Bicycle & Pedestrian Program
Through the bicycle and pedestrian program, HRMPO staff actively plans for and supports the development of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure while promoting and encouraging safe bicycling as a viable transportation alternative in the region. Further, the HRMPO works with the local jurisdictions to ensure bicycle and pedestrian needs are being considered in local transportation plans and provides research, planning, and funding relative to bicycle and pedestrian needs. The HRMPO TAC Bicycle and Pedestrian Subcommittee oversees and manages the bicycle and pedestrian program and coordinates with other organizations whose activities or mission play a role in building support for bicycle/pedestrian programs.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program
The HRMPO has a Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety and Education Program which includes production and dispersal of marketing literature and participation in community outreach events as well as a media campaign that promotes bicycle and pedestrian safety. The following are activities the MPO works to accomplish through this program:
- Purchase of marketing literature and safety equipment to be dispersed through HRMPO partners.
- Advancement of a program to promote Bicycle Safety to non-English speaking or limited English proficiency residents of the region.
- Organization and attendance at community outreach events to promote bicycle and pedestrian modes of travel.
- Present and disseminate information regarding bicycle and pedestrian activities and safety materials at community events, civic group meetings and other public meetings.
- Continue public outreach to raise awareness to both drivers and bicyclists to utilize the roadway space in a safe manner.
Recognizing that people are choosing to walk and bike more often, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization (HRMPO) and Rockingham County created a plan to improve conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham region.
Following the start of the HRMPO planning process, Rockingham County recognized the benefit of extending the current study to include those areas of Rockingham County outside of the HRMPO boundary. The Rockingham County Board of Supervisors approved funding to extend the study to the remainder of the county. The County plan will be included as an addendum to the HRMPO plan and each will be adopted separately by the appropriate boards.
Bicycle and pedestrian modes have become an important component to the transportation system of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Region and are now widely seen as a viable transportation option. Recreational bicycling is growing in popularity, and the region is increasingly recognized as a bicycle touring destination leading to economic opportunities and a healthier community. Harrisonburg has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a bronze-level “Bicycle Friendly Community” and as a “Ride Center” by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.
Planning for bicycle and pedestrian transportation has risen in priority over the past few years and many planning initiatives have been ongoing throughout the region resulting in expanded facilities, increased users, and various planning documents. The localities within the HRMPO region are recognizing the many important benefits of improving the pedestrian and bicyclist environment, including:
- Better quality of life,
- Improved health and reductions in obesity,
- Increased safety,
- Reductions in vehicular volumes, and
- Promoting tourism and economic development.
The purpose of the HRMPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is to provide a framework for the development of an efficient, safe, and interconnected system of pedestrian, bicycle, and multiuse facilities that will enhance the transportation system of the region.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan will identify where improvements are needed for bicyclists and pedestrians and will make recommendations for future accommodations. These include:
- Bike lanes,
- Shared-use paths,
- Sidewalks, and
- Intersection and crosswalk safety upgrades.
But it’s not all about what’s on the ground. The plan will also look to see what programs, activities, events and initiatives can help encourage greater bicyclist and pedestrian activity.
Public input is a crucial element to the planning process. The public involvement program for the plan includes a Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee made up of city, town, and county staff, elected officials, and members of the public that will meet regularly throughout the process; a public workshop; a public scoping/comments system through our HRMPO website; and a public information meeting.
The Central Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Plan was adopted by our local jurisdictions in 2005. It identifies and recommends appropriate bicycle facilities for key roadways in the Region including bike lanes, shared lanes, and expanded shoulders as well as separated bike paths. The Plan also makes recommendations for signage, bicycle maps, brochures, education and safety-conscious initiatives. The Plan creates a comprehensive network of cycling facilities connecting neighborhoods, communities, and key destination points in our Region.
Harrisonburg's Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan provides a framework for enhancing the safety and attractiveness of walking and biking through on- and off-street improvements and public programs. The current Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan was adopted in 2010 and the updated version was adopted by City Council in April 2017.
Rockingham County has an approved Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan adopted in October, 2016. The Plan is Rockingham County's first, and identifies important walking and biking connections between the County, the City of Harrisonburg, and the five Towns.
For additional information please contact Ann Cundy at (540) 885-5174 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.