Harrisonburg citizens who live on the northern side of the city have long been frustrated with the lack of safe pedestrian and bicycle lanes to access the downtown. With the advent of the North End Greenway, that frustration should soon be at end.
The Greenway will be a biking/walking only path that extends from Mt. Clinton Pike, next to the Eastern Mennonite University campus, all the way to downtown. A significant portion of the 2.5 mile path will cut through green undeveloped land while paralleling Black’s Run. This scenic route, which will highlight some of Harrisonburg’s better-hidden natural beauty, should make for a lovely new recreational and commuting alternative for North End residents, as well as for the rest of the city’s residents aiming to visit the North End.
The students at EMU in particular will benefit from this plan. The many bikers that populate this nationally-recognized bike-friendly campus will be thrilled to not have to battle heavy traffic when pedalling into town. The same applies for the residents of the nearby Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, many of whom would love to take a leisurely evening bike ride, but currently have no venue to do so. North End neighborhoods, Eastern Mennonite School, local community centers and more will reap the rewards of this path. In all the Greenway has the potential to be put to direct use by 10-20% of the city’s population.
This multi-stage project will begin construction in the next year, with plans for completion estimated in late 2016. It’s an exciting development both for the North End and for downtown businesses, who should see increased traffic via the newfound appeal of traveling into town without having to climb into your car. You can exercise and run your errands at the same time!
It is a win-win situation for all – healthy people make healthy communities, and healthy communities are thriving communities.