Editor: I read the article on four-lane plans for Rt. 15N as I cannot reach my home by any other road. Supervisor Higgins states that “the process has been more open than any process the County has ever held.” Unfortunately, an “open process” that directly contacts HOAs, various business//historic/associations and fails to directly contact 1,700 unrepresented property owners is far from “open.”
The county clearly knows how to “reach me” when sending my tax bills by mail. Yet for a project with the enormity of a complete Rt.15N redesign I’m not even worth a letter of intent and a stamp.
This is wrong, and the opposite of a universal and equally “open” process.
Even property owners fortunate to be represented by a “seat” at the invitation-only “stakeholders meetings” have come to find that before the county began its closed process many of the project goals were already finalized in the “mind” of the county.
Fact: The county submitted a request to the Regional Transportation Board to study four-laning before the first meeting of stakeholders was held.
Fact: By December the county submitted a funding request to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority for four laning, and residents were asked to support securing this “place hold of funds” as design process continued. Months later—through citizen effort—residents became aware the submitted four-lane proposal went much further north than had been presented to residents. We had been asked to “support” the request on the basis of false and misleading information about the goals of the project. After the fact is when residents found out a goal of the $81million project is to “attract traffic” from as far away as the Beltway.
Fact: The new draft of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan indicates county desire to turn Rt. 15 north into an “expressway” with severely limited access, such as you see on Rt. 7.
Absolutely none of the verbal discussions I’ve had with supervisors during this process indicated such goals.
I’ve been told: “4 lanes to Whites Ferry then a merge.” Weeks later, “4 lanes to merge just before Montresor.” Then, “merge just north of Montresor.”
Then, “merge just south of Lucketts.”
This “open process” has been a sham, and a slap in the face to the vast majority of Loudoun residents who have indicated in surveys, public comments, and comments on Envision Loudoun our deeply held desire to preserve our rural, agricultural character and centuries of history.
Wake up Loudoun. We’re about to lose our culture and heritage.
Rosemary Lawler, Leesburg