Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission News
COVID-19 Dashboard
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission staff has prepared a COVID-19 dashboard to track regional cases and also includes demographics and mapping of vulnerable populations.

Included in the dashboard are unemployment claims, nursing home locations, and zip code COVID-19 data. COVID-19 cases and deaths are updated hourly from Johns Hopkins. To access the dashboard, click HERE.
Image captured 08/26/2020 at 8:30am
RVTPO Seeks Input on Interstate 81 Interchange Lighting
The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) is considering requesting lighting be added to I-81 projects and would like your opinion. Please complete the I-81 Interchange Lighting survey.

In 2018 the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan received over 2,000 comments. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) developed projects that focused on mainline widening and targeted safety improvements of I-81. Interchange lighting was not considered because nighttime crashes did not stand out in the data or citizen feedback as a main area of concern, but there have been recent requests to consider adding lighting. The idea of adding new or more lighting at I-81 interchanges stems from the perception that lighting may promote a reduction in nighttime crashes and may increase tourism and commerce in the Roanoke Valley.
While ongoing maintenance and utility costs as well as light pollution are considered negative impacts of lighting, interchange lighting is thought to create a safer environment through greater visibility for travelers passing through the interchanges and greater appeal to motorists to patronize Roanoke Valley businesses and attractions. Lighting of the interchange ramps and crossroads can be included in the projects from a technical perspective. It will cost about $12 million (~2% of the total cost) to install lights at six interchanges. Funding for this is expected to come from the new I-81 Corridor Improvement Fund.
Because lighting has benefits and drawbacks, this survey is to gauge public sentiment for or against adding interchange lighting to I-81 widening projects. As the I-81 projects are developed, there will be additional opportunities for public input as more information is available.
If you need assistance completing this survey, please call (540) 343-4417 or email
RVARC and RVTPO Submit FY22 SMART SCALE Applications
August 17th was the deadline for the fourth round of SMART SCALE project application submissions. Earlier this calendar year, six projects were endorsed by and pre-applications submitted from both the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) and Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO). Those projects were all subsequently eligible for the full application process, which began in June. Following are the six applications submitted from the two agencies:
The application scoring process will occur during the fall, with an anticipated preliminary funding scenario to be released in January 2021.
RIDE Solutions to Host Telework Webinar With Telework!VA
On September 16th and 22nd, RIDE Solutions is partnering with Telework!VA to host Teleworking Strategy for the Future. This webinar will cover telework best practices for employers, managers, and staff. For more information, contact Jeremy Holmes at
August Was National Water Quality Month
The importance of water quality cannot be overstated in today’s world. Water quality is a good indicator of community health and dictates our ability to recreate in our local waterways. It has implications on the water coming out of our faucets and used in household appliances as well. Understanding land use in a watershed is key to understanding how a waterway will be impacted. Residential, agricultural, and industrial practices all impact water quality in unique ways and require specific solutions that cater to each situation.

To learn more about how different land uses impact water quality and what you can do to help promote healthy waterways, visit
Interested in the water quality of a waterway near you? Check out EPA’s How's My Waterway interactive map to find out!
City of Roanoke Wraps Up Pedestrian Safety Campaign
Did you know that in Virginia, every corner is crosswalk, whether it’s painted or not? Working with RVARC, the City of Roanoke partnered with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to spread the word about crosswalk safety. Here’s how you can do your part to prevent injuries:

If you’re driving:
  • Stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks, including ones that are not marked
  • Watch for pedestrians (especially children) on the side of the road, and be prepared to slow down and stop should they step into the road
  • Stop for people crossing the street before turning right or left

As a pedestrian:
  • Always cross at the corner rather than mid-block
  • Be predictable and cross where drivers are likely to expect you 
  • Look both ways for right or left turning vehicles before you cross, and use the push buttons when they are available

The official Roanoke Pedestrian Safety Campaign wrapped up on August 31 but pedestrian safety will always be important. Please share your thoughts about the campaign and safety in the community by filling out this SURVEY.
Ongoing Projects
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is always working with localities on projects that benefit the region. Some of these projects are listed below.

  • Alleghany Highlands Economic Impact of the Arts
  • Alleghany Highlands Gap Analysis
  • Rural Long-Range Transportation Plan
  • City of Covington Downtown Revitalization Planning Grant Assistance
  • City of Roanoke Neighborhood Walk Project
  • City of Roanoke Pedestrian Safety Campaign
  • Regional Housing Study: Franklin and Roanoke Counties, and the Cities of Roanoke and Salem
  • Rural Bikeway Plan
  • Local Food Plan
  • Promotion and access improvements for the Roanoke River Blueway

For more information on ongoing projects contact Tim Pohlad-Thomas or visit