County Could Study Safety, Traffic on Western Arteries

The county government could be taking a look at safety and traffic on many of western Loudoun’s major roads.

The county is already conducting a safety study on Rt. 15 north of Leesburg to the Maryland state line—an area that has been studied piecemeal many times. During a transportation summit in June, county transportation staff members recommended a similar study on Rt. 15 south of Leesburg, as well as on four other major rural roads: Rt. 7 west of Leesburg, Rt. 9, Rt. 50, and Rt. 287.

At the same time, the county is working on improvements to those roads. The county is planning major work on Rt. 15 north of Leesburg and is currently hosting public input sessions on those plans.

According to a survey of crashes since 2012, Rt. 15 south of Leesburg is the deadliest of those roads. Its northern portion saw 4 fatal accidents since 2012; between Leesburg and Prince William County, it saw double that. For total number of accidents, Rt. 7 between West Market Street and Clarke County saw the most at 1,120, followed by Rt. 15 north of Leesburg with 962.

Other rural road intersections up for improvement in the county include: interchanges on the Leesburg Bypass at Edwards Ferry Road and Fort Evans Road in Leesburg; an $8 million roundabout at Rt. 50 and Everfield Drive; a $36.4 million interchange at Rt. 7 and Rt. 690; an $11 million interchange upgrade at Rt. 7 and Rt. 287; a $14.5 million roundabout at Rt. 9 and Rt. 287; and $4.8 million toward traffic calming and pedestrian safety in the Town of Hillsboro.

The Countywide Transportation Plan lays out how those roads will ultimately look, although supervisors have recently begun the process of amending those plans on Rt. 15 north of Leesburg to allow for a wider road.

Elsewhere in the county, according to that plan: Rt. 7 will be an eight-lane highway between West Market Street in Leesburg and Rt. 9, six lanes to Round Hill, and four lanes west to Clarke County.

Rt. 9 and Rt. 287 will remain two-lane roads, although Rt. 9 is four lanes in West Virginia.

Rt. 15 will remain two lanes, except for four-lane sections between Harmony Church Road and the Leesburg Bypass, and between Battlefield Parkway and Tutt Lane. There are plans to extend that four-lane section further north to Montresor Road.

Rt. 50, which crosses from the rural to suburban areas of the county, will range from a two-lane road in the west to a four-lane divided road between Northstar Boulevard and Lenah Loop Road.

Western Loudoun supervisors Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) and Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin) were supportive of the county’s plans, although they pushed for more.

Buffington looked for ways to push installation of a traffic signal at the Rt. 50/Fleetwood Road intersection sooner, and advised roundabouts wherever possible on Rt. 50 west of the Trailhead Drive intersection. Higgins asked that the Town of Purcellville be included in discussions of the Rt. 9 and Rt. 287 corridors.

This article was updated July 9 at 8:07 p.m. to correct an error about Supervisor Tony Buffington’s statements at the meeting.

rgreene@loudounnow.com
@RenssGreene

One thought on “County Could Study Safety, Traffic on Western Arteries

  • 2017-07-08 at 5:11 pm
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    Keep up the great reporting Renss! One correction – I’m making an effort to accelerate installation of a traffic signal at Rt 50 & Fleetwood (not Rt 50 & Trailhead). At Rt 50 & Trailhead, and wherever possible west of that location, I’m pushing for roundabouts.

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