The City of Harrisonburg is considering reconfigurations along several roadways this year—Mount Clinton Pike, Garbers Church Road, East Market Street (Rt 33). Several other roadways are also being considered for future reconfigurations.
What’s a road reconfiguration??
Road reconfiguration involves redesigning how the use of an existing swath of pavement is designed in order to improve safety and efficiency for cars, cyclists and pedestrians alike. Often, it means reducing the number of travel lanes and repurposing the pavement with dedicated turning lanes and/or bicycle lanes and creating dedicated pedestrian crossing areas.
Why road reconfiguration?
For cars, vehicle-to-vehicle crashes are reduced because travel and turn lanes are separated and speed is more consistent with the limit because passing and weaving is prohibited. And for vehicles crossing reconfigured roads, there are less lanes of traffic to cross, also reducing side-impact crashes.
For pedestrians there are also less overall lanes of traffic to cross, making it easier to find a safe gap in traffic. In some instances there is space for pedestrian islands between vehicle lanes.
And cyclists benefit from a dedicated lane to ride in that is separate from vehicle traffic.
But also, road reconfigurations are a way to address safety concerns without expensive pavement solutions that put neighboring resources at risk. And in many cases, due to the more predictable traffic flow, efficiency in is improved along corridors that have been reconfigured.
Have a look at the plans and see what you think! You can view the proposals for 2023 reconfigurations here: Garbers Church Road | East Market Street | Mount Clinton Pike (you can view studies and findings for future reconfigurations at the bottom of the page here.)
The city also put together a very thorough fact sheet AND they want to hear from you. Stop by the open house this Thursday, March 30 between 4:30 and 7:30pm at the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center Auditorium at 620 Simms Avenue in Harrisonburg (directions) to learn more and ask questions.