Leesburg leaders are exploring options to slow traffic on some busy town streets
Town Council members last week received an update on planned improvements to the Plaza Street/Gateway Drive intersection, an area where speeders have caught the attention of the Leesburg Police Department. Also, town Transportation Engineer Calvin Grow said it has also been the site of three crashes this year,
Current plans call for a traffic signal to be installed there in fiscal year 2024, but the council asked its Standing Residential Traffic Committee to weigh in on whether any improvements are needed sooner. Grow said the panel recommended that a driver feedback sign be installed near the intersection to relay speed back to passing motorists in the hopes of getting them to slow down. The committee also recommended that staff members check to see if the warrants for a traffic signal at the intersection already are being met; that could move the project up in town’s Capital Improvements Program schedule. That study will take place in the fall. Grow said the staff also reached out to VDOT for help in determining whether the intersection would be a good candidate for a roundabout. More routine maintenance in the area to help with sight distance will also be conducted.
The driver feedback sign is expected to be installed at the intersection within the next 60 days, Grow said.
Another potential traffic calming project could come in the bustling downtown area. Council members received a report on the possibility of placing a mid-block crosswalk across Loudoun Street just outside the Town Hall parking garage. It’s an area were many pedestrians choose to dart across the street rather than uses the nearby King Street crosswalk.
The town staff is looking at two options: a stamped crosswalk, similar to the one further down Loudoun Street between the County Government Center and Market Station; and a raised crosswalk, like the one on King between Market and Loudoun streets.
The stamped crosswalk is a far cheaper option at $25,000, which includes $15,000 for the flashing pedestrian signs, Capital Projects Manager Terry Yates said. A raised crosswalk would cost $65,000, because it would require the installation of storm inlets and storm sewer outfall to address the drainage.
Because there is no speeding or crash history in the area, the staff has recommended the less expensive option.
The council took no action during its meeting last week.