVID-19 emergency, the public meeting has been cancelled.

Please provide your input through the survey link below.

The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) is responsible for planning the Roanoke Valley’s future transportation system and programming funds to fulfill that vision. The RVTPO’s work is primarily funded by the federal government which reviews regulatory compliance every four years. The Federal Team will consider public input to assess the quality, effectiveness, and any areas of concern on the RVTPO’s performance-based multimodal transportation planning and programming process.

This survey will remain open until April 10, 2020. If the survey does not appear below, please use the weblink: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DoYouKnowRVTPO

The RVTPO and the Federal Team appreciate your input!

If you need assistance with this survey, please email rruhlen@rvarc.org or leave a message at (540) 343-4417. Due to COVID-19, we are not in the office but will get back to you promptly.
Create your own user feedback survey

RVTPO Reviews STBG Funding Requests

The survey is now closed.

The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) administers the region’s Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funding program which provides approximately $5 million/year for transportation improvements in the RVTPO region. In September, the RVTPO received 13 new funding requests:

  • Botetourt County – Route 220 Superstreet and Access Management – ($924,000)
  • GRTC – New Downtown Transit Transfer Center – Real-time Transit Passenger Information (RTPI) Project – ($400,000)
  • City of Roanoke – Aviation Drive / Valley View Blvd Pedestrian Improvements ($2,513,437)
  • City of Roanoke – Greenway Connection – Riverland Road ($1,198,410 )
  • City of Roanoke – Roanoke River Greenway – East ( $835,000 )
  • Roanoke County – Route 419 Streetscape Improvements, Phase 2 (Starkey Rd. to Ogden Rd.) – ($1,505,438)
  • Roanoke County – Oak Grove Streetscape Improvements – ($216,748)
  • Roanoke County – Ogden Road Multimodal Improvements Scoping – ($80,000)
  • Roanoke County – Old Cave Spring Road Intersection Improvements – ($2,861,756)
  • Roanoke County – Orange Market Park and Ride/Parking Lot Improvements – ($343,573)
  • Roanoke County – Valleypointe Parkway Realignment – ($5,352,108)
  • Town of Vinton – Glade Creek Greenway Phase 3 Engineering Study and Design Plans, 2022 – ($144,442.50)
  • Town of Vinton – Gus Nicks Boulevard Pedestrian/Bicycle Crossing, 2021 – ($169,650)

The RVTPO Policy Board is reviewing these funding requests along with the needs of currently funded STBG projects; a draft investment plan is expected to be available for public input in early 2020. The Policy Board will be approving transportation project investments in the spring 2020. More information about the STBG program may be found online at rvarc.org/stbg.

A public hearing will be scheduled.

Traffic Congestion Management Process

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:

Another corridor that may be at risk is Gus Nicks Boulevard / Washington Avenue, but travel time data is not available.

View a map of Priority Corridors for congestion management and Other Corridors.

Outreach

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.

RVTPO Releases State of Transportation Report

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.

Guide to Getting Around Roanoke Valley

There are many ways to get around the Roanoke Valley without a car. This guide explores  independent transportation options including buses and trolleys, transportation for people with disabilities, taxis, rideshare (Uber & Lyft), bikeshare (Zagster), rental bikes, and rental cars. Intercity bus, passenger rail, and air passenger services provide longer distance options.

Download the Guide To Getting Around Roanoke or visit 313 Luck Ave SW and get your copy today!

Public Right-of-Way Accessibility

People with certificates

Left to right: Tiffany, Dr. Eck, Rachel, and Garrett

RVARC staff and volunteers learned about the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) during a workshop from the University of Virginia Transportation Technical Academy. PROWAG ensure that all people can navigate safely on foot in the public right-of-way.

Rachel Ruhlen felt the training would enhance the bike/walk/disability audits that the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee has been doing with locality staff. During these audits, locality staff are always impressed watching Garrett Brumfield, a committee member, or Tiffany Lee, a volunteer, navigate the sidewalk and streets in their wheelchairs, or blind volunteers find their way around using sound and touch. The audits often turn up simple repairs that can make a big difference to a person with vision or mobility impairment.

RVARC sent Rachel, Garrett, and Tiffany to the workshop to learn PROWAG, the best practices for accessibility, developed by the US Department of Justice Access Board.

RVTPO brings Title VI Training to Roanoke

Mohamed Dumbuya, Title VI Coordinator and Civil Rights Program Manager for the Virginia Division of the Federal Highway Administration, gave a Title VI training to 23 people representing 12 agencies on February 27, 2019. Metropolitan planning organizations like the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) that receive federal transportation funds and must have a Title VI process to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its related authorities (executive orders, related legislation, court decisions, and other regulations).

Roanoke, like many cities, used urban renewal in an unfair and discriminatory manner, with consequences that are still felt today. These practices prompted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other legislation throughout the decades. Another change since the days of urban renewal is the creation of metropolitan planning organizations which coordinate transportation planning between localities throughout the region. Abiding by Title VI and its related authorities at all steps of transportation planning ensures that the benefits and burdens of transportation projects are shared equitably.

RVTPO worked with FHWA and VDOT to bring Mohamed Dumbuya to Roanoke. Staff from RVTPO, VDOT, localities, and other MPOs took advantage of the Title VI training opportunity.

Title VI and its related authorities prohibit discrimination, intentional or unintentional, on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, and age. The related authorities protect minorities, people of low income, handicapped persons, and people with limited English proficiency and mandate fair and equitable treatment of persons displaced as a result of programs and projects receiving federal funds.

For the RVTPO, Title VI means:

  • Ensuring that all stakeholders have opportunity to comment on plans, programs, and projects,
  • Making sure that the benefits and burdens of plans, programs, and projects are shared equitably,
  • Documenting the methods of administration, and
  • Documenting Title VI data.

RVTPO will be updating its Title VI Implementation Process in the coming months.