Harrisonburg considering roadway projects to improve safety

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 10:27 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Harrisonburg Public Works (HPW) is working on improving road safety and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure around the community through roadway reconfiguration projects, according to a press release.

Nationally, roadway reconfiguration efforts try to improve safety and traffic on streets through modifying the use of the existing pavement to change the number and alignment of lanes. Most commonly, a road with two lanes in each direction is reconfigured to have one lane in each direction, a center turn lane and bicycle lanes in each direction, along with necessitated storage lanes or additional turn lanes where needed.

Harrisonburg is considering reconfiguration projects for Summer 2023 on portions of Mount Clinton Pike, Garbers Church Road, East Market Street and Gay Street. These projects are cost-neutral, taking place during the City’s annual paving schedule. The City’s goal for each reconfiguration is to decrease crashes and improve the safety and desirability of biking and walking on the corridor

Benefits of road reconfigurations may Include:

• Reduction of rear-end and left-turn crashes due to the dedicated left-turn lane.

• Reduced right-angle crashes as side street motorists cross three versus four travel lanes.

• Fewer lanes for pedestrians to cross.

• Opportunity to install pedestrian refuge islands, bicycle lanes, on-street parking, or transit stops.

• Speeds more consistent with the posted speed limit, making them safer.

• A more community-focused, Complete Streets environment that better accommodates the needs of all road users.

• A low-cost safety solution when planned alongside a simple pavement overlay.

Harrisonburg Public Works will host an open house on March 30 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. where the public may learn more and ask questions about these projects. The open house will take place in the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center Auditorium, 620 Simms Ave.

More information on the March 30 open house will be posted to the City’s social media pages when available. Anyone with questions also may email Harrisonburg Public Works at Brittany.Clem-Hott@harrisonburgva.gov.