Feb 23

Harmony Lane Partial Reconstruction

Posted on February 23, 2021 at 9:13 AM by Bailey Howard-DuBois

Harmony Lane Reconstruction   Harmony Lane Reconstruction 2
Before and after photos showing the partial reconstruction of Harmony Lane

In December of 2020, the VDOT Salem Residency completed a project to reconstruct part of Harmony Lane for acceptance into the State-maintained secondary system of roadways. Harmony Lane is a 0.35-mile private gravel road off of Bent Mountain Road (Route 221), just east of Mt. Chestnut Road. This project paved the first 0.16 miles of the gravel roadway and constructed a cul-de-sac. The final 0.19 miles of Harmony Lane will retain its gravel surface and private ownership. The paving of the previously-porous roadway required drainage improvements with a 200-foot-long segment of 24-inch-diameter reinforced concrete pipe installed at the intersection of Harmony Lane and Route 221, to direct runoff from Harmony Lane into nearby Back Creek.

The project was initiated in 1995, when the property owners served by this segment of Harmony Lane petitioned Roanoke County for inclusion in the Rural Addition Program. While Roanoke County is no longer able to utilize this program due to changes in the secondary system funding formula, the Rural Addition Program can be used to accept private roads into the public, State-maintained secondary system. All property owners impacted must agree to the project and to donate needed right-of-way to the County. If selected, the County provides funding to relocate necessary utilities and reconstruct the roadway to VDOT standards, while VDOT administers the construction phase of the project. In 2012, the County began preliminary engineering and in 2017, this segment of Harmony Lane was added to VDOT’s Secondary Six-Year Plan. In Fall 2019, VDOT accepted this segment into the State-maintained secondary system and began construction.

Roanoke County greatly appreciates the work of VDOT Salem Residency staff who completed construction of this long-awaited roadway improvement project.

Jan 13

Cluster Analysis – Helping Employers Get Employees to Work

Posted on January 13, 2021 at 1:53 PM by Bailey Howard-DuBois

RIDE Solutions can assist employers who want to better manage parking, offer a valuable employee benefit, build their wellness programs, or meet sustainability goals, all free of charge.

For employers who are exploring options to help get employees to work, one simple tool at their disposal is the cluster analysis. A cluster analysis can quickly identify clusters of employees who might be excellent markets for carpool, vanpool, or transit service. For employers looking at employee wellness programs, a cluster analysis can even identify opportunities for walk and bike buddy programs to connect employees exploring active commute options.
It is one of the key tools that RIDE Solutions, the region’s commuter assistance program, uses when assisting its employer partners.

The process is simple: using a table of anonymized employee data including address and schedule information – that is, data with an employee’s home address but no identifying information such as a name – RIDE Solutions plots this data on a map. Employee data might be color coded to easily identify different shift or other work schedule variations, such as a group of employees who require a flexible schedule to manage common overtime requirements.

Once plotted, its then easy to visually identify clusters of employees of the same schedule. Depending on how large these clusters are, RIDE Solutions can help an employer determine how best to help them. For example, smaller clusters could be good carpool candidates, while larger clusters could suggest that a vanpool or shuttle could be the correct solution. If an anonymous identifier is included in the data provided by the employer, an Employee ID number for example, RIDE Solutions can provide these identifiers back to the employer to facilitate the formation of carpools, vanpools, bike buddies, and so forth through direct outreach to targeted commuters.

If an employer is aware that some employees are already carpooling or have interest in forming a vanpool, this can be included in the cluster analysis to identify ready markets and kickstart a shared ride service.

A cluster analysis can also help determine if there are no good opportunities for a carpool, vanpool, or transit option, saving the employer time and allowing RIDE Solutions to focus on other commuter options.

Analysis and research like this is just one of the services offered by RIDE Solutions as part of their free Workplace program. RIDE Solutions can assist employers who want to better manage parking, offer a valuable employee benefit, build their wellness programs, or meet sustainability goals, all free of charge. For more information visit www.ridesolutions.org or contact Director of RIDE Solutions Jeremy Holmes at 540-342-9393 or jholmes@rvarc.org.
Jul 17

Ride Solutions Assists Local Businesses in Becoming Bicycle Friendly

Posted on July 17, 2020 at 10:30 AM by Bailey Howard-DuBois


As the Roanoke Valley implements Governor Northam’s phased reopening, many of us are returning to the workplace for the first time in several months – which means returning to the daily commute.

For many, commuting involves bicycling to work.  The daily bike commute is a chance to get outside, to enjoy the natural beauty of the Roanoke Valley, and to say hello to our neighbors as we ride by.  We also appreciate that we are reducing vehicle emissions that contribute to air pollution and climate change, while getting a bit of exercise.

During the COVID-19 pandemic another important reason to consider bike commuting is health and safety.

A recent study by the Transportation Research Board determined that commuters perceive that traveling by bike is second only to traveling in a personal vehicle in terms of risk of disease transmission. Therefore, many expect to continue to travel by bike even after the pandemic subsides.

To support your employees' health and safety by improving their commute RIDE Solutions can assist you in these ways:
  • Bike Commuting 101 classes and training for new bike commuters
  • Assistance in making facilities friendly for bike commuters
  • Safe bike routes and Bike Buddy programs through the RIDE Solutions app
  • Rewards for every trip your employees take on a bike
  • Reporting for your business:  Environmental impact, dollars saved, calories burned
  • Assistance in becoming a certified Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists
If you are interested in encouraging your employees to bike to work, call us at 540-342-9393 or email Jeremy Holmes. You can also download the RIDE Solutions app to your mobile device or register at https://ridesolutions.org/ to get a jump-start on your own bike commuting adventure.