Pole Mounted Speed Display Signs

Loudoun County supervisors directed county staff to install three pole mounted speed display signs to address traffic concerns in the Village of Waterford.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has voted to use speed displays to address several traffic concerns in the Village of Waterford.

The board in late January voted unanimously to address the “excessive vehicular speeding and volume” through the town. Residents point to the cut-through-traffic as the root of the concerns.

Catoctin Supervisor Caleb Kershner (R), who represents to the area, made the motion after it was brought to the attention of former Supervisor Geary Higgins (R) in 2015.

“I understand high-speed traffic, how important it is, especially in small towns—especially in a town like Waterford where the roads are narrow—and I hope that some of these solutions including the signs will help,” Kershner said.

The board directed county staff to initiate the process to install three pole-mounted speed display signs (PMSD) at Loyalty Road, First Street and Clarke's Gap Road as an interim traffic calming measure.

Furthermore, the board authorized the transfer of $100,000 from the Traffic Calming Contingency account in the Capital Fund to the Traffic Calming Signs Project in the Capital Projects Fund for the installation, directed staff to continue reviewing the viability of other traffic-calming measures at the three entry points of the village and to review the viability of chicanes or chokers as the ultimate traffic-calming improvement solution at the three entry points of the village.

Numerous studies of traffic in Waterford have been conducted over the years, including an October 2019 survey indicating that vehicles were traveling an average of 12 mph above the speed limits through Waterford. Routes 662 (Clarke's Gap Road/Second Street), 665 (High Street/Loyalty Road), 698 (Water Street) and 785 (Main Street/First Street) were used in the study. All those locations have speed limits of 20 mph.

In a letter to county staff from the Waterford Citizens Association, the group states, “The constant stream of vehicles during peak rush hours makes it difficult to safely walk our narrow streets.”

Residents expressed concerns for children and adults at Waterford Elementary School and during village events such as market days, weddings and festivals.

A 2018 study by Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson identified a commuter cut-through problem in Waterford that qualifies the village for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Residential Cut-Through Program, according to county records.

However, the group says that the study’s proposed solutions do not account for Waterford’s National Historic Landmark status and would not reduce traffic for the village as a whole.

As it states in WCA’s counter-proposal, “Waterford presents a unique problem: because it is a National Historic Landmark, its streets cannot be significantly altered or modernized without risking the village’s landmark status. Hillsboro’s roundabouts and Middleburg’s central traffic lights can’t be implemented here. But something must be done in the near term to reduce traffic volumes village wide and improve safety for residents and visitors.”

A total of 31 PMSD signs are currently in Loudoun, according to county staff. The signs will provide a real-time, dynamic display of drivers’ speeds and encourage drivers to comply with the posted speed limit. 

County staff hopes to report back to the board in July.

The Village of Waterford is a National Historic Landmark that includes a collection of 18th- and 19th-century buildings set within 1,420 acres of farmland in western Loudoun. 

(11) comments

hardworkingamerican

Ok well here is a news flash. Waterford residents, for the most part not all of them, speed and act like "their town" is "their town" and they can do what they want and you can't. Needless to say how many severe accidents have happened on their roads? How many head on collisions? How many frame bending debris spreading accidents where pieces of a shattered rim was spread all over the place. How many times has an accident from a head on collision due to improper road maintenance and insane driving happened resulting in loss of wages and ability to live. How many times have people nearly been sideswiped in Waterford from someone doing 45 or 50 mph. How many times have people walking had to jump into a ditch to avoid a crazy speeder as they fly around a blind corner. Now that I have your attention let's look at the real issue. It's not the sanctimonious people of Waterford or their town or roads. It is the rural road of Rickard between Mill Town and 287. A recent, in the last month, head on collision just sent one to the hospital resulting in debris all over the place that was left and not even cleaned up. Gee I didn't see that in the Loudoun Times Mirror! Rickard road is not wide enough for any normal traffic, it is inundated with blind up-hills and blind corners, people who try and walk on the road are nearly killed everyday. The 25 mph speed limit is ignored by students and workers who use the road as a cut-through jeopardizing the safety of students who are waiting to be picked up by a school bus. The road crumbles under the weight of school buses, work trucks and others that use the road as a cut-through to avoid the "squircle" in Lovettsville. The excuses range from not enough money, to the money is diverted, to the residents on the road don't want it, to it's not important, to God knows what else. This is crap and these "so called people" whomever they may be that are all up in arms about Waterford had better open their eyes and look at the real threat to citizens in other communities. Try stopping Waterford residents from parking on the side of the street where their vehicles are halfway in the middle of the road. Try stopping the person in the Lexus from parking in the middle of the road right after you turn right at the post office. Try stopping the people who turn left just to get one car ahead at the final stop sign before entering onto Clark's Gap. Rickard road is a death trap and real accidents and injuries happen all to often including severe property damage. It is an insult and a slap in the face of people who are in real danger that Waterford is being made out to be such an "important" place. Enough is enough. WAKE UP!!

Chris McHale

I find this signs to be a challenge not a deterrent. Another waste of money.

amerigirl

You make me laugh, or are you serious?

Chris McHale

Ny goal is to put a smile on your face.

marv

Waterford (like my neighborhood) needs speed cameras that issues fines to speeders.

To many, when in their vehicles, have no respect for others.

amerigirl

Would you consider asking for speed humps on those roads? That has worked in neighborhoods before. You would probably need a petition.

jke

Normally you need 75% of the people to approve a project like this, the BoS showing preferential treatment for Waterford?

amerigirl

Looks like it, Catoctin Supervisor Caleb Kershner (R), who represents to the area, made the motion after it was brought to the attention of former Supervisor Geary Higgins (R) in 2015.Why the long time span though?

But why would you say that it would need a 75% of the people to approve it? They did the studies. I have never heard of that before.

jke

vdot, traffic calming

Concerned

Rezoning the property in Waterford to commercial will not help traffic and jeopardizes Waterford’s National Historic Landmark status. Say "no" to the Loudoun Mutual Insurance "special" project (see LOLA on-line) where Sup Higgins gave them $42,000 to wreck Waterford. The drive-through Starbucks or McDonald's that will buy the property in the futures sure won't help. Nepotism needs to be replaced with sound planning.

ace10

I can't count the number of times I've been cut off, sped by, and nearly hit fetching my mail by Waterford residents sporting their "20 is plenty" bumper stickers. These people are truly incredible. Self-serving and sanctimonious only scratches the surface. Good grief.

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