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Draft Plan - Fauquier County

Draft Plan - Fauquier County

Dr. S. M. Johnson Photo

Dr. S. M. Johnson Photo Gallery Along Lee Highway (Mid-1920s) Bull Run http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/john08.cfm With the advent of the automobile, the turnpike was re-established as one of three national auto trails in 1914 and named Lee Highway, a name that continues today. In the late 1920s, Lee Highway was widened to 27 feet. 15 Roadside development began to spring up and typically included gas stations, restaurants and small stores. In 1954, VDOT widened U.S. Route 15/29 to 4 lanes to accommodate increasing traffic. The two 1927 lanes became the northbound travel lanes and new southbound lanes were constructed north of the existing highway, separated by a landscaped median. This is the same road that we see and drive today. Journey Through Hallowed Ground The six mile stretch of Route 15/29 adjoining the New Baltimore Service District is part of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, which extends from Gettysburg, PA to Monticello, near Charlottesville, VA, principally along Route 15. This designation, supported by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors by resolution in 2008, was bestowed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in October 2009 and the byway is the primary touring route from which visitors can explore this scenic and historically rich landscape that, according to the late historian C. Vann Woodward, has “soaked up more of the blood, sweat and tears of American history than any other part of the country.” The primary transportation goal of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway is to “Promote the creation and maintenance of transportation systems that employ context sensitive design and protect efficient, safe and enjoyable travel 15 My Grandfather’s Lee Highway,” William Page Johnson, II, Winter, 2008 Newsletter of Historic Fairfax City, Inc . ,” www. Historicfairfax.org. Adopted April 12, 2007, Revised October 8, 2009, Draft Revisions March 1, 2013 56

through the corridor for all modes and types of users while maintaining the character defining features of the corridor.” 16 Overall Concepts and Design Principles The Route 15/29 Corridor between Route 605 and the Prince William County line is primarily a 4-lane divided highway that serves local, regional, and statewide traffic. It is designated by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a “Corridor of Statewide Significance”, defined as: “An integrated, multimodal network of transportation facilities that connect major centers of activity within and through the Commonwealth and promote the movement of people and goods essential to the economic prosperity of the state.” 17 The corridor has many competing interests and issues including relieving congestion, improving safety, preserving the agricultural land use and viewsheds, maintaining its historic integrity, defining entry into the New Baltimore commercial node, and serving as part of a statewide network. With the southern boundary of the corridor located within the New Baltimore Service District, the corridor is facing continuing pressure from local traffic as well as an increase in regional through traffic. Increased traffic on side streets and connections will create more demand for traffic signalization which in turn will lower the overall throughput capacity of the road. The construction of driveways connected directly to Route 29 will also increase the congestion and raise the collision rate. For every commercial driveway per mile the free flow speed drops a ¼ mile per hour. Signalization closer than ½ mile will further increase congestion as well. Under ideal conditions signals should not be closer than two miles apart. In order to preserve capacity, improve safety, provide for commercial access, and preserve the historic nature of the corridor, access management techniques such as maximizing signal spacing, closing of unnecessary median openings, minimizing driveway connections and reverse frontage roads, and innovative continuous flow intersection designs are proposed for the corridor. Speed reductions are also desired for the corridor to improve the safety and allow greater landscaping within the right-of-way. The purpose of the proposed improvements is to maintain a four-lane divided highway, while improving its capacity, and to preserve the corridor’s historic character while maintaining good access and improved safety. 16 Quotes from Journey Through Hallowed Ground website http://www.hallowedground.org 17 Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, Virginia Department of Transportation “VTrans2035: Virginia’s Long-Range Multi-Modal Transportation Plan”, March 2010, page 1-1. Adopted April 12, 2007, Revised October 8, 2009, Draft Revisions March 1, 2013 57

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