Letter: Margie and Neill Bassford, Leesburg

Editor: The views documented in the letters to the July 18 Loudoun Now are a minority point-of-view. You could say that the authors’ attitude is that the needs of the few trump the needs of the many. In reality, the biggest problem that these folks have is the increased traffic. Good luck trying to stop that growth.

Back in 2006 when hearings were held in Lucketts to address speed controls in the village, we were told by the Virginia Department of Transportation that traffic was expected to double by 2031.It would not surprise us to learn that we are closer to this figure today because Loudoun has continued to grow as has the area long Rt. 15 in Maryland (and in Prince William County south of Leesburg where 15 has been widened as subdivisions built).Also, we were told by a planning official from Frederick County, MD, that their plans to widen Rt. 15 to four lanes south of the Rt. 340/Rt. 15 split were removed from their roadplans because Loudoun had no plans to widen its portion of Rt. 15.Anyone who has traveled north through Maryland along the Catoctin Mountains know that Rt. 15 is a four-lane road from Frederick (the city) through the county into Pennsylvania.Had Loudoun been more forward-thinking by planning to widen Rt. 15, there no doubt would have been discussions regarding the widening of the bridge at Point of Rocks, MD.

Rt. 15, also known as James Monroe Highway, is the most important if not the only north-south highway through Loudoun County.Increased traffic growth on it may have been slowed by Rt. 1 and Interstates 95/495 to the east back in the 1960s but not anymore.Besides, who wants to travel to them to go north or south?Traffic will continue to increase as the population and businesses in Loudoun as well as north and south of our county grow.

The folks against improvements to Rt. 15 should be condemned to travel it every workday morning before 9 a.m. and every night after 3:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. on Fridays), especially during the school year.Also, they should note the heavy traffic on the weekends.(Could non-Loudoun citizens be coming to shop at the Outlets, visit the antique stores, sample wine at our wineries, or shop at our farmers’ stands all while we locals are trying to go about our busineses or does that not matter?)

We say the needs of the many trump the needs of the few.Make improvements to Rt. 15 north of Leesburg.

Just a footnote:The traffic calming improvements to Rt. 15 in Lucketts were never made even though $3 million in federal money was allocated for safety improvements.

Margie and Neill Bassford, Leesburg

3 thoughts on “Letter: Margie and Neill Bassford, Leesburg

  • 2019-07-22 at 3:43 pm

    But they are not against improvements and never have been (despite all the dissembling by Ken Reid on the Fix Route 15 Now site). All of us, regardless of opinions on how best to accomplish it, want improved safety and congestion. Those citizens have been asking for improved shoulders (accomplished just in spots), rumble strips (finally almost built last year), enforcement (need shoulders for that), a lowered speed limit (which was done in 1999), school safety improvements, roundabouts (finally their ideas for combining two sets of intersections are being included in plans), etc. The traffic calming improvements were certainly not built, despite Rep. Frank Wolf’s support for them. The county never sought funding to build them. Not citizens’ fault. Maryland’s Route 15 north of Frederick is in an area of residential and commercial growth; it is Frederick County’s top priority for transportation improvements. It’s southern portion of Route 15 is surrounded by mostly preserved farmland, and little additional development is expected there, county officials told Loudoun. Citizens have been told that the widening will solve congestion. It won’t, but it will mean that the Lucketts area will be covered with houses in the near future.

  • 2019-07-24 at 8:58 pm

    As we can all see from Martha’s response and the other letter today, there is a collective tantrum being thrown by the usual no-growth suspects. The vast majority of the public has figured out their little game to block improvements and have had enough. Thankfully the Board saw through this charade and voted to make some progress. It won’t stop there though. Martha’s crew is already threatening ridiculous lawsuits against county officials themselves merely because the democratic process went against their wishes. See our site and follow us on Facebook if you’re tired of the same regurgitated nonsense being spouted constantly by people who want to block all improvements.


    FIX ROUTE 15 NOW!!!

  • 2019-07-25 at 6:53 am

    Martha – the attacks and misinformation from your group are tiresome and unproductive. The Lucketts Bypass is sorely needed; whether it be west or east of Lucketts. It appears the board have been talking with Frederick officials after all, which is a good thing. The likes of a new bridge and widening of 15 is finally being considered. People I talk to from across the river are all for it. Why don’t we drop the vitriol and move forward so that we can preserve our rural scenic byway and make things safer.


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