Where To Go From Here
On November 12, 1996, the Middleburg Town Council passed a resolution endorsing the concept of traffic calming within the John Singleton Mosby Heritage Area. Many other local and national organizations and individuals strongly support the Plan. Interested parties from all over the country have contacted the Coalition to learn about the Plan and are waiting to see the outcome. In addition to the Route 50 Corridor Coalition and the large number of citizens who participated in developing the Traffic Calming Plan, almost 3,000 others have signed petitions protesting the bypass option and supporting an alternative.
Traffic Calming meets the needs of the community for the following reasons:
- It is not a "do nothing" approach.
- It addresses the real problem (the driving behavior of motorists who pass through the area) without restricting the flow of traffic in the community.
- By its very nature, Traffic Calming involves the citizens. Because Traffic Calming solutions are customized in great detail at the street level, those who best know the uses and problems associated with the road and intersections, and the pedestrian needs, must be involved in the solutions. This is an innovative alternative to the typical highway project that imposes a uniform design on whatever setting it passes through.
- Traffic Calming can be completed for about one-tenth the estimated cost of building bypasses around each town and four-lane highways in between.
The most important next step in realizing the Community Vision is getting it and the Traffic Calming Plan accepted by the involved jurisdictions and stakeholders. The Coalition will take this report to these groups to reach consensus, will continue building public awareness through community education, and will work with other citizens' groups to tie the Traffic Calming Plan to other community initiatives that support the Community Vision.
"With this plan, we believe that the Virginia Department of Transportation has a unique opportunity to foster innovative traffic management in a community committed to cooperative efforts. The National Trust encourages VDOT to support the Traffic Calming Plan and work with you in its implementation."
Richard Moe, President National Trust for Historic Preservation
For the Traffic Calming Plan to be implemented, it must be accepted as a concept and funding for engineering and construction must be allocated. The Coalition recommends that the Plan be adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a pilot project.
Once the plan is accepted, the next steps are relatively straightforward. A design phase will follow, which will continue to involve the citizens in community-based functional design workshops similar to those used for the planning. This phase will begin the detailing process. Paving materials need to be reviewed and issues of proper drainage addressed. Native trees and landscaping stock must be identified that can survive along roadsides and withstand the winter salt and sand applications. Then the community will help develop the implementation strategy. It is essential that the Traffic Calming measures fit into the historic setting and that they look like part of the landscape or streetscape and not look "pasted" onto it. Landscape designers and engineers who work on this project must have knowledge of and concern for historic and landscape preservation.
A thorough monitoring program would be developed to determine the effects of the plan on local businesses, tourism, historic preservation, pedestrian traffic, noise, through traffic, property value, aesthetics, number of collisions, etc. This information would be shared with communities across the country that have expressed an interest in the project, so that they can benefit from the experiences.
Traffic Calming is coming to America and is being implemented by the most creative and conscientious communities. The elected and appointed officials in the jurisdictions involved with the Route 50 project will decide either to become leaders in this progressive approach or be left behind repeating the past.
Traffic Calming along Rural Route 50 will set a national precedent at a time when we are becoming increasingly aware of the need for new solutions to old problems. The Coalition will document the contributions made by individuals and organizations and the process so that these records can help other communities tomorrow and historians in the next century.
The final decision regarding the Rural Route 50 Corridor will send a clear message to the public as to whether or not conventional transportation solutions will be forced on our community, even to the point of destroying it. Community-minded citizens and public officials need to recognize the importance of finding more appropriate ways to solve transportation problems at a lower cost, not only to the taxpayer, but to the environment, the local economy, and the community.
The Coalition and citizens of the communities along the Rural Route 50 Corridor have produced a truly Community-based Vision and Community Traffic Calming Plan.
From the encouragement and input that has been received from others, from their own research and belief in the concept of Traffic Calming, the Coalition is confident that, one hundred years from now, historians will agree that the Community Vision and the Traffic Calming Plan were wise decisions, and future inhabitants will be grateful that the Mosby Heritage Area's historic resources, scenery, and environment were preserved.
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