Greenway Extension Not Likely in Leesburg

When planners were envisioning the extension of the Dulles Toll Road to Leesburg in the late 1980s, they included a segment that would bring the highway all the way downtown. Thirty years later, that line is likely to be erased.

The Leesburg Planning Commission last week recommended that change to the town’s plans.

While there has never been a movement to build the link between the Dulles Greenway’s current terminus at the Leesburg Bypass and Catoctin Circle, the merits of the plan were most recently questioned during the Town Council’s deliberations on the Crescent Parke development plan last year.

The right-of-way that had been reserved for the road extension forms the eastern edge of the 53-acre Crescent Parke property. During the review of the application to build 344 residential units and 161,725 square feet of commercial space, the developer and area residents agreed that the land should be kept in its natural state, rather than cleared and paved.

Following approval of the development last November, the Town Council authorized a $75,000 traffic study to examine the long-term impacts of deleting the link from the town’s plans. The results, presented to the commission Oct. 19, show that the roads in that area of town would perform better without the link. That is because traffic would be dispersed on several streets in area, rather than be funneled directly on to Harrison Street.

Commissioners voted unanimously, with Gigi Robinson absent, to recommend the Town Council remove the road from the town plan.

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