Background - Rural Transportation Planning Program

In July of 2006, the Virginia Department of Transportation instituted a new initiative for the Rural Transportation Planning Program.This new initiative was aimed at creating regional transportation plans in rural areas that compliment those in the metropolitan areas of the state. By partnering with Virginia's Planning District Commissions and the local governments each represents, VDOT was able to work with each region to evaluate the transportation system in the rural areas and to recommend a range of transportation improvements that could best satisfy existing and future transportation needs.

The regional plans identify needs based upon the Goals and Objectives established by each region. Improving the transportation system remains vital to improving the quality of life and continued economic growth and prosperity in Virginia. The provision for the effective, safe and efficient movement of people and goods is a basic goal of all transportation programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These regional plans have been developed with this basic goal in mind, as well as incorporating further consideration of environmental issues and local desires.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will use these regional plans as a foundation for identifying Interstate and Primary system priorities for the Six-Year Improvement Program. The plans are also useful to counties and their respective Residency Administrator when developing the Secondary Six-Year Program.

While these plans cover functionally classified secondary roadways, it is important to note each county has final authority over the recommendations on the secondary system within their jurisdiction. The list of recommendations from the regional long range plans will be used in the statewide transportation planning process to better quantify the statewide magnitude of needs.

The analysis and plan recommendations are limited to those transportation facilities within a PDC's boundaries that are outside of established metropolitan study areas. The evaluated transportation system is limited to federal functional classified routes of minor collector and above. The classified routes for each jurisdiction in the rural planning area of the Crater PDC are shown on the following maps:

The development of the transportation plan was broken into four general phases. These phases were:

  • Phase I Goals and Data Collection
  • Phase II Analysis and Problem Identification
  • Phase III Public Outreach and Recommendation Development
  • Phase IV Public Endorsement and Regional Adoption

The development and components of each RLRP were be modeled after the federally mandated metropolitan transportation planning process (continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative).The transportation plans have a minimum planning horizon of 20 years and address the expected impacts of population and employment growth on the transportation system. Each RLRP was developed as a vision plan and will be reviewed every five years.

It is VDOT's goal that each region will be able to use these plans to identify regional priorities for transportation funding. VDOT is fully committed to the RLRP effort and will work with PDC staff and local representatives to provide needed technical assistance and guidance throughout the plans' lifespans.

For more information concerning the Crater Rural Transportation Planning Program, you may view the information in the links below or contact Director of Planning & Information Technology Mark Bittner at (804) 861-1666.

Rural Technical Committee Meeting Minutes

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