Editor: In light of recent talks about the fate of the Westpark property, and a recent uptick in the number of cyclists in and around Leesburg, I’d like to make a suggestion which may not have been listened to or taken seriously if not for the current quarantine.
As a rising senior at Loudoun County High School, I recognize the limited parking availability on campus and the strain this puts on students who commute to school. Likewise, I recognize the lack of safe routes to LCHS for those who would otherwise consider walking, biking, or taking some other form of micro mobility to get to and from school. The Westpark property has the opportunity to serve as the perfect host for a connection between the residential neighborhoods of Woodlea Manor, Greenway Farms, Linden Hill, Country Club, and the Tuscarora Creek Apartments and Loudoun County High School.
The current golf cart paths on the property could very well serve as the foundation for a path which connects students to their school without need for a car, thus alleviating some of the current pressure on parking availability on school grounds. Additionally, the path would provide yet another connection to downtown Leesburg and the W&OD Trail. If the current crowded state of crosswalks on Rt. 15/King Street aren’t argument enough for a path embedded in the residential area, I don’t know what is.
While past arguments of loitering students have been used to push back against connecting Dry Mill Road and Chancellor Street, I think they fail to recognize the benefit it would bring all students, present and future, who would be affected. Utilizing the Westpark property to connect LCHS Raiders to their school in a sustainable manner would be, in my opinion, a wise move for the future of Leesburg and its place in the bicycle-curious Washington Metro Area.