From the Community Alliance for Preservation:
Early last year, you showed up to meetings and commented on the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) draft Long Range Transportation Plan (Plan) As a part of that plan, and in response to new federal regulations and state-level transportation ranking methods, the MPO has been working the past year to rank the long and unruly Vision List of transportation projects
The Harrisonburg and Rockingham MPO has completed their ranking process and released an updated Plan and is now seeking your input at an open house Thursday, April 26 from 4-6pm (location info). There will be a presentation explaining their process at 5:15pm.
An objective look at the Vision List was necessary and something CAP has been encouraging for some time. The ranking process brought some needed projects into higher priority, like adding bicycle lanes to both sides of Erickson Avenue (project 43A) and improvements to Port Republic Road near the I-81 interchange (projects 124 and 125). Not surprisingly, a lot of projects we’ve pushed back against for years performed very poorly in the ranking and NOW is the time to make the case to remove the projects completely from the plan.
Specifically, the following projects should be removed from the plan altogether to prevent unplanned urban sprawl and development of working farms and historic lands that commonly follows bad road projects:
– super widening of Switchboard Road (project 130B),
– an unnecessary Bridgewater Bypass through working farmland (project 27),
– another unpopular roadway to Dayton (project 21),
– a bizarre loop-road remnant north of town (project 22A),
– and widening of Port Republic Road resulting in a 4-lane highway to Cross Keys Battlefield (project 33B).
Additionally, only a portion of the Vision List was chosen for ranking and the rest of the projects remain in the plan as ‘Projects for Future Consideration.’ Some loop road segments are hiding in this list too: projects 130A, 26, 22B, and 22C. There are also some destructive roads in the agricultural-forestal districts in Dayton: projects 39 and 77B. It’s nice to see these destructive projects demoted, but they should not be included in the plan.
To check the projects and ranking out for yourself, download this map (zoomed in version north and south) and the ranked list. For more detailed descriptions of the projects in the ranked list, refer to this list. If you’re interested in the entire plan, you can find it and the appendices on our website here.
So, mark your calendar – Thursday, April 26 from 4-6pm (location info) and make sure to be there for the 5:15 presentation. If you can’t make the open house, there will be opportunity for written comment and we will get that info to you as soon as it’s released.