Mayor Deanna Reed on Tuesday expressed concerns for Open Doors, the local low-barrier homeless shelter. The organization has shifted its shelter from several locations in recent years, from churches to JMU at the start of the pandemic to the former Red Front grocery store building, then back to JMU this summer. But come Aug. 15, Open Doors will once again be in the market for space to run the shelter.
With an initial focus on reducing pollution from transportation, city staff are preparing to invest in more electric vehicles, improve efficiency of traffic flow and plan for more sidewalks, bike trails and shared use paths.
Business leaders, nonprofit leaders and other community leaders from Harrisonburg and Rockingham County are already talking about ways to address transportation, affordable housing and childcare hurdles in the central Shenandoah Valley.
The candidates campaigning for the three city council seats up for election on Nov. 3 participated in a virtual forum Wednesday night – the second such event this month involving all five candidates. Two incumbents, Mayor Deanna Reed (D) and George Hirschmann (I), and three first-time candidates, Democrats Laura Dent and Charles Hendricks, plus Republican Kathleen Kelley, largely agreed on topics ranging from how to help low-income residents in Harrisonburg to transportation priorities.
Some scooters might be hibernating — but for how long? The next month will be key for the future of shareable rides.
The scooters showed up suddenly last fall, sparked intense debate and then many of them disappeared when college students left for winter break. Did the “Birds” just migrate? Did city council’s decision to regulate the scooters cause them to fly the coop?
The army of rentable scooters that began ambling down Harrisonburg’s streets this month brought another element of the gig economy to the Valley, including all the questions that go along with a new service: How are they regulated? What are the safety implications? And is this going to alter daily life?
Community volunteers and city staff who are part of a key environmental committee will present their Environmental Action Plan to city council Tuesday, which the group says will serve as a blueprint for ways Harrisonburg can help save energy, money and the planet. As part of that effort to encourage the council to act, committee members are urging residents to turn out to Tuesday’s council meeting.