Virginia Senior Killed at Intersection Where He Fought for Years for Stoplight

John Schloegel warned officials for years to put up a stoplight at an intersection near his home before someone was killed. Last week, he was hit there as he crossed the street.

Schloegel, 83, died Saturday after he was hit two days earlier in Ashburn, Virginia. The avid cyclist was struck as he walked his bike in a crosswalk across Gloucester Parkway at Ashby Ponds Boulevard, police and his family said.

Schloegel, a father of six and grandfather of 16, lived for seven years in the Ashby Ponds retirement community, his family said. He and his wife of 45 years saw growth rise up around them and traffic increase.

The cruel irony of Schloegel's death is that he tried for years to make the corner where he was killed safer, his son-in-law Tad Laszewski said.

"He saw how dangerous it was to cross this intersection, and that's why he went to the supervisor's office to try to make it happen," he said.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) approved a stoplight for the corner more than two years ago, but it was never built. 

Loudoun County Supervisor Ron Meyer, who represents the area, said he agreed with Schloegel that the intersection needed a stoplight.

"It makes my heart heavy because I literally talked to him on the phone last week," Meyer said. "He called me on the phone last week and asked, 'What can we do in the community to help speed this along? What can you do? Are we doing everyone possible?"

On Tuesday, Meyer was working to figure out why installing the light had taken so long.

VDOT approved a stop light for the intersection in September 2014. The designs were approved seven months later. And the drawings for the signal arm and pole were passed on to the county the day Schloegel died.

The county's role is to fund and build the signal, in a process a report from VDOT said would take 16 months.

A report from Loudoun County shows the county has expedited construction of the stoplight. Concrete will be poured in the next few weeks, and the light is expected to be operating by January at the latest.

Laszewski said his family is determined to make the stoplight a part of Schloegel's legacy.

"I'm going to follow through with the supervisor and make it happen," Laszewski said.

Meyer, the county supervisor, said he would find out what went wrong.

"We need to look at all levels of government that were involved with this to see what can we do to make sure this never happens again," he said.

Schloegel loved University of Notre Dame football, tracking the stock market and cycling, his son-in-law said.

"Even at his age of 83, nothing slowed him down," Laszewski said.

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