Monday, August 29, 2016

Blasting to Resume for Route 7 and Route 659 Interchange Construction Project

Loudoun County officials announce that blasting for the Route 7 (Harry Byrd Highway) and Route 659 (Belmont Ridge Road) interchange construction project will resume on or about Thursday, Sept. 1, and continue until about October 15. 


Blasting will be concentrated on the northeast corner of the intersection for future storm sewer and water line installation.  


Blasting is generally scheduled to occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. as conditions permit. The blasting may cause temporary road closures for brief periods, generally not longer than 20 minutes. 


All closures will be managed in accordance with Virginia Department of Transportation and Loudoun County requirements.  All blasting also will comply with the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s requirements. 


Electronic message boards will be posted to inform motorists of the blasting. 


Updates and notices for the Route 7/659 Interchange project construction phase can be found at www.loudoun.gov/route7-659. Questions about the project may be directed to the Loudoun County Department of Transportation & Capital Infrastructure at route7-659@loudoun.gov.  


  

Sheriff's Office to Conduct Back to School Enforcement Campaign

As summer break comes to an end, Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman is asking drivers to help make this a safe-school year by watching for children walking to and from school.
 
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is launching an enforcement and public education campaign as part of the agency's efforts to ensure the safety and welfare for the children returning to school.   
 
Over the next few weeks Loudoun Sheriff's Deputies will be conducting a Back-to-School campaign strictly enforcing speed and other traffic violations around local schools. Loudoun Sheriff's Deputies will be utilizing RADAR, LIDAR, "Smart Trailers", variable message boards to display safety messages, marked and unmarked cruisers, as well as the agency's motorcycle unit.
 
In his annual video message Sheriff Chapman is reminding drivers to "follow all speed and traffic signs, obey all signals by law enforcement and crossing guards, and take extra precaution in the areas of elementary, middle and high schools throughout the county." To view the safety message from Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman, please visit http://www.sheriff.loudoun.gov/back2school
 
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is offering these safety tips for students and parents:


Walking to School

  • In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a "walking school bus," in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
  • If your child is young or is walking to a new school, walk with them the first week to make sure they know the route and can do it safely.
  • Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
  • Do not push or shove others when you walk.
  • When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars. Do not cross if a car is coming and use a crosswalk if available.


Riding your Bicycle

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
  • Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
  • Use appropriate hand signals.
  • Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.
  • Know the "rules of the road."
  • Never use headphones or cell phones while riding.


Tips for Motorists

  • All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
  • Do not text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
  • Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
  • Be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit at designated times of the day.
  • Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children. State law requires you to stop.
  • Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks.
  • Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods or school zones, watch for young people who may be in a hurry to get to or away from school and may not be thinking about getting there safely.
     

Tips for Students

  • Always buckle up when riding in a car. Be sure to remove your backpack before getting in the vehicle. Never buckle your safety belt with your backpack on.
  • Always ride in the back seat. It's the safest place for young people.
  • Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.
  • If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding the bus.
  • Never wait for the school bus in the roadway.
  • If you walk to school, learn and practice the safety rules for pedestrians. It's extremely important for you to use sidewalk when available, look left-right-left when crossing the road, and always walk facing traffic.
  • Always cross at cross walks; obey all traffic signs, traffic lights and crossing guard instructions.
  • Teen drivers should avoid speeding and distractions while driving, such as texting, talking on cell phones, eating and adjusting the radio. Teens are also reminded never to overload their vehicle; everyone riding in a vehicle must use a safety belt.
  • Be a good role model for your younger brothers, sisters and friends, and help them learn and follow vehicle safety rules.

Residents are encouraged to do your part to make this a safe school-year for our children.


  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Possible Traffic Delays During Weekend Events

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is advising residents of weekend events that may cause traffic delays in various areas of the county.


The events listed below only include activities where traffic control is being conducted by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and where traffic may be impacted.


Saturday, Aug. 27

  • An event will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Leesburg area. Roads that may be impacted include James Monroe Hwy (Rt 15) and Tutt Lane.
  • An event will be held from 5-11 p.m. Lucketts area. The road that may be impacted is Lost Corner Road.
  • An event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Ashburn area. Roads that may be impacted include Loudoun County Parkway, Gloucester Parkway and Beaumeade Circle.
  • An event will be held from 7 a.m. to noon in the Leesburg area. Roads that may be impacted include James Monroe Hwy (Rt 15) and Tutt Lane.

Sunday, Aug. 28

  • An event will be held from 6:30-11 a.m. in the South Riding area. Roads that may be impacted include Riding Center Drive, Unicorn Drive, Tall Cedars Parkway, Loudoun County Parkway, South Riding Blvd., Edgewater Drive and Center Street.

Motorists are asked to please be patient, drive safely, follow all law-enforcement direction and have a safe weekend.


Sobriety Checkpoint Tonight, Friday, Aug. 26

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a joint sobriety checkpoint with the Purcellville Police Department tonight, Friday, Aug. 26, beginning shortly after 10 p.m.


“The joint sobriety checkpoint is a reminder to residents to make the smart choice, don’t drink and drive,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.


Members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary Unit and volunteers from the Loudoun Chapter of MADD will assist with the checkpoint.


  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Possible Traffic Delays During Weekend Events

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is advising residents of weekend events that may cause traffic delays in various areas of the county.


The events listed below only include activities where traffic control is being conducted by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and where traffic may be impacted.


Saturday, Aug. 20

  • An event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lucketts area. Roads that may be impacted include James Monroe Hwy (Rt. 15), Lucketts Road, St. Clair Lane and Spinks Ferry Road.
  • An event will be held from 5-11 p.m. Lucketts area. The road that may be impacted is Lost Corner Rd.


Sunday, Aug. 21

  • An event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lucketts area. Roads that may be impacted include James Monroe Hwy (Rt. 15), Lucketts Road, St. Clair Lane and Spinks Ferry Road.
  • An event will be held from 7-10 a.m. in the Leesburg/Paeonian Springs area. Roads that may be impacted include Dry Mill Road, Rt. 9 at Rt. 7 WB exit, Rt. 9 at Simpson Circle and Simpson Circle.

Motorists are asked to please be patient, drive safely, follow all law-enforcement direction and have a safe weekend.



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Expect Delays in Afternoon Rush Friday Due to America’s 9/11 Motorcycle Ride

Tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 19 -- from 2 - 6 p.m. -- motorists can expect road closures and delays of up to 90 minutes while 1,500 motorcycles and support vehicles travel from the Maryland/Virginia line in Loudoun County to the Pentagon as part of the America's 9/11 Ride. State and local police will escort the riders.


The motorcycle procession will come from the Dulles Greenway and travel the left side of the eastbound Dulles Toll Road for several miles. It will then cross to the right lane of the Dulles Access Highway and continue inside the beltway to I-66. The Virginia State Police will facilitate the movement of the procession from there. The route is as follows:

  • Route 15 south to Leesburg
  • Route 7 bypass
  • Dulles Greenway
  • Dulles Toll Road (ramp closures from Route 28 onto eastbound Dulles Toll Road)
  • Dulles Connector Road
  • I-66 (ramp closures from I-495, Sycamore Street, N Glebe Road, Lee Highway, and N Lynn Street)
  • Route 110 to the Pentagon


VDOT advises drivers to use alternate routes and expect heavier than normal traffic on local roads.


The America's 9/11 Ride is expecting about 1,500 motorcyclists to participate in the ride from Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to the Pentagon, then to New York City. On Friday the group plans to travel eastbound from Leesburg along the Dulles Greenway, the Dulles Toll Road, the Dulles Airport Access Highway and Interstate 66 at the beginning of the afternoon commute.
 
Police departments from affected jurisdictions, including the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police Department, will put lane closures and temporary roadblocks in place to accommodate the movement of motorcycles and keep airport traffic flowing.
 
MWAA reports that all eastbound traffic in the Dulles corridor should plan extra travel time and expect delays. The Airports Authority also reports that all construction-related lane closures will be suspended Friday afternoon to reduce potential traffic impacts


Monday, August 1, 2016

Residents Reminded to Buckle-Up, Day and Night

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office encourages everyone on the road to wear their seat belts every trip -- day and night.

Law enforcement in Loudoun County are on the lookout for those not wearing their seat belts -- and for good reason. Most recent data noted that in 2014 in Virginia, 52 percent of all traffic fatalities, or 256 deaths, were unrestrained drivers and passengers. Almost half of the unrestrained fatalities occurred at night, between the hours of 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wearing a seat belt increases your chance of surviving a crash by 45 percent and in pickup trucks, SUVs and mini-vans that number jumps to 60 percent.

"We are committed to reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities along Loudoun's roadways," said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. "Wearing your seat belt can save your life. Our goal is to get you into the habit of wearing your seat belt and ensuring that all of your passengers are wearing their seat belts too," Sheriff Chapman added.

In 2015, Virginia's statewide seat belt use rate was 80.5 percent. 

Virginia law requires all front seat occupants of motor vehicles be restrained, and any passenger from birth to 18 years old be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat or seat belt. Virginia law also requires that rear-facing child restraint devices be placed in the back seat of a vehicle.

 

Russell Branch Parkway Extension to Open Tuesday, Aug. 2

The Ashburn Patch is reporting that, according to Gary Pozzouli, construction project manager with the Loudoun County Department of Transportation & Capital Infrastructure, the Russell Branch Parkway extension between Ashburn Road and Ashburn Village Boulevard is expected to open tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 2.
 
Check out the Patch story for details.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Changes Coming to Loudoun County Bus Service Aug. 1

Loudoun County Transit will implement several service changes beginning Monday, Aug. 1. The modifications include changes to fares, routes and schedule formats.

Fares
The fare changes include: 
  • Reduction of fares on Routes 72, 83 and 84 on the local bus system from $2.00 to $1.00.
  • One free transfer between local Loudoun County bus routes.
  • An increase from $8.00 to $9.00 per trip on all bus service to and from Rosslyn, the Pentagon, Crystal City and Washington D.C.
Route Changes
Some sections of local bus routes are being eliminated while other bus routes are being extended or modified. The bus routes affected include:
  • Route 62 - Ashburn Connector
  • Route 72 – Wiehle Express
  • Route 84-Atlantic Connector
  • Route 85-Dulles South Connector
  • Route 87X
  • Route 89X - Telos Park & Ride – Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station; and Safe-T-Ride.
 
Details on the route changes are online at www.loudoun.gov/buschanges.

Schedule Format
Changes to the schedules include renaming and reformatting of timetables for Metro Connection services to make the schedules more user friendly. The changes were developed through an extensive public process that included direction from the Board of Supervisors and input from the public.
 
Loudoun Transit conducted a metric analysis of its service to help evaluate the overall system performance and to analyze the performance of individual routes.
 
More detailed information about the changes can be found online at www.loudoun.gov/buschanges.


 
 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sheriff's Office Develops Informational Traffic Stop Videos

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has developed two informational videos regarding traffic stop procedures in coordination with local civil rights and religious leaders.
 
Understanding that traffic stops are anything but routine for law enforcement and can be unnerving for the driver and passengers as well, the videos portray a traffic stop from the perspective of a deputy and a driver. The videos review procedures and actions of a deputy during the course of the traffic stop and also discuss the expectations of a driver during the stop.
 
The videos were developed at the request of Phillip Thompson, President of the Loudoun Branch of the NAACP and in coordination with Pastor Michelle Thomas of Holy and Whole Life Changing Ministries International Church.
 
The first video follows a traffic stop explaining the actions of a deputy, what law enforcement expects from a driver, and what requirements a driver must lawfully follow. This video can be viewed at https://sheriff.loudoun.gov/trafficstop .
 
The second video follows the procedures during a traffic stop where the driver is a concealed handgun permit carrier and has a loaded concealed handgun in the vehicle. This video can be viewed at https://sheriff.loudoun.gov/CHPtrafficstop .
 
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is also reminding residents that they can provide feedback regarding any interaction with Loudoun County deputies by going to https://sheriff.loudoun.gov/feedback or by downloading the Loudoun County Sheriff App, available on iTunes and Google Play. 


 
 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Next Phase of Metrorail SafeTrack Program to Affect Loudoun County Commuters

The next phase of the Metrorail maintenance program, SafeTrack, is scheduled for July 20-31, and will directly affect some riders of the Loudoun County Transit bus service. SafeTrack is a year-long, extensive maintenance program which includes track outages of long duration in key parts of the Metrorail system.
 
The fifth "surge" of the SafeTrack plan will result in single tracking between the East Falls Church and Ballston Metro stations. The direct effects on Loudoun County bus riders will be: 
  • From July 20-29, Loudoun County Transit will temporarily alter two of its Metro-Connection bus service routes – Potomac Falls Routes 901 and 902 – to bypass the impacted section of Metrorail track. All Potomac Falls service will be re-routed from the West Falls Church Metro Station to the Ballston Metro Station during this period. The schedule is online at www.loudoun.gov/SafeTrack.
  • During the surge, Metro's Silver Line trains will operate every 18 minutes as opposed to the normal six-minute intervals. To assist commuters, Loudoun County Transit has produced flyers that highlight the morning and afternoon buses that line up within seven minutes of the rail arrival or departure. The flyers can be viewed and downloaded at www.loudoun.gov/SafeTrack.
As SafeTrack continues, increased traffic and delays on area roadways are possible if commuters choose to trade their bus or Metrorail ride for a single-occupancy vehicle. Loudoun County offers information on commuting options at www.loudoun.gov/commute.
 
Loudoun County Transit officials encourage commuters to stay informed about updates and changes to bus service by signing up for Bus Biz at www.loudoun.gov/BusBiz. Commuters can also sign up for local traffic alerts through Alert Loudoun at www.loudoun.gov/alert.
 
Links to the Loudoun County bus schedules and more information about SafeTrack, including the complete SafeTrack Plan, can be found at www.loudoun.gov/SafeTrack.