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May 18, 2020

Waterloo St. “walkability” improvements underway

Photo/Don Del Rosso
Concrete finishers last week work on curb cuts to improve sidewalk access along Waterloo Street.
The majority of these improvements are to serve the residents of Waterloo street by slowing the traffic down and also making it safer.
— Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Weather permitting, road work will begin this week to give Warrenton’s Waterloo Street a safety makeover.

With $320,241 in Virginia Department of Transportation “State of Good Repair” funds, the busy street will be milled and resurfaced one side at a time, according to town officials.

That will require Waterloo Street residents to remove their cars from the road during the day.

Rainy conditions prevented the road work from starting Monday, as scheduled.

The project gives the town an opportunity to use VDOT money to upgrade streets and at the same time make pedestrian-related safety improvements by:

• Restriping and realigning Waterloo Street’s lanes to slow traffic.

• Relocating some parking to the south, or “sidewalk,” side of Waterloo Street “to create a buffer” for walkers.

• Striped design features at the Chestnut Street intersection to improve sight-distance.

The VDOT money will cover the project’s restriping expenses.

Warrenton will spend $15,000 on sidewalk repairs and installation of crosswalk and curbs cuts along Waterloo Street.

Scheduled for completion by month’s end, the project stems from Warrenton’s 2016 and 2017 “walkability audits” of five pedestrian areas around town.

The audits, which included citizen participation, assessed the town’s walking environment related to safety, access, comfort and convenience for pedestrians.

Beginning in December 2016, Toole Design Group of Silver Spring, Md., led citizens on walks to discuss effective and challenging pedestrian areas in Warrenton.

Toole Design and town officials last year conducted a Waterloo Street “neighborhood meeting” and presented “several concepts” that incorporated painted features to “weave the on-street parking to address citizen’s concerns related to speeding and pedestrian safety, according to the April letter.

“This project seeks to integrate as many of the Walkability Audit and neighborhood desires as possible at this time,” the letter explained. “While these changes will not encompass all improvements, this is a first-step approach to try something new to improve conditions based on your concerns.”

Besides motorists, Waterloo Street serves pedestrians with multiple destinations such as Warrenton Middle School students and people on their way to Waterloo Station shopping center, for example, Town Manager Brandi Schaeffer said.

Linking Winchester and Waterloo streets, Chestnut Street serves as a cut-through for some commuters, Mrs. Schaeffer said.

“Waterloo is a primary road coming in and out of town,” the town manager said. “The majority of these improvements are to serve the residents of Waterloo street by slowing the traffic down and also making it safer.”

Town staff designed the Waterloo restriping plan, with some help for Warrenton’s transportation consultant Kittelson & Associates. Manassas-based Finley Asphalt & Concrete received the Waterloo Street project contract.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.
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Truepat · May 18, 2020 at 1:35 pm
I read that a chicane (The word chicane is derived from the French verb chicaner, which means "to create difficulties" or "to dispute pointlessly") was being added to Waterloo street as well. Is that still in the plans?
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