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With your help, we convinced the City of Harrisonburg to move forward with funding and designing the trails or greenways that comprise the “Connect Our Schools” initiative. The City of Harrisonburg refers to these trails as the Garbers Church Shared Use Paths since they will connect Westover to Thomas Harrison Middle School, to Hillandale, to Harrisonburg High School, to Bluestone Elementary. You can read up on our successful campaign to secure funding for Connect Our Schools on Connectourschools.org

The project segment concept plans can be downloaded below:

Project Segment 1A PDF[17KB]

Project Segment 1B PDF[16KB]

Project Segment 2A PDF[15KB]

Project Segment 2B PDF[17KB]

Project Segment 3 PDF[17KB]

For now, we need you to take a look at the preliminary maps (they are all linked above) that the City of Harrisonburg released and send your comments to the City of Harrisonburg. The Public Works Department will accept comments on the Garbers Church Road shared use path concept plans until February 10, 2017.  Please email comments to

Please read the full SVBC Comments and echo them in your own comments about the conceptual designs

Key Points to include in your comments:

  • Please use the existing corridor underneath the power line that runs from US33, behind Thomas Harrison Middle School and into Hillandale Park. The corridor is a natural location for a shared-use path, already exists, and will help to minimize the number of road crossings or time spent on the road.
  • We appreciate the desire to make all the trails ADA compliant and commend the efforts of the city to make these shared use paths as accessible as possible. We want to ensure that the grade requirements do not exclude sensible alignments and connections for the trails to meaningfully serve schools and parks.
  • We are excited to see plans for full connectivity from US33 to Westover and Thomas Harrison to Hillandale to Garbers Church rd, and Harrisonburg High School, to Bluestone Elementary.
  • Shared-Use paths need to interface directly with Thomas Harrison Middle School and bring students to the door. Ideally, this will bring them to the southwest corner of the school to keep them separate from arrival and dismissal traffic.
  • We think the trail connection to route 33 near the quarry and across from Waterman dr. is a critical piece of the trail if we aim to actually make the journey to THMS safer by foot or bike. We are excited to see the map for project segment 3.
  • We would like to see a planned connection to Ohio Avenue where the street dead ends at Westover Park.
  • We ask that the city tries to minimize the distance the Hillandale entrance road is used as part of the “on-road” trail.

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