The historic town of Leesburg, Virginia sits more than 30 miles to the west of Washington, DC and is the seat of Loudoun County. Once a sleepy town, Leesburg has grown tremendously in recent decades along with the rest of the county.
Yet, partly due to its distance from the Washington metro region, it hasn’t developed non-vehicular options like other communities. As a Leesburg town document states, however, Leesburg “is blessed with the bicycle equivalent of a commuter super highway leading straight into the (nearby) Dulles high-tech corridor – the W&OD Trail.”
Traffic Engineering in the Greater Washington DC Region: More Than Just Cars
To help residents connect with this bicycle “super highway,” the Town of Leesburg has introduced new on-street bike lanes that connect the trail system on the north side of town with the W&OD Trail. The bike route project was initiated at the request of Council Members David Butler and Katie Sheldon Hammler, who expressed concern over the lack of a safe route for residents in north Leesburg to access the W&OD Trail.
The W&OD Trail begins in nearby rural Purcellville and runs along a 45-mile paved track to Arlington, Virginia which sits just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital.
Wells + Associates’ traffic engineers and transportation planners prepared plans for the on-street bike lane along Plaza Street from Battlefield Parkway to the WO & D Trail. The bike lane features “share the road”, “travel lane buffer” and parking lane buffer” treatments. As one town official noted, “Our next task is to promote bike safety and get people to wear a helmet.”