Maybe in this time of staying home you didn’t see the construction along Route 42 in Dayton, but orange barrels sprouted along with the spring flowers. The barrels marked a Virginia Department of Transportation project to extend the bike and buggy lane. The lanes started in the south at Turner Ashby High School and ended at the intersection with Eberly Road near Hair Corral. Now bikes and buggies can travel in a designated lane all the way to Garbers Church Road.
Though it may appear so, these lanes didn’t just happen. They are the result of years of discussion and planning. The lane extension was included in the Rockingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, one of many guiding planning documents the county consults when making decisions on road or other infrastructure projects. Other examples include the Urban Development Area Plan, the McGaheysville Area Plan, and the Cross Keys and Port Republic Battlefields Preservation Plan.
All of these plans focus on topics covered more generally in the county’s comp plan. And all provide important opportunities for public input before being adopted by the Rockingham Board of Supervisors. Planning documents are the first step in seeing a new project built, and public input is so important to getting these projects right. The new lanes on Route 42 were included in planning documents because communities in Dayton and Bridgewater spoke up, and as a result, those communities can travel more safely, whether by car, bike or buggy.