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Battle of the barrier: Council discusses future for Lowenbach community

Monday, Sep. 26 by Laura Peters | 14 comments | Email this story

During a work session on Sept. 26, Leesburg Town Council discussed the issue of a 15-year-old barrier blocking Catoctin Circle and North Street that residents are arguing over keeping in place or removing. Council decided to hold either a public input session or another work session at the end of October to give the town a chance to gather more information on the amount of traffic that goes through the neighborhood. The two neighborhoods dealing with the barrier are Exeter Hills and Lowenbach. Exeter Hills started development in 1992. Barricades were placed on the north and south sides within Lowenbach for street improvements. Residents of both neighborhoods spoke to council on Sept. 18; some want the barricades to stay in place, while others want them to be removed. Lowenbach is between Edwards Ferry Road and North Street, and Exeter Hills is north of Lowenbach. The barricade on Catoctin Circle, Queen and Washington streets were the only barricades that remained standing in 1995 because of a resolution council passed for more road improvements. Now, the barriers still remain on Catoctin Circle, Queen and Washington streets. The reason it was separated was to minimize the disruption to the the residents, to separate them by drainage shed. Prince and Catoctin are one drainage shed and Washington and Queen another, said Anne Geiger, senior engineer for Leesburgs department of capital projects. [Wed] construct downstream drainage sheds first, so that would be Catoctin first, Prince second and Washington first and Queen second. Correct the worst drainage issues first, which is on Catoctin and allow the project to move forward because its in more manageable pieces. As construction dwindles on the road, the issue of lifting the barrier has been brought up with council. But according to the town, residents were well aware of the barrier being lifted after construction came to an end. Its an improved road, its meant for traffic, Geiger said about Catoctin Circle where the barricade lies. Many residents of Catoctin Circle, Woodberry Road and Prince Street were on either side of the barrier issue. Woodberry, Prince and soon-to-be Catoctin serve as thoroughfares between Edwards Ferry Road and North Street, and residents are concerned with the flow of traffic on their roads. During a traffic study done by the town, it was counted that 419 cars passed on Woodberry Road and 839 cars passed on Prince Street. And according to Geiger there were about 5,370 cars per day that traveled on Plaza Street between Edwards Ferry and North Street during the study. Council member Katie Hammler suggested that council should address the safety issues that residents have brought up. Hammler said that the town may consider raising fines for speeding like it did on North Street or keeping the barricade up until 2014 and diverting traffic elsewhere until the entire project is finished. Since Prince Street is next to be barricaded for construction in spring 2012, residents say that if Catoctin stays barricaded, then Woodberry Road would get all the traffic. Construction on Queen and Washington streets is slated to start in the summer of 2013. Blue Ridge Avenue will be completed in segments. The entire project is expected to be completed by summer of 2014.
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summer of 2014. Geiger said there are 11 things still left to be done on Catoctin, including the building of retaining walls and the fixing of a residents driveway, all slated to be finished by mid-October. Councils goal is to have a final vote the barricades by November.
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Thu, Sep 29 at 09:47 AM by Lsbgal | Report this comment Join Our Email List Sign up for weekly updates

This article is so vague, I dont get a sense of how the council will vote on this in November. Does anyone else? I find it convenient that they delayed the vote until after the Nov. 3 elections. How Reid and Butler vote on this Catoctin issue would have determined weather I voted for them.
Thu, Sep 29 at 07:27 AM by Laugh | Report this comment

bitph: Somehow, I think your garden consists of the dried dirt of dispair. I also suspect, having actually read the articles on this one, that you are clearly a liar. This was a project in total, and when all is completed, the barriers come down. So, live by the plan.
Wed, Sep 28 at 07:14 PM by bigph | Report this comment

The Loudoun Times-Mirror

is an interactive, digital replica of the printed newspaper. Open the e-edition now.

Laugh, you are wrong about any promise because that resolution was made under a completetly different set of expectations. That is the council, at that time, was told the project would be done in its entirety at the same time. The failure of the council to address the barriers when the project was changed to a phased schedule is on them for sure. However, it is now time to make it right for the majority of the residents in the N.E. quad. My garden grows just fine and the majority rules. too bad yours has withered away.
Wed, Sep 28 at 01:14 PM by Laugh | Report this comment

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Ah, switcher. I havet heard from you in a while. Still peddling your lies about water rates, eh? Fess up, and admit it that you are a nut, plain and simple. And try to stay on topic. This is all about Katie I cant be trusted because I am so stupid Hammler.
Wed, Sep 28 at 09:30 AM by Mario | Report this comment Health and Beauty Bridal Guide Historic Frederick Maryland

Agree, take it down tax payers are no funding private streets, we need to be able to travel any road thru town, even emergency vehicles wont have to go around.
Wed, Sep 28 at 09:04 AM by switcher | Report this comment

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@leesburg mom, you are right about having trust issues with town leadership. They voted awhile ago to have new water rates go into effect 1 July 2011. But town water decided to start the rate two months earlier on 1 May 2011. I guess Katie is following in the mayors footsteps of dishonesty (and empty headedness).
Wed, Sep 28 at 08:38 AM by Leesburg Resident | Report this comment

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What is done, is done. Open Catoctin Circle now. Since moving to Leesburg, I have been driving the go-around on Prince Street. Now that the improvements are completed on Catoctin Circle, it is the RIGHT time to open this road to public traffic. I will request that a traffic signal be place at the intersection of Catoctin Circle and Edwards Ferry Road to avoid may a mishap from the beginning, not after a series of traffic studies to determine if it is

from the beginning, not after a series of traffic studies to determine if it is necessary. Everyone knows it IS necessary.
Wed, Sep 28 at 07:31 AM by Laugh | Report this comment

Hi, bigph. Like, what do you grow in your garden? Obviously not love for your fellow man! Once again, we see a promise about to be broken, with Katie Hammler leading the charge to hold up her position of the most untrustworthy member of the Leesburg Town Council.
Wed, Sep 28 at 04:12 AM by bigph | Report this comment

The traffic study numbers the council is waiting on really dont matter. No matter what these barriers were never intended to be permanent. The whole intent was an overall improvement for safe traffic flow and water flow. The whole issue is, should we let the few residents on Catoctin enjoy three more years of no traffic while the many more surrounding residents bear the cost. Or, open it now and tell them to get used to it just like everyone else. Im tired of my tax dollars wasted on illogical barriers just to appease a very small minority. Once again, logic is not being applied here. The council needs to grow a pair and vote for the majority not the minority!
Wed, Sep 28 at 03:58 AM by bigph | Report this comment

The resolution to leave the barriers in place until the project was finished was made BEFORE the project was divided into phases. Initially the project was to be done all at once. However, it was changed into a multi phased improvement, yet the council did not then address the barriers. Logic would indicate that once each street is improved then each barrier would be removed. The improvements make the streets safer for traffic. Remove the Catoctin barrier now! Those residents that have enjoyed their dead end street SINCE 1995 should now do their part and get used to it. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Too bad, at least you now have a vastly improved frontage and improved property values! GET THE TRAFFIC FLOWING AS IT WAS INTENDED! SHARE THE LOAD PEOPLE And quit being shelfish!!
Tue, Sep 27 at 10:42 PM by leesburg mom | Report this comment

As with Linden Hill, Katie Hammler again proves you cannot trust her. Katie Hammler will tell the residents of Leesburg one thing, and then, she will panic when someone later complains, and will go in the opposite direction. And then back again, and then away again. I suspect that Katie Hammler has never heard of words such as integrity, honesty, and the phase keeping ones promise. Katie Hammler certainly does not understand such words, nor does she live by such words.
Tue, Sep 27 at 09:43 PM by Truth Detector | Report this comment

Laugh does not even come close in identifying the problem with Katie Hammler. You can never tell whether Katie Hammler is, (1) dumb as a rock, or (2) a rock trying to act intelligently, or (3) even dumber than a rock.
Tue, Sep 27 at 12:59 PM by Laugh | Report this comment

Great, another example of Katie Hammler flapping in the wind, around and round, forever blowing in the wind. And that whistling sound you hear is the sound made from air going in one ear, and out the other. Why is it that you can never rely on Katie Hammler for anything?
Tue, Sep 27 at 11:10 AM by the end | Report this comment

Take the barrier down when youve finished this section. These are public roads the taxpayers are paying to use, do what you want (double the ticket for speeding, traffic circles, stop signs) but open the road.

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