Raspberry Falls HOA Two nights ago, the Route 15 Stakeholder Committee met for the 5th time. To put things in perspective, our first meeting was August 1, 2017. We have come a long way since then. Topics: – King Street / Rte 15 intersection short term plans – Funding (please submit comments to NVTA) – Public Input Results on the NORTHERN section of Rte 15, north of Montressor – Stakeholder / Community Input on various proposals as a result of the survey
We began the meeting with an update on the VDOT interim improvements planned for the King Street & Rte 15 merge just south Tutt Lane. VDOT is still working on the design that will extend the merge all the way to Tutt Lane to allow more room for cars coming from King Street to merge with the faster moving Rte 15 traffic. There have been some issues with maintaining access for those living off Little Spring Rd, and they met with them recently to try to accomodate their access needs. Once those are addressed, VDOT is ready to build almost immediately. They do not have to ask for money or contract anything out for this interim improvement so that means once the concerns of Little Spring Rd are addressed, they can begin construction. This “should” start this calendar year.
We then discussed funding. As you know we are trying to get NVTA funding to the tune of $54M. The NVTA board is holding an open Public session THIS THURSDAY, MAY 10TH, @7PMĀ AT 3040 WILLIAMS DRIVER, SUITE 200, FAIRFAX, VA.
Additionally, staff from NVTA were at the Loudoun Board of Supervisors last night, Wednesday, May 9th to present options and get public input. While the NVTA Board was not present at the May 9th meeting, their staff will be present and will take back any comments to the NVTA Board. If you cannot attend either meeting and speak, at the very least, please post a comment on their comments page stressing the urgent need to fix Rte 15. In your comments, please don’t go into specifics about design. We simply need to show support for getting it fixed, and this money goes a long way. The design can happen later after we get the money. Here’s the link to submit your comments on why this project should be the top priority for NVTA across the region. NVTA will announce their project selections in June. Please submit your comments NOW!!!

[1] Additionally, Loudoun has identified an additional $27.5M through Local Tax funding and bonds that could be issued to make this project happen. But, those bonds are FY22 and FY23 bonds, so we really need the NVTA funding.
After some discussion, we then moved onto review the results of the March Public Input session & online survey. You can view the powerpoint here:
www.raspberryfalls.org/wp-content/plugins/civicrm/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=352&qid=25896 [2] Remember, that this input session has NOTHING to do with the road south of Montressor. This was all about the “norther section” which goes from Montressor all the way to the MD line. Here’s some of the more interesting statistics:
– There were 875 unique responses to the survey (about 75% of the responses were from people living along the Route 15 corridor. We have asked for an even more detailed breakdown if possible to see which sections of the corridor participated the most.) – 97% of respondents want “something” done to improve Rte 15. It was an open ended question to get a feel on status quo. – 67% of respondents are in support of a “Lucketts Bypass”. – Only 14% of respondents do NOT want additional widening north of Montressor up to some point south of Lucketts.
Slide 9 is particularly interesting in terms of safety: – 92% want wider shoulders along the corridor (for emergency vehicles, pull offs, etc) – 72% want lower speeds through the Lucketts village, but 64% do not want slower speeds on the other sections – 63% want ZERO passing lanes – 80% want further truck restrictions – 61% want better roadway lighting
When it came to intersections, almost every intersection was in favor of a roundabout EXCEPT downtown Lucketts, which wanted a light. This makes sense if a bypass goes in.
As you may be aware, part of this process might include the re-alignment of some roads to create better intersections. Specifically: Newvalley Church / Spinks Rd and Montressor / Limestone School Rd. 85% of respondents support this realignment. Geary Higgins suggested that if there is money available, they would like to include the re-alignment of Limestone with Montressor as part of the “southern” project, which is essentially the widening from Leesburg to Montressor.
Lastly, they showed us two proposals for improvements to Route 15, asked us what we thought about them, and asked us to get feedback from our community.
One model showed widening stopping BEFORE Montressor. The other model showed widening all the way to Lucketts. Both models show a Lucketts bypass. We asked what the impact of the proposals would be on safety and on congestion. They said that they had not run the models yet. We all pretty much responded that we cannot weigh in with our feelings without knowing the predicted impact. Our goal is to get Virginians to their homes safely and efficiently, and without knowing how the various models effect that goal, we can’t provide feedback. So we asked for additional models that we wanted them to run, and asked them to get us those results so that we could provide better responses.
Surprisingly, there was not a model showing widening up to Montressor, and then dropping to a single lane each way north of Montressor (this is the most likely outcome of the current Rte 15 project we are trying to get funded). There was also not a model showing no bypass and instead putting in roundabouts north and south of Lucketts and re-aligning Stumpton and Lucketts Rd. While there is large support for the bypass, a few folks wanted to see other options, so we supported their desire to see other options.
Additionally, both models proposed by staff had roundabouts at the NewValley Church / Spinks Ferry re-alignment, and the Montressor / Limestone School Rd re-alignment, regardless of whether it’s one lane or two lanes each way. If it is two lanes each way, we would like to see the impact difference of roundabout versus light at those intersections. Folks off Montressor have real concerns that if it gets widened all the way north, and they end up with a double lane roundabout, that it may cause access issues during peak periods into their community. So we need to see the impact of light vs roundabout in the computer model.
Having said that, we did give our personal opinions that evening on some of the features of the two models presented:
1) I like the idea of a Lucketts Bypass. It is also widely supported by the March general survey they took described earlier. It moves traffic around Lucketts since the light at Lucketts will seemingly always be a major issue with traffic flow. Additionally, it moves big trucks and heavy traffic away from the school directly on Rte 15, and it makes downtown Lucketts a potentially safer and better place for shoppers and businesses.
2) Each model included a shared use path (biking / jogging) alongside Rte 15 on the West side. I am in favor of this. It would be great to be able to bike the length of Rte 15 to get from Lucketts into Leesburg. The general survey results also support this.
3) The models included a grass median, regardless of whether capacity was increased to two lanes each way, or just held to one lane (north of Montressor). This was supported by the general survey, and I support it too.
4) None of the plans show widening all the way to the MD line. I agree with this. I am not in favor of widening all the way to the MD border. MD has no immediate plans to widen on their side… But, if we widen all the way on our side, it will encourage MD to widen on their side and increase the incentive for out of state commuters to use Rte 15. Having a bottleneck AFTER the vast majority of Virginians are safely home is NOT something Virginia should place as a priority concern. We do not want to encourage even more traffic. This is especially true since MD is building several new large developments just across the border off of Ballenger Parkway.
If you have strong feelings about these four items, feel free to reach out to me, Dave Goodrum, our Stakeholder representative. I gave my personal opinion at the meeting, but I recognize that my role is to represent the community, not just my personal opinion. So, once we have the results of all the computer models, we will probably create some sort of online survey to get more formalized feedback on this that I can present to the committee.
In the meantime, if you made it this far, please remember to go submit your comments to NVTA expressing how desperate we are to make Route 15 a safer, less congested road!!! www.raspberryfalls.org/wp-content/plugins/civicrm/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=351&qid=25896 [1] Dave

Links: —— [1] www.raspberryfalls.org/wp-content/plugins/civicrm/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=351&qid=25896 [2] www.raspberryfalls.org/wp-content/plugins/civicrm/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=352&qid=25896