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Planning Organization Explores Ways to Keep the Valley Congestion Free

Congestion Management Process seeks public input on potential congestion hotspots

By most objective measures the Roanoke Valley doesn’t feel the same traffic pain as many commuters elsewhere in the Commonwealth. The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) wants to keep it that way and is asking the public’s help with a new, interactive survey tool at

“While traffic may sometimes backup as a result of crashes or at certain hot spots, widespread chronic congestion isn’t a problem in the Roanoke Valley the way it is in bigger regions,” says Rachel Ruhlen, who is leading the update of the Congestion Management Process for 2020.  “That lack of congestion adds to the quality of life and economic development opportunities for the Roanoke Valley, so we are looking for ways to avoid traffic congestion before it becomes a big problem.”

The RVTPO’s Congestion Management Process is a tool that planners use to predict the traffic impact of transportation projects.  Using real-time traffic congestion data from GPS-equipped vehicles and smart phones along with public input from surveys, the Congestion Management Process will help the RVTPO understand where best to invest resources to manage potential traffic.

Adds Ruhlen, “The Congestion Management Process identifies strategies to avoid congestion such as where to implement a construction project, or add bus service, or initiate carpooling and vanpooling with park-and-ride capacity.”

In the survey, participants can drop pins on a map to show where they have encountered traffic congestion, prioritize the corridors that can benefit from congestion management, and compare trade-offs of managing traffic congestion vs. investing in other transportation goals, such as safety and economy.

The survey is open until February 14.

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