Comments from the Open House were combined with the plans and comments from the workshops to form the Community Traffic Calming Plan. More than 300 people directly contributed to the plan. Because of the way the plan was prepared -- in public and by the public -- it enjoys a high level of community support. Most important, it is referred to as a Preliminary Plan because citizens will have future opportunities to make adjustments as it is prepared in greater detail and, ultimately, engineered for construction.
This report includes maps of each town with selected Traffic Calming measures illustrated from a street-level point of view. The Supplement to this report provides reproductions of the actual maps on which citizens drew their Traffic Calming ideas and wrote their comments.
For the purpose of definition, Route 50 is referred to as the "road" where it travels between or beyond the villages, and is called the "main street" inside the village limits.
In accordance with the Community Vision, four principles were developed from the workshops and were applied to the overall plan:
The plan is described using reduced drawings and written descriptions and explanations. The intent of this chapter is to guide readers through the Plan so that: the intent of, and the relationship between, the Traffic Calming measures will be understood, it is demonstrated that a great deal of thought and effort was used to develop the plans, and adequate information is provided to allow decision makers to approve the project at this stage.
The first area distinguished by the Plan is the Mosby Heritage Area. So that drivers recognize that they are approaching or leaving the Mosby Heritage Area, two components work together: entrance features and a change in the design and feeling of the road.
In the Preliminary Plan, the two entrance features defining the Mosby Heritage Area are located:
The entrance features will have the following characteristics:
Though the Mosby Heritage Area would normally require only two entrance features, there is need for an additional two. Route 15 crosses Route 50 in the Heritage Area at Gilberts Corner. To inform drivers turning off of Route 15 on to Route 50 that they are entering the Mosby Heritage Area, entrance features are placed on Route 50 on both sides of the intersection. These entrance features will share the characteristics of the outer entrances, but they may be smaller depending on the preferences of the community.
In the Preliminary Plan, the design of the Rural Route 50 roadway within the Mosby Heritage Area is altered so that drivers will know that they are in a special area. The design of the road includes:
With these changes, the road within the Mosby Heritage Area will create a different driving experience than that of the traditionally designed sections of Route 50. The road design as defined by the Plan also complements the scenic and historic value of the area.
Currently, drivers on Rural Route 50 do not know that they have arrived in any of the villages until they are well into town, often traveling at high speeds. Therefore, Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville are each defined in the Preliminary Plan by entrance features to inform travelers that they are entering or leaving each of the villages.
To help alert drivers that they are arriving and that it is time to slow down, additional precautions are taken prior to the entrance features:
Where the speed limit has been reduced to 35 mph, a series of strips of cobblestone or paving stone are built across the road at increasingly closer spacing to get drivers' attention. Trees or other plantings placed near both ends of the strips make the strips more conspicuous and discourage drivers from going around them on the grass shoulders. The trees/plantings also create the vertical visual field that further encourages drivers to slow down.
At the entrance features, the speed limit changes to 25 mph. The town entrance features will share the same characteristics as those for the Mosby Heritage Area, but will be designed and approved by each community.
In the Preliminary Plan, the "main street" in each village is defined as Route 50 between the entrance features. The street design changes so that drivers will readily perceive it as different from the rest of the "road." Drivers are more likely to respect the intent of the Plan if the street looks like a part of the community rather than a highway.
The main street design in all the villages is different from the connecting road sections of Route 50 in two ways:
Where there are no curbs, the white lines on the sides of the main streets are replaced with rows of white paving stones embedded at street level to form a border between the asphalt and the grass shoulders. The paving strips perform the same function as painted lines but look more historic and do not require re-painting. Where there are curbs, they are the mountable type so that vehicles can pull over in case of a breakdown or to allow the passage of emergency vehicles.
Trees are planted near the sides of the streets and within the landscaped portions of the streets to provide a sense of enclosure. Trees are spaced to allow vehicles to pull over as needed.
In addition to entrance features, other Traffic Calming measures are used in all three of the villages to self-enforce the low speed limits and to accommodate the non-motor-vehicle users of the streets.