Growth, Development & Traffic
Citizen input in planning for Loudoun’s future is critical -- particularly when some are pushing for more residential development at a faster pace than the county and general public have planned for.

Loudoun County has been studying alternatives for the future of Route 15, and while they’ve said they want to preserve the historic and rural character of the road, new county documents show their intent is a four-lane divided expressway, which would attract more traffic.

This paper was prepared by Ian Lockwood, PE, of the Toole Design Group, for the Catoctin Coalition, Journey Through Hallowed Ground, Piedmont Environmental Council, Coalition for Smarter Growth, and Southern Environmental Law Center. In it, he advocates for traffic calming along the critical stretch of roadway on Rt. 15 north of Leesburg in order to make the road safer, reduce congestion and increase accessibility. Read the paper >>

The Loudoun County Comprehensive plan is being revised through a process called Envision Loudoun. It is a particularly important policy framework for a county like Loudoun, which is consistently one of the fastest growing jurisdictions in the U.S...Unfortunately, upon reading the released draft, I don’t believe it represents the majority of Loudoun resident’s values and interests expressed in the Envision Loudoun public input phase.

I want to let you know about a critical transportation decision before the Board of Supervisors pertaining to Rt. 15 north of Leesburg. The County originally proposed 4-laning Rt. 15 from Battlefield Parkway to White's Ferry Road, but then expanded the proposal to widen an additional 1.5 miles north to Montresor Road. Alternatively, we support putting a roundabout in place of a traffic light at the White’s Ferry intersection, and maintaining the road north of that at two lanes (with improved shoulders).

Last November, I wrote to you about a rezoning the Loudoun Board of Supervisors is considering for True North Data. The proposal will be back up for a vote on Thursday, January 18.

Last week I wrote a post about Public Drinking Water Supply and the Loudoun Transition Area, but this time, I want to drill down into a specific development proposal that would impact water quality: the True North Data center application. This rezoning, just upstream of the Goose Creek reservoir, would place a highly impervious use in the same subwatershed as the public water intake.

The question facing Loudoun today is this: How much are we willing to increase development in the environmentally sensitive Transition Area? Particularly when we know the result would be a long-term reduction in water quality and increased cost to taxpayers...

True North Data is being proposed on an environmentally sensitive site in Loudoun’s Transition Policy Area. At the same time, the Board of Supervisors is asking citizens what they would like for that area's future as part of a Comprehensive Plan review.... Read more in this email alert from PEC field representative Gem Bingol. 

During the summer of 2017, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors directed county staff to study and recommend potential Potomac bridge crossing sites between Goose Creek and the Fairfax County line. The new bridge has long been a dream of area real-estate interests, but has been rejected by residents and planners throughout the years, due to numerous flaws (see our 8 Reasons blog post for more detail).

The draft NVTA TransAction Plan is a wish list of over 350 projects being considered for funding.

Though we strongly oppose the new Potomac River Bridge project (24) and the Bi-County Parkway (226), there are many good projects on the list that deserve consideration and support. Not surprisingly, these are the kinds of projects that the public has demonstrated support for through the Envision Loudoun process. I've listed out some of these projects in the tables below.

But, unfortunately, there are ALSO local road-widening projects that would contribute to the Bi-County Parkway corridor and others which would encourage more traffic and speeding through neighborhoods and communities. I've highlighted some of those projects below as well.

As their name implies, zombie projects have a way of coming back every few years. Proponents of these projects keep spending money, they gin up PR campaigns and they eventually convince policymakers that the project deserves another look. In the transportation world, these zombie projects usually share an unfortunate set of characteristics: they benefit few, siphon off limited transportation funding from real solutions, and worse yet, they often lead to increased congestion by contributing to sprawl.

The new Potomac River crossing between Loudoun County, Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland is one such zombie project. During the summer of 2017, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors brought the project back into focus by voting unanimously to add the project into the Countywide Transportation Plan (LoudounNow).

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