Club Meeting – September 1st, 2016

finch-090116“A Vision for Transit in the Roanoke Valley” – Presented by Cristina D. Finch, AICP, LEED AP – Roanoke Valley Manager of Transit Planning and Programming

Today we learned of the processes and plans made for transportation improvements in the Roanoke Valley over the coming years.  Cristina Finch spoke of how we all grew up in an automobile oriented society, “having a car equated to freedom.”  Today our lives revolve around cars.  Over time have those expectations been fulfilled?  Ms. Finch showed us various examples, many with a sense of humor, that struck home how car-centric lives aren’t the ideal.

Changing lifestyles characterized by the concept of “urban living” represent a departure from reliance on the automobile as the primary means of getting from point A to point B.  Today younger generations are  attracted to urban centers and healthy lifestyles that negate need for a car being an essential part of their lives.

Ms. Finch went on the to note that transportation solutions are multi-faceted.  Multimodal development of our transportation infrastructure is vital for shaping a healthy transit future for the Roanoke Valley.

Below are excerpts from a article Posted: Thursday, September 3, 2015 By Jeff Sturgeon

“Are bus stops in the right place? Are streets safe for walking? How good is the valley’s bike network?

Cristina Finch is on it.

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, which fosters government cooperation for regional progress, employs Finch to champion alternatives to driving.

“The car offers us incredible freedom to access places that other modes of transportation can’t get us to,” Finch said. But where communities also strengthen transportation options, “it makes for a more interesting, livable environment,” said Finch, the commission’s manager of transit planning and programming.

… road improvements coming to East Main Street in Salem will go in alongside bike lanes, a greenway-width sidewalk and pedestrian-scale lighting, benches and trash cans.

Benjamin Tripp, a Salem planner and current head of the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission, said Finch’s work and the work of her commission colleagues helps define accessibility and multimodalism, the concept of people using more than one mode of transportation to get somewhere. Such efforts benefit everyone by helping to tie together neighborhoods, downtowns and communities, he said.”

To learn more details of our areas transportation plans visit the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Transportation page.  While there check out all the Bicycle, Pedestrian & Greenway maps
We thank Robert Dementi for his photographs.