At the October 22, 2018 Route 15 Stakeholder Committee Meeting it was announced by Supervisor Geary Higgins that this would be the last Route 15 Stakeholder Committee meeting! Mind you, not one piece of asphalt has been added to widen the Route 15 roadway. It was announced that there may be a “task force” convened to oversee the Route 15 design. It was not defined who or what expertise would be sought after. Would this be a task force of “special interest no growthers”? If so, than this process has been rigged with a pre-determined outcome!
Although some insight on what will occur in the next six months regarding surveying the 3.5 miles from Battlefield Parkway to Montresor Road, a project calendar still does not exist.
Does Geary Higgins have an intent to FIX Route 15 NOW?
In other news:
Several statements were made and questions raised by the stakeholders, most notably the representative from the Catoctin Coalition stated that Supervisor Higgins reneged on his promise made at the July 16, 2018 Route 15 Stakeholder Meeting that his office would send out mailings to those homeowners of the then upcoming “public input” session on September 26, 2018. Supervisor Higgins disagreed, his chief of staff stated that mailings were sent out regarding the session. The Catoctin Coalition representative wanted proof and asked for the zip code mailings which would be made available.
The Catoctin Coalition representative had earlier made the declarative statement that the Little Springs homeowners along the section of road north of the King Street merge and between Tutt Lane were not included in the design of the road enhancements and modifications. Supervisor Higgins pointed out that was not the case and in fact the 1 homeowner affected by the design was in attendance and was satisfied with the impact around his property.
The Catoctin Coalition representative also asked if water testing would be conducted to make sure that sinkholes don’t form and private water wells are not contaminated and county staff said environmental concerns will be accounted for.
The Selma Estates representative asked if there was any analysis conducted between a roundabout and a traffic signal at the proposed realigned intersection of Montresor Road and Limestone School Road? The answer from Mr. Joe Kroboth, the Director of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure was “NO, the consultants only analyzed a roundabout in their traffic analysis – NOT a traffic light. The follow-up question by the stakeholder representative was “why was there not any comparative analysis between a roundabout and a traffic light?” There was silence by the county staff, the consultants and Supervisor Higgins and his chief of staff, Ms. Carey. It should be noted that the “special interest no growthers” have all along insisted on roundabouts at ALL intersections regardless of the traffic engineering fact that VDOT does not support 2 lane roundabouts and a single lane roundabout will fail at this section of the corridor because of the high volume.
The Selma Estates representative asked if there were any plans to include a new project for the safety improvements north of Montresor Road to include the Western (or Eastern) bypass around Lucketts in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget currently being developed to take effect on July 1st, 2018, the start of the new fiscal year. After much consternation among staff, Supervisor Higgins agreed that this project would be included in the budget.
The Lucketts Business Collaborative representative enquired as to whether the design for the widening would take into account safe entry and exiting around the businesses located along Route 15. Mr. Kroboth and county staff answered affirmatively that those safety considerations would be part of the design features so as to not bring any harm, bodily, economic or otherwise to those businesses along the corridor.
The Lucketts Business Collaborative representative was also recognized by Supervisor Higgins as a recent Loudoun County Winery award winner for his vineyard’s wine. The roomful of folks enthusiastically applauded this recognition of distinction. It should be noted that there was no free wine flowing in the goblets of the stakeholders to joyously share any of vineyard’s bounty….
Finally, results from the recent online survey regarding concepts for Route 15 north of Montresor road were presented. 70% of the 1,043 responses favored “Concept B” which continues the 4 lanes with medians further north of Montresor Road with a Lucketts bypass. Over and over again these surveys continue to show community support for what past roadway studies have shown to be proper solutions to Route 15’s safety and congestion issues: 4 lanes with medians and fully paved shoulders. Its clear that the no growth group’s claims that citizens want a “traffic calming” or “alternative solution” are not true. More details regarding the survey and public input can be found here: https://www.loudoun.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/8233