The Cardinal Glen HOA Rt7 Study Committee was delighted to have the Loudoun County Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure (DTCI) team members John ‘JT’ Thomas and Bob Brown speak with us virtually on Monday, December 6, at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the Route 7 Corridor Study.
Meeting notes by Secretary Lori Jule:
Special Guests: Bob Brown & John (JT) Thomas from Department of Transportation & Capital Infrastructure (DTCI), Koran Saines, Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Sterling District, and Senior Transportation Planner Corinna Sigsbury
Moderator: Megan Pecorino
HOA Board Members: Mary Kipps, Lori Jule, Krista Donlon, Nicole Ross, John Gonzalez, Maliha Balala, Holly Lindstrom
Homeowners & Baha’i members: approximately 73 attendees…we had a GREAT turnout!
Board of Supervisors Phyllis J. Randall was invited but did not attend. Supervisor Koran Saines explained that if three or more representatives from the BOS were in attendance, it would have to be a public meeting.
Krista welcomed everyone and set expectations and then Megan kicked off the meeting. Supervisor Saines gave an overview of the study and the proposal and handed the floor to Bob Brown with DTCI.
Bob Brown stated the study looked at projected conditions of Rt 7 in the 4-mile corridor between Dranesville Rd and Rt 28 as of year 2040. In Bob’s presentation, the study compared no changes being made with how the conditions would potentially improve if changes were made. Four proposals were reviewed and three were discounted. The Board of Supervisors requested DTCI to move forward with Alternative #4. For the 2040 proposal, no money has been approved for the changes to the corridor. Trends indicate a 1% increase per year to traffic between now and 2040. This equates to an increase from 60,000 vehicles to 80,000 daily. The overall presentation included slides and videos explaining the proposed intersection changes along the corridor with a large focus on the Rt 7 & Cardinal Glen Circle proposed changes.
Alternative #4 has a proposal for the signaled intersections between Dranesville & Rt 28. There is not enough room at the existing intersections to create cloverleaf intersections along the corridor, therefore several of the intersections will have a variation of an overpass, a Green T intersection and/or a Center Turn Overpass (Echelon). The Rt 7 and Cardinal Glen Circle intersection would essentially change to a Green T intersection (although modified since we have cars entering and exiting our community). The proposal is for right in and right out turns only. The proposal also includes a U-turn Lane at or near Potomac View Rd to go eastbound on Rt. 7. When travelling eastbound on Rt. 7, the proposal includes a U-turn being made at Augusta Dr to go westbound on Rt. 7 and turn right onto Cardinal Glen Circle.
After Bob concluded reviewing the proposal, JT explained this is a concept in safety and operationally, but it is not yet set in stone.
It was stressed that there is a shorter-term improvement proposal and is considered “safety improvements”. There are 5 intersections that are considered “Rank 5 intersections” and are deemed the worst intersections in the county. The improvements for these intersections are funded. The Cardinal Glen Circle intersection is one of the “Rank 5 intersections”. Consultants are being hired so the planning can be finalized, and construction can begin. The short-term decision for planning andimplementation is within 2-3 years (as of July 2021) with construction starting in approximately 5 years.
The proposal is a modified Green T intersection with a right in and right out access only. There would be a sensor (or something similar) to trigger the west bound Rt 7 traffic to come to a stop so we can exit our community (this would likely be based on several cars lined up to turn right out of Cardinal Glen – not just one or two vehicles). Bob, JT & Supervisor Saines stated there will be numerous public meetings about the proposals during the planning stage.
Supervisor Saines said to contact him at Koran.Saines@loudoun.gov to be added to the email list to get updates on meetings.
After the presentation the meeting was opened to Q&A, and we had a spirited discussion with many homeowners expressing their concern about the safety of getting in and out of Cardinal Glen without a fully functioning traffic light and home values being negatively affected by this change. The Cardinal Glen community overwhelmingly objected to the proposal especially due to safety concerns that the proposal presents for our community.
DTCI is responsible for reaching out to the community about proposed changes. Please note Cardinal Glen residents nor the HOA were aware of these proposals. An astute resident brought it to the board’s attention and along with a group of residents that are assisting the board, this meeting was scheduled so we could better understand the proposal and how it will affect us.