News and Views

VBT : The Consequences of Insufficient Funding, Part 3

Reliable, timely and safe transportation is a fundamental part of a successful life—something the Roanoke Regional Chamber acknowledged earlier this month, when it outlined three infrastructure components considered “critical for economic success.” One of the three is transportation connectivity, with an emphasis on highways.

While Roanoke may not suffer from the same level of congestion as other parts of Virginia, it still relies on transportation infrastructure both within the city and as a means to connect it to the greater Virginia marketplace. And—as Ken Randolph pointed out in a recent article—that relatively reduced congestion can lead to Roanoke’s transportation issues getting overlooked.

That is just one of the ways SMART SCALE strives to create a fair process for necessary development, improvements and transportation projects—by divvying up transportation funding based on a scoring system that aims to include all areas of the state.

But unfortunately, the amount of available funding for Virginia transportation improvements continues to greatly lag the amount needed to fully fund the number of projects submitted to SMART SCALE. The consequences of this limited funding are clear: more congestion, more time wasted, less safety and less connectivity among Virginians.

Some of the projects submitted to Round 2 of SMART SCALE affecting the Roanoke area include:

• The Smart Way Vehicle Expansion Project through the Greater Roanoke Transit Company

• Adaptive Traffic Control on Routes 419 and 221

• Work on sidewalks on West Main Street

• Improvements and continued development of bike/pedestrian lanes and streetscape on Plantation Road

So far, we’ve covered some of the projects submitted to SMART SCALE in the Richmond and Fredericksburg areas [link to previous articles]. The final decisions on funding through Round 2 of SMART SCALE will be made next month.

Learn more about SMART SCALE and the Round 2 projects under consideration by the CTB by visiting  

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