Harrisonburg Debuts Community Bike Map

The city of Harrisonburg, in partnership with James Madison University, released a new Harrisonburg community bike map

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The city of Harrisonburg, in partnership with James Madison University, released a new Harrisonburg community bike map. The new map is a resource to help bicyclists choose routes along city streets and separated paths.

“Many bike commuters in Harrisonburg have learned that the best bike routes to get them to school and work may be quieter residential streets, and not the higher traffic, higher speed streets that they prefer to drive their car on,” said Brad Reed, the city's transportation planner. “This map helps bicyclists living in and visiting Harrisonburg select the best biking routes using street classifications based on bicycling comfort.”

The Harrisonburg community bike map classifies streets by bicycling comfort based on the amount of stress a bicyclist is likely to encounter given a set of characteristics, such as the number of travel lanes, vehicle speeds, presence of a right turn lane, presence of bike lanes, and the type of intersection traffic control.

The “cycling comfort level” designation used follows methodology developed by the Mineta Transportation Institute in its paper “Low Stress Bicycling Network Connectivity”, and has been used by many other communities across the country.

It was created with technical and advisory support from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization, Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, and Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition. The city and JMU are exploring future opportunities for further distributing this map in paper form and by interactive online map.

Harrisonburg has also developed a bicycle and pedestrian plan to provide a framework for enhancing the safety and attractiveness of walking and biking through on and off street improvements and public programs. The current plan was adopted in 2010 and is now being updated for 2016. The public comment period for the next revision of this plan is now open through June 17.

Comments can be submitted by email to Thanh.Dang@HarrisonburgVA.gov or mail to ATTN: Thanh Dang, Harrisonburg Public Works, 320 E. Mosby Road Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

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By Rudy White 06/01/2015 18:11:00