Trail Activities in the West Piedmont Planning District

Last week’s blog focused on the Danville Riverwalk Trail, and the plans for its extension.  This week’s blog entry will touch on other trail extension initiatives around the West Piedmont Planning District.  Our region is ideally suited to outdoor recreation, and a network of multi-use trails serves as an asset to facilitate recreational pursuits, as well as to promote public health and economic development.

Trail expansion activities in the West Piedmont Planning District include the following:

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Danville Riverwalk Trail Keeps Growing

Many residents of the West Piedmont Planning District are familiar with the Danville Riverwalk Trail, located in the City of Danville.  In recent years, the approximately 12-mile long Danville Riverwalk Trail has been extended westward along the Dan River to about Advance Street, located approximately 0.4-mile east of the Robertson Bridge/Piedmont Drive.  Additionally, the trail is in the process of being extended via a series of phased activities, which include the following:

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University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Population Estimates Released for Virginia, Localities

On Monday, January 28th, the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service released population estimates for 2018 at the local (county and city) and state levels.  The table below summarizes population changes within the West Piedmont Planning District and the Commonwealth of Virginia from the 2010 Census to July 1, 2018, the time at which the Weldon Cooper Center estimated the state’s population. more

Smart Scale Funded Projects in the West Piedmont Planning District

Last week’s blog was about Smart Scale applications submitted in 2018, which have been recommended for funding.  This week’s blog will cover those Smart Scale projects within the West Piedmont Planning District which have been funded during past rounds and are currently scheduled for funding via the State’s Six Year Improvement Program.  As noted last week, Smart Scale is a relatively recent data-driven funding mechanism which ranks projects based on factors including safety, economic development, accessibility, congestion mitigation, and environmental impact; land use is another more

Preliminary Smart Scale Scores Released for Regional Transportation Projects

On January 15th, the Commonwealth of Virginia released draft Smart Scale scores for transportation grant applications submitted in July and August by localities and regional entities such as the Danville Metropolitan Planning Organization.  The release of these draft scores serves as an initial step in the determination of funding for transportation projects throughout Virginia.

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Wet Weather Wreaking Havoc on Region’s Transportation System

It’s no secret that the West Piedmont Planning District and the surrounding regions and states have been inundated with rainfall in 2018, and this wet pattern appears to so far be continuing into 2019.  Between heavy Thunderstorms which dumped copious amounts of rain in the region during the spring and summer, to a continuous pattern of systems moving across from the Pacific, to two tropical systems that impacted the region, the term “drenched” might be an understatement.

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Pittsylvania County Awarded Grant Funding to Enhance Wayside Park

It was announced in December 2018 that the Pittsylvania County Department of Parks & Recreation was awarded a grant to enhance the Wayside Park facility, located along U.S. Route 29 Business in Hurt, which will offer greater protections for the park as a strategy to mitigate detrimental environmental impacts of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

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Southern Area Agency on Aging Launches Grant-Funded Program to Get Residents to Work and Job Interviews

Southern Area Agency on Aging, based in Martinsville, has begun a grant-funded program to help people without transportation get to work or job interviews.  The program, funded by the Community Foundation of Western Virginia as well as the United Way of Martinsville-Henry County, provides funding until the end of June 2019 to reimburse volunteer drivers who participate in the program.

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West Piedmont Planning District Means of Transportation to Work, 2010 and 2017

In addition to population counts and trends, the U.S. Census Bureau compiles workers’ means of transportation to work.  RIDE Solutions staff wanted to compare the way residents of the West Piedmont Planning District – comprising the counties of Franklin, Henry, Patrick, and Pittsylvania and the cities of Danville and Martinsville – traveled to work in 2010 and 2017.

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Latest Population Estimates in the West Piedmont Planning District

Most of us are familiar with the Decennial Census – that full count of persons which takes place every ten years to determine how each state is represented via the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as to guide the disbursement of federal funding to localities, as noted on the Census Bureau’s website (https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/about.html).

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