Letter: Jeffrey E. Phillips, Leesburg

Editor: The Leesburg town government is set to waste millions of your tax dollars to fix a problem that does not exist and is a classic case of bureaucratic “mission creep.”

It began as a simple project to improve access to the non-ADA-complaint sidewalk and stairs at the northwest corner of West Market and Ayr streets; it has mushroomed into a wasteful, multi-million-dollar project to regrade West Market Street for an entire block, closing it between Ayr Street and Morven Park Road for some seven months starting this summer.

West Market Street will be raised to eliminate a hump that has caused no accidents that I know of, with no assurance that the century-old historic stone walls fronting its homes will survive undamaged. Instead, the isolated places that aren’t ADA-compliant could be spot-corrected.

From June through December, according to a Jan. 15 town memo, peak-hour traffic will be diverted through quiet residential streets, with kids home for summer.  Dust will coat everything, including adolescent lungs. The project will vastly facilitate speeding on West Market Street. 

Our Westgreen neighbors oppose this boondoggle; it will take out mature trees and plop traffic on their streets.

Former State Delegate Randy Minchew called it a classic case of “mission creep.” Having been in the Army 37 years, including Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand mission creep.

I know no residents who support this ill-considered project; our town council approved it in concept. It’s unnecessary: again, problem areas could be spot-corrected.

These tax dollars are better spent elsewhere. Or not spent at all.  I suggest that our town councilmembers reconsider their approval and take a hard look at this project due to the high expense, mission creep, and any new information available since its inception.

Please tell our town council members by their Jan. 28 meeting that you don’t want your tax money wasted.

Jeffrey E. Phillips, Leesburg

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