Wednesday night, March 13, the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the creation of a bicycle and pedestrian plan for the entirety of Rockingham County. After a vote on the plan was tabled by the Board of Supervisors on February 27 (Read our previous post about the meeting) , the bicycle community redoubled our efforts. Originally pledging $2,000 to help the county defray the cost of a plan, the SVBC upped their commitment to $5,000 with the DR100 also pledging to donate $2500 of their 2013 proceeds towards the plan. We want to thank each and every one of you who contacted your elected representative to encourage them to fund this important measure. Also a big thanks to those who were able to attend the February 27 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Most of all we want to thank the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors for their decision to move forward with expanding the MPO bicycle and pedestrian plan into the rest of county.
While we have a long way to go, this is the biggest step we have EVER taken to ensure that our beautiful, rural county plans for bicycling and walking. Most importantly, it is a step to ensure that cyclists and walkers are safer while enjoying the beautiful roads that we have in our backyards. Whether that is biking or walking to school, work, or for recreation, we are excited to continue working with Rockingham County Staff and the Board of Supervisors to improve our community for everyone.
The following article appeared in the Daily News Record on March 14:
Rockingham Supervisors Approve Study’s Expansion
Posted: March 14, 2013/By JEREMY HUNT
HARRISONBURG — Rockingham County is getting a comprehensive bicycle plan.
On Wednesday, the Board of Supervisors approved up to $13,000 to expand a study already under way for parts of the county to include its entirety.
It will evaluate existing routes and their safety and prioritize recommended improvements, which could be made if funding became available. The study also will include potential future projects.
Supervisors Bill Kyger and Pablo Cuevas stressed that the plan is simply a guide, and Wednesday’s action doesn’t obligate the county to fund bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the future.
“When we can, we will,” Kyger said. “When we can’t, we won’t.”
The Harrisonburg Metropolitan Planning Organization and Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission started work earlier this year to extend Harrisonburg’s bike plan to Dayton, Bridgewater and Mount Crawford. They’re using $75,000 of mostly federal money to pay for the study.
MPO, a transportation planning body made up of local government representatives, includes those towns and surrounding areas but not the rest of the county.
Valley cycling enthusiasts supported making the plan countywide, including the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition, which pledged $2,000 to help cover the cost.
Supervisors tabled the matter at their last meeting two weeks ago so board members could review the proposal further.
During the interim, the coalition and another bicycle group offered to sweeten the deal by lowering the cost to the county.
County Administrator Joe Paxton said the coalition increased its pledge to $5,000, and the DR100 offered to give at least $2,500 in proceeds from its upcoming fundraiser of the same name.