Harrisonburg: The Future Bicycle Capital of Virginia
Fifty community members participated in the recent Advocacy Advance Action 2020 Workshop in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to jumpstart the region’s efforts to fund local bicycle and pedestrian projects.
The clear goal of the day? Work together to get facilities on the ground that keep people safe and make Harrisonburg – a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community – the “bicycle capital of Virginia.” The mayor, city councilmembers, county administrator, sheriff, transportation planners, and local advocacy attendees were all on board.
The workshop was hosted by Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) and the Harrisonburg – Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization. Workshop materials and presentation can be downloaded from SVBC’s website.
After an discussion on the opportunities for biking and walking projects in the new federal transportation bill, MAP-21, participants spent the afternoon in small groups discussing ways to tackle their goals. Advocates went through steps to develop a campaign to fund parts of Harrisonburg’s bike plan and agency staff shared best practices and ideas for the city and county to collaborate.
“I will continue these partnerships and try to think outside the box more to collaborate on grants with other entities,” said Thanh Dang, Public Works planner for the City of Harrisonburg, “especially if more agencies are now more interested and aware.”
Travis Layman from the Rockingham County Bicycle Advisory Committee echoed her sentiments: “I will build on these relationships to move forward and use knowledge from this workshop.”
After an energizing day, it is clear that Harrisonburg and Rockingham county are on the bicycling map in a big way.
Advocacy Advance workshops are designed to provide the knowledge, skills and resources to access untapped or under-utilized federal funding sources at the state, regional and local level to build bicycling and walking infrastructure and programs. With a focus on navigating the new federal transportation bill, MAP-21, workshop participants will learn how to maximize funding in the new Transportation Alternatives program and utilize all MAP-21 funding programs for bicycle and pedestrian projects at the state and local levels.
Applications to host a Navigating MAP-21 in 2013 are due October 26. Applications must be completed by an agency and advocacy representative.