Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Would Connect Four Towns, One City

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY -- The board of supervisors was expected to vote whether to fund a county-wide bicycle and pedestrian plan. Bike advocates said it would be a big step for the county.

Thomas Jenkins is an avid member of the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition. He has been pushing for safe bike routes for years.

"The county is considering kinda piggy backing on the MPOs bicycle plan. Which is a bicycle plan for parts of Rockingham County," said Jenkins.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO, already started plans to connect Harrisonburg, Dayton, Mt Crawford and Bridgewater. The MPO is working with McCormick Taylor, an engineering company.

"They're able to compliment the work that they're already here doing, with extending the study out to the rest of the county. And that is why we were able to get this good deal," said Rhonda Cooper, a planner for Rockingham County.

That deal would cost $20,000 more to make a continuous plan throughout the county.

"We have jurisdictional lines. They're invisible to the folks, whether they're out on the streets or in a car, or it's a bicycle, or walking. Those lines are invisible. So to have a seamless system, that would accommodate bicycle and pedestrian and of course a part of that is the motor vehicle because they all three have to be safe together."

Of course the plan won't happen immediately, but advocates are thinking for the future.

"Really for the next generation coming, for the kids. It'll take a while to get some of this infrastructure on the ground. So hopefully some of the elementary school students can ride their bikes to middle school, or high school," said Jenkins.

The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition partnered with James Madison University and the county to visit Washington, D.C. on Monday. The groups will attend the bike summit where they can talk to representatives to increase funding for future bicycle projects.

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