Council Eyes Traffic Calming Options for Loudoun, Plaza Streets

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.

2 thoughts on “Council Eyes Traffic Calming Options for Loudoun, Plaza Streets

  • 2019-07-17 at 1:25 pm

    First, to the author of the article, Gateway Drive does not intersect with Plaza Street, it intersects with Sycolin Rd. Plaza changes to Sycolin when crossing Rt 7/Market Street.

    Second, as someone who lives in the neighborhoods off Rockbridge, this stoplight is DESPERATELY needed. The new bridge has caused A LOT of cut through traffic and with that comes people driving 50+ MPH on a 35 MPH road. The police often sit on the other side of the bridge (over near Hope Pkwy) but they almost never sit on the Rt 7 side, where the speed actually drops down. This is important because this side of Sycolin sees more children and pedestrians walking on the new sidewalks and bike path due to the proximity to Market Street and the Elementary school. We really need a way to slow everyone down. I’d be interested in a roundabout. That would be very interesting, and would really slow down the traffic while maintaining the ease of the road (not having to wait at a long light).

    Third, this light will be even more necessary when Crescent Parke opens off Olde Izaak park. All of those drivers are going to use Sycolin as a cut through and the traffic will just get worse. Those of us living off Rockbridge and Gateway already have a hard enough time trying to make left turns with the current traffic.

  • 2019-07-19 at 9:25 am

    “in the bustling downtown area”

    It’s nice to hear downtown described like that. For too many years, words like “morose” or “lethargic” would have been more appropriate.

    It’s nice that downtown has not only lifted off but is on fire.

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