Northend Greenway

Good for you, Good for the 'Burg!

From Cape Charles to Harrisonburg (via the Northend Greenway)

Posted by Northend Greenway on October 3, 2012

  Guest blog by Ruby Friesen Zehr of Harrisonburg.
Head shot of Ruby Friesen ZehrI’m just back from a week in Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore. (See the beautiful picture above.)

We enjoyed gorgeous sunsets over the Chesapeake, seafood at Shanty’s, kayaking tidal salt marsh waterways, strolling along idyllic September beaches.

(This is where you crank up the schmaltzy music as we fade into the sunset of our lives.)

Actually, one of the first things I noticed in Cape Charles were the little golf carts. When I saw just one on our quiet street, I assumed the driver must be an idiosyncratic eco-loner. But then I saw more of them, all over the center of town. I saw couples, I saw families, I saw grannies, all going about their business–to the restaurant or the hardware store, to the soda shop and pharmacy, along the road that followed the curve of the beach.

These golf carts were not on mini-roadways dedicated to miniature automobile use. They were driving, bold as brass, along all the main streets of the town, apparently confident that no other traffic posed a threat to them. I did not see any seat belts, and I doubt the carts had roll bars. The message I took away is that the streets in old Cape Charles are, in fact, extremely safe.

Obviously, that’s not an assumption we make about streets in most urban areas, including Harrisonburg. So we’re overjoyed at the prospect of something new, an alternative way to get from here to there, a way that’s safe and fun and eco-friendly, all at the same time. And that’s what we’re anticipating in the Northend Greenway.

I’m not sure that the vision for our greenway allows for golf carts. And I’m not sure that it needs to. It’s possible that we don’t need golf carts any more than Cape Charles needs a greenway.

But what about a motorized wheelchair? I have a friend in a retirement home who would be pleased as punch to be able to take herself out for ice cream at Kline’s. Maybe, someday, she’ll be able to do just that.

Ruby Freisen Zehr is a recently minted (2011) Master Gardener with a passion for native plants. In the early 1990s she earned a Certificate of Merit from Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and, for a number of yearswas the owner/operator of Ginkgo Garden Designs, an ornamental garden design business here in the Valley. Ruby currently serves on the Greenway’s Education Committee.

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