The plan for 25 years of all types of transportation projects in Harrisonburg, Bridgewater, Dayton, Mount Crawford and the surrounding parts of Rockingham County is up for its FINAL round of public input. You may remember providing input on driving, cycling , walking, and public transit about a year ago via a visioning survey and again last fall when the preliminary project list came out.
Overall, we are pleased to see transportation planners prioritizing smaller projects that provide needed connections for both motorized and pedestrian traffic. These connecting projects increase safety and efficiency.
If you live or travel through the Harrisonburg and Rockingham area, please take a look at the plan. View the plan map here and provide input on the narrative via this online commenting tool or at the Public Open House on May 4 at 4:30pm.
We’ll highlight two specific things for your attention:
1. Project #9, Erickson Avenue Improvements calls for the addition of bike lanes on both sides of the road between Route 33 and the City of Harrisonburg line (almost to Garbers Church Road). Many residents would benefit from a safe biking and walking connection between the county and city. The road already sees a significant amount of through-truck traffic and congestion. If the roadway is simply widened with bike lanes on the shoulders it may actually exacerbate congestion and safety issues by making it more comfortable for drivers to speed. It is paramount that the space for pedestrians and cyclists be designed strategically to ensure the road retains its use as the residential connector it was intended to be.
2. The plan calls for several new park and ride facilities. When well-placed and well-designed, park and rides can be an asset. The plan calls for facilities to be well-lit for safety, which they should be, but based on feedback heard in recent community meetings, it will be important for park and ride lighting to adhere to standards that reduce light pollution. We’d like the plan to specifically recommend ‘dark sky’ standards for lighting at park and rides.