Around The Region
Newsletter of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission

Terry Kelley 

Augusta County


Marshall Pattie

Augusta County


Joseph Colvin

Augusta County


Leslie Tate

Augusta County


Edward Hicklin

Bath County


Tim Petrie 

Buena Vista


Abe Shearer


Ted Byrd 



Adam Fletcher


Kevin Wagner

Highland County


Frank Friedman



A. W. Buster Lewis
Rockbridge County


Chris Slaydon

Rockbridge County


Ned Overton
Rockingham County


Rick Chandler

Rockingham County


Casey Armstrong  

Rockingham County


Kim Sandum
Rockingham County


Carolyn Dull



Sharon Angle



Jeff Freeman


Rusty Johnson


Commission Staff
Bonnie Riedesel
Executive Director
Elizabeth McCarty
Director of Planning

Rebecca Joyce
Senior Planner/Program Manager 

Ann Cundy
Transportation Program Manager

Scott Philips 
Transportation Planner  
Robbie Huff
GIS Manager/
Regional Planner

Nancy Gourley
Transit Manager

Hunter Joseph
GIS Specialist/ 
Planning Assistant

Devon Thompson
Planning Assistant

Cindi Johnson
Fiscal Officer

Rita Whitfield
Office Manager

Kimberly Miller
Administrative Assistant

Tracey Coltrain
Fields of Gold
Quick Links
December 2016
SAWMPO and CAMPO Hold Annual Joint Meeting
The second annual joint meeting of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro MPO (SAWMPO) and the Charlottesville-Albemarle MPO (CAMPO) was held in October at the Virginia Regional Transit Facility in Fishersville.
SAWMPO and CAMPO began meeting in 2015 to discuss ways to maximize resources and expertise to address transportation issues critical to both MPO regions.  The group heard presentations on a number of important studies and programs that are being jointly developed by the MPOs, including the Inter-Regional Transit Study, the SPACE I-64 Project, and the Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Restoration Project.  Following the meeting, the Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation provided a tour of the eastern trail and tunnel portal. The next joint meeting of the MPOs will be held in October 2017.
Bike-Walk Summit Moves to Broaden Access
The 5th Annual Harrisonburg & Rockingham Bike-Walk Summit was held on the James Madison University campus in November. The event brought together a wide range of partners who are working to make Harrisonburg and Rockingham County a great biking and walking community to live in and to visit. The summit was conducted by the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization (HRMPO), in partnership with the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and facilitated by the JMU Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue.

The summit featured a keynote address from Veronica O. Davis, PE, Co-Owner and Principal at Nspiregreen, and co-founder of Black Women Bike DC.  Interactive sessions with attendees focused on assessing the bicycling and walking culture of the region and on developing ways to broaden access to bicycling and walking.
Inter-regional Commuter Bus Study Underway
The CSPDC is working closely with consultants from the KFH Group to study the feasibility of implementing transit service in the Interstate 81 and 64 corridors, connecting the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro and Charlottesville.  The Steering Committee members include representatives from Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro MPO, Charlottesville-Albemarle MPO, Harrisonburg-Rockingham MPO, the University of Virginia, James Madison University, and area transit providers like Harrisonburg Transit, Charlottesville Area Transit, JAUNT, and BRITE.
Prior transit studies and a public survey have confirmed the need for such a transit service, and the Steering Committee and consultants are reviewing next steps including potential routing and stops, park and ride lot needs, costs and funding, management, and oversight.
Child Care Provider Emergency Training Held
In October, CSPDC staff taught the workshop, "During the Storm: Child Care Center Preparedness" to staff from child care centers in Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro.  Sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Social Services' Quality Child Care Initiative Program, the workshop focused on preparing child care centers for severe weather and emergencies as well as providing training on how to help children cope with these situations.
For information about scheduling a similar workshop or any of the free emergency preparedness workshops the CSPDC offers, contact Rebecca Joyce, 540-885-5174,
Broadband Funding Guide in Development
A Broadband Funding Guide is being developed by the CSPDC to provide valuable resource information to assist localities in building and expanding broadband infrastructure with the goal of stimulating economic competitiveness. The Guide outlines federal and state funding opportunities, provides links, identifies the types of projects that can be funded, and specifies deadlines for the various telecommunication funding opportunities. The Guide is expected to be available on the CSPDC website in December.
Fields Of Gold Publishes Fence Talk
"Fence Talk," the Fields of Gold Farm Trail Newsletter that provides valuable information and resources to members of the Fields of Gold Farm Trail was published in October. This latest edition featured training and conference opportunities, marketing tools, and profiles of member farms and signature events. 

Read the entire newsletter here:

CSPDC Updates Website
The CSPDC website has a new, modern look and increased navigability!   The web address remains and will continue to host a wealth of resources including: the Regional Data Center, descriptions of CSPDC programs and services, grant resources, maps, and links to member localities.
Braiding the Way for Outdoor Recreation to Hold Community Forums
A series of community forums have been scheduled for the Braiding the Way for Outdoor Recreation initiative in the Rockbridge Area. The purpose of the forums is to give the public the chance to review inventoried outdoor recreation assets such as trails, parks, boat access points, campgrounds, and birding / wildlife sites and to provide input about specific outdoor recreation projects that are important to their families and the community.

The final forum for 2016 is scheduled on December 5th at Fairfield Elementary School. Additional meetings are in the works for early 2017.
Public Open House to Be Held for Long Range Transportation Plan
The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization (HRMPO) will hold an informational public open house on the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 from 4-6 p.m. at the Rockingham County Government Center in the Community Development Department's Community Room, 20 E. Gay Street, Harrisonburg, VA.
The LRTP is required of all MPOs to plan roadway, non-motorized and transit projects in the region for a 25-year period.   Public input about transportation challenges and concerns is an extremely important part of the process. The open house will allow the public to review transportation performance information that covers population and other demographics, employment, transit, bike and pedestrian facilities and proposed projects. MPO staff will be on hand to answer questions and collect feedback. 
I-64 Corridor Study Kicks Off
A public meeting has been scheduled for 5:00 - 7:00  p.m. December 12, 2016 at the Crozet Public Library located at 2020 Library Avenue in Crozet.  This Open House will provide information and solicit the public's feedback as part of an inter-regional study of transportation needs in the I-64 corridor between Charlottesville and Staunton.

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) and the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission are undertaking a transportation study to examine transportation issues in the I-64 Corridor from Charlottesville to Staunton. The project will examine traffic congestion, transit, vehicle speeds and public safety issues.  This Open House provides an opportunity to learn about the study and interact with the study team and agency officials. Most importantly, it will allow citizens the opportunity to provide input and identify areas of concern. The project study team will be available to answer your questions and take your comments.

For more information, please visit the study website:
Fields of Gold Loop Added to Fall Foliage Bike Fest
A 20-mile Fields of Gold Loop was included in this year's Shenandoah Valley Fall Foliage Bike Fest. The two-day bicycle festival held in October brought in over 800 cyclists from around Virginia, D.C., and Maryland.  The Fields of Gold route traveled through Augusta County, stopping at Sunrise Orchards, Meadowcroft Farm, and Polyface Farm.  Shuttles were provided to transport riders' purchases to the end of the route.
The bike-to-farm loop was the most popular Sunday ride, and Fields of Gold expects to expand the route next year to include additional farms.
Governor's Infrastructure Financing Conference Set for December

The Virginia Resources Authority's 2016 Governor's Infrastructure Financing Conference will take place in Colonial Williamsburg on December 14-16.  The conference will emphasize funding opportunities available through government and private sources for local infrastructure projects that advance the health and safety of residents, expand economic and community development efforts, and improve quality of life. 
Local government staff, developers, engineers, consultants, and other professionals who assist communities in planning and implementing capital projects are encouraged to participate in the conference. More information is available at :

Retiring Staff from Augusta County and City of Staunton

Becky Earhart (left), Senior Planner for Augusta County, is retiring after 26 years of service with the County. Ms. Earhart served on the CSPDC as a Commission member from January 1991 to June 2000 and April 2013 to October 2016.

Sharon Angle (right), Director of Planning for the City of Staunton, is retiring after 29 years of service with the City. Ms. Angle serves on the CSPDC as a Commission member. Ms. Angle is shown here with Billy Vaughn, Staunton's Economic Development Director. 

Ms. Earhart and Ms. Angle are both former employees of the CSPDC. The CSPDC would like to extend their appreciation to Ms. Earhart and Ms. Angle for their outstanding leadership and notable service to their respective jurisdictions, the Planning District Commission, and the people of the District.
CSPDC Staff Donates Christmas Stockings
The CSPDC staff contributed stockings filled with toys and goodies to the Salvation Army effort to deliver stockings to children in need this holiday season. Kathy Johnson, an active member of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro community, is shown here with the PDC stockings which were part of 152 she personally distributed and collected from volunteers around the area, far exceeding her goal of 100! 

CSPDC employees maintain a "Charity" fund that collects donations for a variety of charities around the region throughout the year, part of which went to filling this season's stockings.
McCartys Take Flight
Elizabeth McCarty, CSPDC Director of Planning, and her son, Jamison, were invited to take the inaugural flight of ViaAir on November 30 from Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport.  ViaAir is the newest airline serving the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport with direct service to Charlotte.  Twice a week the flight continues to Orlando.  During the selection process, 15-year old Jamison provided airport manager, Greg Campbell, with his analysis of the potential airlines and their services and offered his recommendation.  Mr. Campbell was so impressed with Jamison's report that he invited him on the inaugural flight.