Residents of Purcellville’s Country Club Estates will soon not have to deal with speeding traffic cutting through their neighborhood.
The Town Council last week voted unanimously to approve a pilot program that includes the installation of six removable barriers at the intersection of 33rd Street and Country Club Drive. The barrier will eliminate a shortcut connecting West Main Street and North 21st Street.
The work, estimated to cost $2,000, is expected to be done during the schools’ winter break next month. Once installed, the barriers will be in place around the clock and removed only by fire and rescue crews.
“It will be emergency access only,” Vanegas said.
For the pilot project, the barriers will be left up through March. Staff members will then meet with residents to determine whether the program worked and if it should continue until June before another discussion.
“This gives us an opportunity to change behaviors and see how that works,” Vanegas said.
The town’s decision to pursue the program comes after months of residents voicing concern about the current cut-through traffic. Vanegas said residents really started speaking up when they heard that Virginia Regional Transit wanted to build a commuter lot off Hirst Road.
“I think that scared them,” Vanegas said. “They saw it as an issue where they believed it would increase even more traffic.”
Although the lot was also approved Tuesday night, commuters won’t have the option to take a shortcut through the neighborhood by the time the lot is finished.
Jeff Scott, homeowner on Country Club Drive and father of two young children, was one of a few residents who urged council Tuesday night to take action. He said the high volume and speed of the cut-through traffic was unsafe because there aren’t sidewalks on Country Club Drive. He said there had been an increase of 900 cars per week during the past five years, and claimed that 40 to 60 percent of vehicles aren’t stopping at stop signs and cars are passing buses while children board.
“All I ask as a father, and as a Country Club resident, is if you have any doubt, come sit in my driveway in the morning or afternoon with me… and witness what I witness,” he said. “We’re looking for semi-permanent barriers.”
Vice Mayor Nedim Ogelman said he was impressed by the residents’ efforts to get help from the town.
“This is a deliberative community effort to try to hash out a response,” he said. “As a councilmember here I couldn’t wish for anything more than that.”