On Wednesday, March 12th, the West Piedmont Planning District Commission (WPPDC), which administers the RIDE Solutions program here in the West Piedmont Planning District, released for public review the Draft 2045 West Piedmont Rural Long Range Transportation Plan. This plan, once adopted, will replace the current West Piedmont 2035 Rural Long Range Plan, adopted in 2011.
The West Piedmont 2045 Rural Long Range Transportation Plan represents all of the West Piedmont Planning District – Franklin, Henry, Patrick, and much of Pittsylvania County, as well as the City of Martinsville. The Danville Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA), which includes the City of Danville and the adjoining area of Pittsylvania County, is not represented by this plan, as its recommendations are included in the Danville Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Long-Range Transportation Plan.
The Rural Transportation Plan presents transportation investment recommendations to the year 2045, but will likely be updated long before then. Many proposals within the plan are road projects which localities deem important for safety, economic development, and general mobility. The heart of this plan includes a series of Priority and Vision recommendations for each locality represented in tabular format. WPPDC staff utilized a ranking tool created by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) which requires input of data such as daily traffic volume, crash data per mile, average number of trucks, environmental factors, and economic development data, among other information, to rank projects. The top ranked 20 projects were included in the Priority list, while everything ranking below that was included in the Vision list. A demographics section, as well as maps illustrating the state of the transportation system are also both included for localities.
This iteration of this plan incorporates multimodal transportation to a greater degree than the existing plan – particularly pedestrian infrastructure – into the recommendations. The Plan references and links to the West Piedmont Regional Bicycle Plan – also adopted by the WPPDC – which includes a compendium of robust recommendations. The West Piedmont 2045 Rural Long Range Transportation Plan also includes two new chapters, one of which presents proposals for multimodal transportation in the region, including bicycle/pedestrian plans, transit, TDM (RIDE Solutions), intercity bus transportation, and emerging forms of mobility. The other new chapter focuses on major roadway plans in the region including the U.S. Route 58 widening project between Stuart and Meadows of Dan, the Martinsville Southern Connector, the U.S. Route 29 and 220 corridor preservation plans, proposed Interstate 73, as well as examples of popular innovative intersection designs.
The public and locality staff are encouraged to review the West Piedmont 2045 Rural Long Range Transportation Plan and to provide comments by Thursday, April 9th, 2020. Comments should be emailed to Joseph Bonanno, Regional Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org, or to David Hoback, Executive Director, email@example.com. Comments can also be mailed via U.S. Postage to West Piedmont Planning District Commission, P.O. Box 5268, Martinsville, VA 24115. The document can be viewed online at http://www.wppdc.org/content/wppdc/uploads/PDF/docs_publications/transportation/wppd_2045_draft_rural_long_range_transportation_plan.pdf. Hard copies are also available for review at the following locations:
- City of Martinsville Municipal Building, City Manager’s Office, 55 West Church Street, Martinsville
- Blue Ridge Public Library, 310 East Church Street, Martinsville
- Henry County Administration Building, County Administrator’s Office, 3300 Kings Mount Road, Martinsville
- Patrick County Administration Building, County Administrator’s Office, 106 Rucker Street, Stuart
- Blue Ridge Public Library, 116 West Blue Ridge Street, Stuart
- Franklin County Government Center, 1255 Franklin Street, Rocky Mount
- Franklin County Public Library, 355 Franklin Street, Rocky Mount
- Town of Rocky Mount Town Office, 345 Donald Avenue, Rocky Mount
- Pittsylvania County Administration Building, 1 Center Street, Chatham
- Pittsylvania County Public Library, 24 Military Drive, Chatham