The Richmond Regional Planning District Commission (RRPDC) held its
regularly scheduled monthly meeting on September 9, 2010. The next
meeting of the RRPDC Board will be held on Thursday, October 14,
beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the RRPDC Board Room.
Partnership with Richmond
Region Energy Alliance
The RRPDC Board took action to add regional energy
coordination to the RRPDC Work Program and accept an invitation to have
a representative sit on the board of the Richmond Region Energy Alliance
(RREA). The Alliance is a recently-established nonprofit that seeks to
reduce energy costs for consumers and stimulate the local economy by
creating local jobs.
The RRPDC Board’s actions followed a presentation
from Joe Lerch, the Director of Environmental Policy for the Virginia
Municipal League. Mr. Lerch sits on the RREA board with representatives
of Virginia Dominion Power, Capital One, Home Depot, Virginia Housing
Development Authority, Virginia Municipal League, Chesterfield County,
Henrico County, City of Richmond, Better Housing Coalition, and Elder
Homes, as well as consultants and architects who specialize in energy
The mission of the RREA is to “…sustain a regional
framework that increases awareness, breaks down barriers and coordinates
access to resources in order to drive mainstream action for energy
savings.” The Alliance’s primary and initial focus is on reducing energy
costs in the residential market by encouraging widespread adoption of
efficiency measures that provide direct value to homeowners through cost
The RRPDC will assist the RREA through data sharing,
hosting regional meetings of sustainability managers, and facilitating
the sharing of best practices across localities.
Impact of Mixed Use
and Mixed Income Development
Laura Lafayette, CEO of the
Richmond Association of Realtors, presented
two studies recently released by the Partnership for Housing
The first study, “Examining the Impact of Mixed Use /
Mixed Income Housing Developments in the Richmond Region,” analyzes the
impacts on adjacent single family developments. The study looked at 11
mixed-use or mixed-income projects in the Richmond Region and compared
home prices, assessments, and crime rates from before and after the
development. The results showed the impacts to nearby neighborhoods
tended to be positive, which led to the conclusion that local
jurisdictions would benefit by encouraging more mixed-use and
The second study, “Sustainable Communities – Building
for the Future of the Greater Richmond Region,” explores the benefits
that mixed-use development provides for local governments and their
residents. Benefits to localities included lower infrastructure costs,
reduced service costs for police and fire, and enhanced economic
competitiveness. Benefits to residents included shorter commutes,
diversity in transportation options, and reduced energy costs.
Regional Opposition to Collective Bargaining Mandate
The RRPDC Board took action to oppose federal legislation that would force localities to provide collective bargaining rights to public safety employees.
In late July, Congress rejected an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill that would have required states and their political subdivisions to provide public safety employees with collective bargaining rights. However, advocates are still pursuing the passage of a stand-alone bill known as the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act.
The Board’s opposition followed a recommendation of the Small and Large Jurisdictions Committees adopted during their joint meeting on August 26.
The Board directed the RRPDC Chair to send a letter to the Region’s federal delegation thanking them for not including the provision in the supplemental appropriations bill and notifying them of the RRPDC’s opposition to any future legislation that would require localities to provide public employees with collective bargaining rights.
For more information on proposed federal legislation,
please see the
National Association of Counties' fact sheet.
The Richmond Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (RAMPO) held its
regularly scheduled monthly meeting on September 9, 2010. The next
meeting of the RAMPO Board will be held on Thursday, October 14,
beginning at approximately 2:45 p.m. after the completion of the RRPDC
meeting in the RRPDC Board Room.
Open Road Tolling on RMA
The RAMPO Board took action directing an analysis of the impact of the
proposed addition of open road tolling on the westbound lanes of the
Downtown Expressway (DTE).
David Caudill, Assistant Director of Operations for
the Richmond Metropolitan Authority, presented details on plans to add
three open road toll lanes for westbound traffic. However, the project
will not include similar lanes for eastbound traffic due to space
The project will ease evening congestion because
users (which make up nearly 50% of DTE drivers) will drive at 45 mph
instead of the 10 mph for the current toll booths.
The MPO is required to act on the proposal as the
project is considered “regionally significant” for air quality planning
purposes. The Board directed staff to conduct an air quality conformity
analysis and to proceed with conducting the amendment process for the
2031 Long-Range Transportation Plan Update and FY 09 – FY 12
Transportation Improvement Program.
Project construction should begin in April 2011 with
an estimated cost of $10 million funded by the RMA. The new open road
tolling should open in April 2012.
Artistic rendering of westbound open tolling lanes on Downtown Expressway.
Transportation Priority Projects Adopted
The RAMPO Board adopted the
2010 Regional Transportation Priority
MPO considered the current fiscal situation of the
Commonwealth Transportation Board, which faces declining transportation
revenues, and chose not to add any new projects to this year’s
While many projects on the 2009 list of priorities
have progressed, many still have balances remaining past 2016. Given the
state’s limited transportation revenues, including reductions to the
Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP), the MPO felt it was more realistic
to reaffirm its commitment to the priority projects requiring
The list of regional priority projects is submitted
to the Commonwealth Transportation Board as a tool to assist in
reviewing and allocating state and federal transportation funds in the
Six Year Improvement Program. The list also supports efforts by local
governments and regional partners to obtain federal and state funds for
these priority projects.
Transportation staff from the RRPDC are scheduling
visits to upcoming meetings of the boards of supervisors and councils to
increase local elected officials’ awareness of the RAMPO Regional
Transportation Priority Projects and to initiate input for the MPO’s
2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan Update.
Ranked Priority Projects:
- Restoration and preservation of funding of “fully funded” MPO
priority projects from previous and current SYIP, including:
SEHSR / Intercity Rail Richmond (Main Street Station) to Washington,
Parham Road / Patterson Intersection
I-95/Lewistown Road: Phased Interchange Improvements, Hanover
Higher Speed and Passenger Rail Improvements: Richmond (Main Street
Station) to Hampton Roads
I-64 Improvements from Richmond to Hampton Roads
- Main Street Station, Phase 3
- Route 360 East
- Huguenot Bridge Reconstruction
- Route 250
- I-64 Widening
- Virginia Capital Trail
Unranked Priority Projects
- Broad Street Rapid Transit
- GRTC Downtown Transfer Center
- Main Street Station: Platform Extensions
- Route 711 / Huguenot Trail Widening
- I-295 / Meadowville Interchange
- Forest Hill Avenue Widening
- Jahnke Road Widening
Dan Lysy Honored for 30 years of PDC and MPO Service
The RAMPO Board passed a resolution honoring RRPDC Director of
Transportation Dan Lysy for over 30 years of service to the Richmond
Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Mr. Lysy joined the RRPDC staff
on July 1, 1980 and currently serves as MPO Secretary. Various members
of the MPO and staff took the opportunity to share fond memories of Dan
and express gratitude for his work.