Tuesday, March 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Lots of bike progress in Harrisonburg, Va.

By
March 24, 2011 |

Robb Davis of Davis and Thomas Jenkins, a visitor from Harrisonburg, Va., load up oranges in a bicycle cargo trailer during a gleaning mission last spring. Courtesy photo

By Thomas Jenkins

Most of the time we live life advocating for what is close to our hearts and what generates passion inside. We seldom stop and think how our daily actions are positively impacting the neighbor next door, those outside our town, even those thousands of miles away.

For those of you in Davis, this is a reminder that the positive actions you have taken in your community have had a moving effect more than 3,000 miles away.

In March 2010, I was part of the seven-person contingent from Harrisonburg, Va., that came to Davis to learn more about bicycle infrastructure. During our four-day visit with you, we learned more then we could have imagined. More importantly, what we saw provided motivation to make changes upon our return to our city.

Now nearly 12 months since our return, there have been numerous bicycle improvements to our community of 44,000 residents. These improvements began with the passage of the 2010 Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan by the Harrisonburg Planning Commission and included the final approval of this plan by City Council.

This final plan was significantly different than the draft plan prior to the Davis adventure. It was during this trip that our group decided to return with a much broader vision for community and how it should dictate bicycle improvements.

Bicycle maps and plans look great but they do not make a safer, more inviting atmosphere for those wishing to leave the car at home. Bike lanes, shared used paths and signage are the on-the-ground improvements needed to create a bicycle community.

In the past few months, Harrisonburg has added miles of bike lanes to several city streets, which have made these corridors safer for cyclists as well as automobiles. These are not just simple neighborhood roads, but high-profile travel routes adjacent to both local universities, James Madison and Eastern Mennonite.

In order to provide these bike lanes, a difficult decision had to be made — the removal of on-street car parking. When a city like Harrisonburg removes parking on public streets to accommodate cyclists, it shows the city’s commitment to creating a community that is a little less car-centric.

The “Sharrow” bicycle symbol is a relatively inexpensive way to add a comfort level to streets where bike lanes may not be appropriate or allowed due to space constraints. The fall of 2010 marked the first time Harrisonburg’s Public Works Department installed the “sharrow” marking. This simple symbol has brought bicycle awareness to all those who travel these newly labeled streets.

When spring and warm temperatures return to the Shenandoah Valley, so will the sign-marking crews, laying more of these simple symbols that were seen frequently during our trip to Davis.

Our observations and two-wheeled travels in Davis showed our group numerous shared-used paths that separate cyclists and motor vehicles. These off-road paths are difficult and sometimes nearly impossible to install in a city like Harrisonburg, which is almost fully developed.

Local Harrisonburg advocates are working closely with city staff as well as a newly formed Harrisonburg Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to design two new greenways. These greenways not only will provide recreational opportunities for all ages of cyclists and pedestrians, but also valuable travel connections between local universities, neighborhoods, parks and businesses.

To those of you 3,000 miles away, we thank you for your hard work making your community bicycle-friendly. Your daily actions of just riding your bikes have provided motivation to those of us trying to a create a more bicycle-friendly Harrisonburg and Shenandoah Valley.

— Thomas Jenkins is a member of the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition.To offer a Davis Bicycles! column, write to Matt Biers-Ariel or Mont Hubbard at [email protected] or log on to http://www.bikedavis.info to see instructions for authors.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Nominees sought for city’s human rights awards

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Pedal power: It’s a different kind of March Madness

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    STEM-Tastic Sunday highlights summer opportunities

    By Chloe Lessard | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    County: Baby Justice was on Social Services’ radar

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Budget standoff leaves California college hopefuls in limbo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    House to vote on Homeland bill without conditions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    State to supply just 20 percent of water

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Rampant crime on the streets of Davis

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Appeals court upholds protection for threatened seabird

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Pearls Before Swine’ joins daily comics lineup

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Winter market wraps up Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Public broadband, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Alcoholic liver disease strikes Hispanics years earlier

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Embroiderers will discuss needlework tools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Tuleyome needs volunteers for work party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Get a taste of Middle Earth at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Holmes’ talent showcased

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Bingo games Sunday will benefit DHS Madrigals’ trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Go all in for fun at Texas Hold ‘Em tournament

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    DCC Nursery School hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Join a fitness party at Zumba class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Logos Books hosts conversation groups, poetry readings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Sure and begorrah!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Overeaters get support at meetings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

    Cycle de Mayo kicks off Bike Month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Klein’s book featured at Authors on the Move

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    City says it did not OK Ygrene mailers

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A6

    .

    Forum

    The kids aren’t interested

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    One more family insult

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    UCD alums will want to stay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    End the use of this word

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Thanks for act of kindness

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

    Cannery CFD creates unequal taxation patchwork

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Climate changes are inevitable

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Act for our children’s future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggie men host two big ones this week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Dream run ends for Davis’ master wrestlers

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil boys net an easy tennis victory

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    In the Clubhouse: Summerhays Jr. talks about new post at El Macero CC

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Blue Devils in semis Tuesday night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Newly acquired Smith scores in Sharks’ victory

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Aggie lacrosse team takes home opener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Blue Devil girls look for revenge in the pool

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    DHS boys aim to repeat as section swim champs

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Dunn graduates from Marine Corps basic training

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

     
    Songs of the Civil War to be performed by Anonymous 4

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Davis Chorale starts year with demanding music

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Thursday Live! features Keith Cary, Wyatt Hesemeyer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Otto Vasak

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7