A biking and pedestrian trail is in the works for Harrisonburg, but the city needs your help to make it happen.
The project is called the Bluestone Trail and it would have a major impact on the whole city of Harrisonburg. This would be huge for not only cyclists, but the entire city, since it would cut down on traffic.
Harrisonburg is growing as a strong bicycle community. That is why people, like Thomas Jenkins with the Shenandoah Valley Bike Coalition, said the Bluestone Trail Plan is a great idea for the city.
"We have a lot of cyclists in the area,” said Jenkins. “We have great riding opportunities, but we are missing that key element of a separate use facility. The number one most requested thing is somewhere to walk, run or ride a bike, but not share that facility with cars."
Fewer cars would be on the road if the trail gets built. Helping traffic in the city is something Harrisonburg City Council Member Charlie Chenault said is a huge benefit to the trail. He said more college students could use it and avoid the roads.
"If you live in one of those places, you've got a choice: you can come out, drive all the way around down Pear St and back in, or you just hop on your bike down through the park and you're at school. It's gonna save time. It's gonna save gas," said Chenault.
The Bluestone Trail would start at Port Republic Rd by the James Madison University campus. Then it would head south through Purcell Park and all the way to Rumblewood Fields.
It would not just be for cyclists. It also would be a walking trail about 10 feet wide. Right now, it is up to the community to offer their opinion on the plan.
"Any feedback we can get because we want this trail to be used by the citizens and how it's, what the need is, what people think the best use is," said Jenkins.
For the next month, it is the public comment period where you can contact Public Works with any questions or comments about the trail. They will use your feedback to make this the most convenient trail for the city.
The city is waiting for a $200,000 grant from the state to start this project.
City council members said if they get good feedback from the community, it is likely they will get that grant and start building the trail in the next couple years.
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