The latest from today’s Daily News-Record. An encouraging look at what’s ahead, not just for the Northend Greenway, but for transportation in the Harrisonburg and JMU community. Who knows how many greenways there are to come! Read Candace Sipos’ article below.
Trail Work Could Start Next Year
Northend Greenway Loses Carter, But Going Strong
HARRISONBURG — Though Suzi Carter is stepping down from her position as the program director for the Northend Greenway, she’s confident that she’s leaving the project in good hands — those of the local community.
“I said from the very beginning, this is a community-driven project, and it continued to be this entire time,” said Carter.
She’ll take a spot on the 20-person advisory board for the venture, which is run by local nonprofit New Community Project, while filling her new role with Minnesota-based Food Co-Op Initiative, a nonprofit that helped the Friendly City Food Co-op get started.
“I am humbled and amazed by how much we’ve been able to accomplish,” she said, adding that support from the city of Harrisonburg and the community has made that possible.
The greenway, a proposed 2.5-mile multiuse path that would connect the Park View area of the city near Eastern Mennonite University with downtown Harrisonburg, could break ground next year. Project coordinators are almost finished securing the backing from about 16 landowners who live on the proposed greenway property.
“Verbally, they’re all on board,” Carter said.
The group is also waiting on word from the Virginia Department of Transportation about whether it will receive a matching grant to go with the $600,000 received from Harrisonburg City Council. VDOT should make a decision this month, and the release of the money from the city would follow.
Meanwhile, council should vote on the final project details during its meeting on June 25.
While the Northend Greenway is working on a trail from the EMU area to downtown, the city of Harrisonburg is working on plans for the Bluestone Trail, a proposed path between Ramblewood Park and James Madison University’s entrance at Port Republic Road.
According to Thanh Dang, a planner with the Harrisonburg Public Works Department, construction will start next summer. Phase 1, which will go from JMU’s entrance to the intersection of Stone Spring and Beery roads, should be completed in 2015, she added.
A timeline for the rest of the project hasn’t been set.
Ultimately, Northend Greenway organizers and city planners hope the two trails will be connected, which would require another pathway through JMU’s campus.
“We’d love to see a
network of greenways throughout the city that connect parks and schools and neighborhoods [and feature] safe and healthy kinds of transportation,” said Tom Benevento of New Community Project. “A greenway transforms a community in really positive ways.”
Written by Candace Sipos. Posted: June 10, 2013 on dnronline.com .