the state

-of city plans for people-moving by vastate
Sunday, 11 October 2009, 10:25
Filed under: -of harrisonburg, -of jgrimsrud, -of localism, -of townie-to-townie, -of travel

thanks to andrew for the heads-up.  these two maps show harrisonburg plans for pedestrians, bikers, bussers, etc.

the pedestrian map:


the bike map:2009_Bicycle_Plan_Map_2009-09-18_DRAFTit’s hard to see, but click the map links for the pdfs.  now, i am a biased townie, but i would like know if the plans, and their spots on the harrisonburg priorities list reflect a grasp of smart, central development (look at the end of this document for an ordered list–and changes may be coming after the public meeting, so if you have info, please let us know!).  it’s wonderful to see maps like this at all in a town with more per capita stoplights than i’ve ever seen, yet rare busses or walkable sidewalks.  but, i see a lot of line spread around the north and south fringes of town.

i’m no city planner, but it seems that these long lines would cost more than downtown-centered improvements?  and downtown-centered projects will support smart development and help spark downtown living, walk & bike commuting, etc.  public moneys must be tight these days, so make sure the first dollars are visible, useful, and dovetail with downtown development.  and for god’s sake, don’t let useless project fragments like the the dogwood to waterman bypass north of redfront.

zoom.Existing_Bicycle_Facilities_June_2008on the map, it almost looks like west downtown is bike-linked to north park view, but this route doesn’t follow an arterial, twists & turns around, and isn’t clearly marked or known.

so, more power to you city planners, bicycle & pedestrian committee–just develop smart(er)!


3 Comments so far
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If I am reading the Pedestrian Map correctly it appears like Harrisonburg may finally put a sidewalk on Chicago Ave. This would finally connect Mt Clinton PK to Red Front, Morrison Park, and the general downtown. A connection that is long overdue in my opinion. It also looks like they may finally connect the gap from 2nd to 5th on N High St. And my personal favorite it appears as though someone may be able to walk down 3rd St and reach Red Front! If they do all of this I will not complain about sidewalks in Harrisonburg anymore. Although, to be fair I may be biased considering where I live.

I do agree with you bike path comments. It appears as though the bike paths are largely designed for recreational use rather than commuter use. Which is nice for the significant number of recreational riders in town but it is not reassuring for those of us who have been cursed at, swerved into, or run of the road by motorist while we were commuting to work.

Comment by Jon

yes, chicago ave sidewalk is on the plans, but at number 9 on the pedestrian priorities list.

your point can’t be reiterated enough–these development bucks need to target practical use & safety needs first; they need to contribute toward building the livable city we want & need. recreation is important (& inspiring!), but it can’t hold the top of the priorities list when the streets aren’t safe or usable for everyone.

hopefully we’ll hear some other clarifications and comments on this soon via the state.

Comment by vastate

I know I’ve heard that the justification for the short Chicago-Dogwood section is that is completes a long north-south bike route (with signs!) from Park View all the way down to the Wal-Mart on the south side of town. Which is well and good, on paper.

I think the city would better serve commuting cyclists, though, by realizing that bikers, like cars, want to take the most direct routes to places. That means access/safety upgrades on all the major roads through town – 11, 42, Port Republic, Chicago, etc. Looks like some of this is in the works. And I did notice that the skewed RR crossings on S. Main now have little bump-out features to allow bikes to cross the tracks at a safer angle, so things are improving.

I suppose it would be more sensible and civic of me to direct these comments to the city, rather than The State. J/J – you should forward this comment thread to the folks in Public Works.

Comment by Andrew

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