Purcellville Residents, VRT Debate Cut-Through Traffic Projections

The Purcellville Town Council last week continued its review of plans to establish a park-and-ride lot at the Virginia Regional Transit headquarters along Hatcher Avenue.

The proposal has sparked neighborhood concerns about increased cut-through traffic on Country Club Drive.

Three residents from the neighborhood addressed the council on the issue during its Oct. 24 meeting.

Bob Anderson, a homeowner on Country Club Drive, said he has seen cars passing school buses as children board.

“It is a very, very dangerous situation,” he said. “If this goes on, something’s going to happen.”

Acting Police Chief Joe Schroeck said the department is already taking action.

“We try to maintain a presence [in Country Club],” he said. “We’re well aware of the issues we’re dealing with up there.”

After an Oct. 18 meeting involving 36 Country Club residents and representatives of the town’s public works and police departments, residents recommended the close of the road to through traffic during peak hours. For VDOT to consider the request, a traffic count is required.

According to Interim Town Manager Alex Vanegas, Maintenance Superintendent Jason Didawick conducted traffic counts the next day and found 203 vehicles passing through the neighborhood between 8 and 9 a.m., while trips by residents totaled 189. Vanegas said those numbers meet VDOT’s threshold of 150 vehicles required for an application.

VRT attorney Mary Gale Holden said she told the council that the traffic counts weren’t indicative of commuter traffic that would be using the lot and riding Loudoun’s commuter buses since they weren’t done before 5:30 a.m. and between 5:30 and 8 p.m.

Holden said projections from the county counted only two vehicles cutting through the neighborhood during the peak times she suggested. “[The VRT commuter lot] is going to have a minimum impact on the traffic that cuts through Country Club,” she said.

Vanegas agreed that cut-through traffic on Country Club Drive isn’t a problem because of VRT’s project, but is already a problem.

“Moving forward, we will work with the residents to solve that problem,” he said.

While VRT sought a vote on its application last Tuesday night—after a nine-month wait, Mayor Kwasi Fraser said the council and the town staff would take up the issue at the Nov. 14 meeting.

Vanegas said another meeting between the town and Country Club residents would be held before then.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

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