Regional Commission News January 2018
Roanoke Valley TPO Elects New Officers
The Roanoke Valley Area Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) has elected two new officers. The Honorable Ray Ferris of Roanoke City Council will serve as Chair and The Honorable Janet Scheid of Vinton Town Council will service as Vice-Chair. Their terms will run until September 2019.

The RVTPO develops four key documents that are the backbone of transportation planning and programming in the region — the Long-Range Transportation Plan, the Transportation Improvement Program, the Congestion Management Plan, and the Unified Planning Work Program.

Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee Accepting Applications
Do you have great ideas about how bicycles and pedestrians could be better accommodated in the Roanoke Valley? Consider applying for membership on the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee. This year’s applications are due February 28, 2018 and can be found HERE.

The purpose of the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) Transportation Technical Committee (TTC), is to facilitate regional collaboration with diverse stakeholders in planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in the Roanoke Valley. The TTC is currently accepting applications for five 1-year terms and five 2-year terms to begin in July 2018. Meeting dates, every other month, will be determined after the TTC has made the initial appointments.
CEDS Committee Meeting Updates
The CEDS Committee is holding meetings at several locations in the region this year. The purpose of moving the meeting location around is to familiarize the committee members with various economic development projects and sites in the region and adding some variety to the meetings.

The first meeting in October was hosted by the Town of Clifton Forge. The Committee had the opportunity to see the Historic Masonic Theater, Masonic Amphitheater, Clifton Forge School for the Arts, CSX Railyard Redevelopment Site, Clifton Forge Business Park, Clifton Forge High School Redevelopment, Smith Creek Greenway, and the proposed site for the Amtrak Station relocation.

The second meeting in December was hosted by the Town of Vinton. The Committee had the opportunity to visit Roland Cook Lofts, Twin Creeks Brewing Company, Glade Creek Greenway, the former William Byrd High School (apartments under construction), and the former Vinton Library (Macado's Restaurant under construction). 

The CEDS Committee will be hosted by Botetourt County in March at Ballast Point Brewing and then again in May by Roanoke County at Explore Park.
Public Participation Plan: 45-day Comment Period
The draft Public Participation Plan is in the 45-day public comment period.

The draft Plan and comment form can be found online at, and print copies are available at a public library near you.
Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions Expands This March!
It may not be the best weather for cycling, but that doesn’t mean the valley’s bikeshare program has gone into hibernation. The successful Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions program will be adding three new stations and 15 new bicycles into the network this spring, with a target date of March 15th.

This follows the program’s most recent expansion in October of 2017, adding stations in Roanoke’s Crystal Spring Village, the Virginia-Tech Carilion Medical School’s Riverside campus, Soaring Ridge Crafter Brewers, and at Roanoke’s Fallon Park. That expansion also added 15 bicycles into the system.

The March 2018 expansion is the result of new sponsorships by Freedom First Credit Union and MemberOne Federal Credit Union. While final locations for the stations are still being worked out, RIDE Solutions expects to establish stations at the Goodwill campus on Melrose, along the Lick Run Greenway in Northwest Roanoke, and an additional station serving the Roanoke River Greenway near Garden City.

When the network was launched in May of 2017, RIDE Solutions hoped to double the system size from 10 stations to 20 in its first year. With the March expansion, this will grow Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions to 16 stations. To date, the system has delivered over 5,000 trips to its nearly 2,000 members, including some hardy souls who have continued to ride all winter long.

Following the March expansion, RIDE Solutions hopes to focus on bringing stations to communities outside the City of Roanoke, with partnerships in Vinton, Salem, and Roanoke County bringing additional stations in June of 2018.
Regional Community Health Assessments
Since January 2017, Commission staff have served on Community Health Assessment/Community Health Improvement Plan steering committees in the Alleghany Highlands and Botetourt County. These steering committees were organized by the Alleghany Health District for the development of a five-year Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). A major part of this process is the development and distribution of a Community Health Assessment Questionnaire. The Alleghany/Covington questionnaire was released in November 2017 and currently has received surveys from 692 respondents. The survey remains open in order to get a representative number of respondents in that area. As for Botetourt, the questionnaire is currently being finalized with survey release expected by mid-February. Once the survey results and needs are analyzed, the CHIP will be developed. Upon completion, the CHIP will serve as a guide for health professionals to focus on challenges in each locality, as well as qualify for state and federal grants.
Continued Work on Aging in Place Issues in the Region
The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission co-sponsored a symposium in October which was hosted by the Western & Central Virginia Chapter of the National Aging In Place Council. The event had numerous speakers on health, housing, finance, legal and transportation issues and was attended by over 100 citizens. Staff have also participated in the AARP efforts to create a designated Age-Friendly community in the region. 

The City of Roanoke was recently designated by the AARP as an Age-Friendly Community. Regional Commission staff continue to work with the Local Office on Aging (LOA) on transportation issues related to aging. 
RVARC Legislative Bills Page
For several years, the RVARC has maintained a page on its website during each General Assembly session which tracks bills and resolutions of interest to local governments in the region. The page categorizes proposed legislation by subject matter. The categories are:

 *  Administration of Government
 *  Economic Development/Tourism
 *  Environment
 *  Housing
 *  Land Use/Planning and Zoning
 *  Telecommunications
 *  Transportation

The page can be accessed at by clicking on the Community tab and Legislative Bills, or directly at
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.

  • Vision 2040: Roanoke Valley Transportation (Approved in September)
  • Craig County Comprehensive Plan Update
  • Alleghany County Wrightsville Neighborhood CDBG Planning Grant
  • Alleghany Highlands Broadband Planning Effort
  • Rural Transit Study
  • U.S. Bike Route 76 Study
  • Providing data for the City of Roanoke Comprehensive Plan
  • Working with Franklin County on "Aging in Place" issues
  • Working with local governments, tourism organizations, and the private sector on a promotional campaign for the Roanoke River Blueway
  • Assisting the Greenway Commission on completing an update of the Regional Greenway Plan
  • Working with the regional local foods partners to examine "Food Hub" needs in the region

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