Slow down: New speed limit signs, transition zones added in downtown Leesburg

You better slow down the next time you’re in Leesburg, Virginia.

That’s because the speed limit has been reduced from 25 to 20 miles per hour in downtown Leesburg, which is centered on the historic business and residential area.

The Leesburg Town Council voted to reduce the speed limits in late February after a traffic and engineering study showed that reducing the speed should make streets safer for pedestrians and reduce the severity of crashes.

According to the town, 82 new 20 mph speed limit signs have already been installed, along with transition zones in the blocks just outside the speed zone, which warn drivers of the new restrictions.

leesburg speed zone
A map of where the new speed limit signs and transition zones will be installed. (Courtesy Town of Leesburg)

According to the Downtown Leesburg Speed Study, which began in 2021 and was updated through February: “The Downtown Leesburg area currently offers an old, tight grid of streets pattern with historic buildings that, in some cases, limits sight distances for the posted speed limit.”

“A reduced speed limit would improve pedestrian safety at intersection crossings and would decrease the required intersection and stopping sight distances for vehicles in the Downtown core,” the study said.

Virginia law allows local governments to reduce speed limits below 25 mph, but not less than 15 miles per hour, if traffic studies are performed, and new speed limit zones are erected.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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