Photo by Loy Elliott


When we look closely at the Appalachian Mountains, in addition to the mountains and ridgelines we too see a central valley running from Pennsylvania to Georgia. This Great Valley, known as the Cumberland Valley in Pennsylvania, has served as a vital transportation link for many centuries and has shaped the region’s history in a wide variety of ways. The relatively flat route funneled settlement to the south and west and attracted the attention of Confederate generals during the Civil War. Today, the I-81 corridor is one of the nation’s most important north-south routes and plays an import economic role for local communities. Dr. Paul Marr (Shippensburg University) explained the history of transportation in the South Mountain region, and discussed how the area’s geography influenced settlement and development patterns. Dr. Marr was joined by Steven Deck, a senior planner for a south-central Pennsylvania regional transit coordination study, and Kirk Stoner, planning director for Cumberland County, for a panel discussion on contemporary land use issues.

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