The Lake Braddock Secondary School football field backs up to Peter Miller’s yard in Dunleigh, a neighborhood of single-family houses in Fairfax County, giving him an up-close view of the action, whether it’s the marching band practicing or the football team playing. The school is one of the attractions in Dunleigh.
“I come home and the band’s practicing right here,” he said, pointing through a patch of woods.
Miller’s three children all graduated from Lake Braddock, one of three secondary schools in Fairfax County with grades seven through 12. Now that he’s semi-retired, he hopes to work as a substitute teacher there about one day a week.
“When that [public address system] goes on, you hear it,” he said. “They’ve been a good neighbor.”
Dunleigh is a small neighborhood of 177 houses off Braddock Road just outside of the Capital Beltway. The houses all link to Dunleigh Drive either from cul-de-sacs off the road or pipestem driveways. A few older houses are from the late 1950s. But most were built by Guardian Construction in 1979 in the first phase or by another company in phase two. Two houses were added in recent years by a longtime homeowner with a big lot.
Miller lives on Weetman Street, named for the family that originally owned the land.
At the entrance to Dunleigh is a historical marker that commemorates a Civil War skirmish that took place here on Dec. 4, 1861. Union troops from New Jersey stretched two telegraph wires across Braddock Road at night and caught Confederate troops from Georgia in the trap. During the ensuing battle, four Confederate soldiers were wounded and one was captured. Two Union soldiers were wounded, one was captured and another was killed.
The ambush was nicknamed the Battle of Bog Wallow, according to the diary of William Washington Gordon II, dated December 1861.
Sidewalks throughout the neighborhood are used frequently by neighbors. Miller said he sees “a ton of people out walking their dogs” around Dunleigh. Since it is not a through-road, there is no cut-through traffic.
“That’s a big thing,” Miller said.
A paved multiuse trail goes directly to the football field.
Stephanie Lusk has lived in Dunleigh for 15 years. She often walks her dog around the streets of Dunleigh.
“Everybody’s outside,” she said.
Lusk walks to the store or a doctor’s appointment in the office park two blocks away. She uses a cut-through to reach the Kings Park Library, too.
“You could walk just about everywhere and get what you need,” she said.
Lately she has noticed younger couples moving into the neighborhood and more mothers with strollers.
“We have tons of babies,” she said.
On any weekday during rush hour, traffic on Braddock Road is bumper-to-bumper between the Beltway and Route 123, west of Dunleigh Drive. With no traffic signal at Dunleigh Drive, cars wanting to head west on Braddock Road can struggle to make the turn.
In 2017, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors endorsed a plan to remedy that. “This project will improve traffic flow on Braddock Road, add bicycle and pedestrian connectivity along the corridor, and increase access to transit and local destinations,” Fairfax County officials wrote in their report to the board. The county expects to put $10 million toward initial work, with the hope that an additional $45.5 million will be funded through the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, WTOP reported.
The plan includes improvements to intersections along Braddock Road as well as safer crossings at bus stops. Another part of the plan includes a pedestrian bridge over Braddock Road, east of Dunleigh Drive near the Kings Park Shopping Center.
Remax agent Elizabeth Ann Kline was part of the team that listed a property at 5312 Dunleigh Dr. in September 2018, and the house was on the market for 37 days before selling. The proximity to Lake Braddock Secondary, the grocery store at Kings Park Shopping Center and Lake Braddock draw buyers, she said.
“It’s just a couple minutes to the Beltway,” she said.
Living there: In the past year, six houses were sold in Dunleigh, ranging from a three-bedroom, four-bathroom, 1,344-square-foot Colonial for $580,000 to a five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,404-square-foot contemporary for $1 million. There are no houses for sale in Dunleigh at this time, but one home is for rent.
Schools: Kings Park and Kings Glen Elementary, and Lake Braddock Secondary.
Transit: Dunleigh Drive links to Braddock Road, which is about two miles from the Capital Beltway to the east and two miles from Route 123 to the west.
Many residents park their cars near where Dunleigh Drive meets Braddock Road in the mornings and catch one of the buses that stop there. Metrobuses 17B, 17G and 17K as well as the Fairfax Connector Route 495 Burke Centre-Tysons bus serve the neighborhood.
Crime: According to the Fairfax County Police Department, there have been 18 incidents in Dunleigh and the surrounding area in the past year: two assaults, two burglaries, five drug violations, three frauds and six larcenies.
To see more photos of Dunleigh, go to washingtonpost.com/realestate.