In response to a resident’s concern about traffic congestion at Woodland Avenue and Route 26 in Ocean View that delays both drivers and pedestrians, DelDOT engineers will study the area and gather data, to determine what can be done to ease congestion there.
They expect the study to be completed around September, DelDOT traffic engineer Peter Haag told the Coastal Point this week.
Following the Ocean View Town Council meeting on July 9, during which local resident Chris Dominick said it’s difficult to get into or out of that intersection, Ken Cimino, director of planning, zoning and development for Ocean View, contacted DelDOT.
“Ken reached out to me and the deputy director, Mark Lutz — so it is on our agenda to evaluate that intersection, to see if it does meet national and local criteria for improvements,” Haag said.
At the council meeting, Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin had noted that lights at crosswalks that stop traffic so walkers can cross are usually not installed unless DelDOT finds there are a certain number of crashes there.
Haag said that is one criterion, but other factors are also taken into consideration, including volume of traffic at the intersection throughout certain hours each day, types of delays motorists experience and whether a traffic signal would have a positive or negative impact on the entire Route 26 corridor or only a portion of it, Haag said.
“It’s beyond just crash data; but crash data is one of them, for any traffic signal,” he said.
“Ken reached out to us a couple days after the July 9 meeting. He sent [an e-mail] over on the 11th, asking us to evaluate it. Ken has been great with all the concerns individuals have, relaying those to us.
“We started getting the scope of the evaluation. We put that together. The biggest thing right now is trying to move and schedule things so we can get summer data, so we can see how the summer information compares to all this criteria, and also, how does the summer criteria play out,” he said.
Ocean View residents and visitors aren’t likely to notice anyone from DelDOT as they work, he added.
“No, they are pretty blended in with the scene, which is what we want to do,” Haag said.
“We don’t want to disrupt the flow or the patterns. We want to see that activity, so we try to stay as low-key as possible. If there is unique behavior or a pattern, we can capture that with a video camera, but we try to minimize disruption,” he said.
Cimino this week said he is eager to see results of the data collection this fall and is hoping for improvements at the Woodland Avenue intersection.
Route 26, like many roads throughout Delaware, is unique, Haag said, but no more than others in the state.
“There is just higher demand or usage in a specific time period, but we are seeing that trend through Route 1 and various other roads. We are here to assist however is best possible and to make it as comfortable as possible for every mode of transportation,” Haag said.
Haag praised DelDOT’s Transportation Management department, saying all beach arteries, including Routes 26, 24 and 1, are monitored and adjustments made as needed.
Monitoring is done with cameras, and DelDOT officials communicate with local police departments that respond to accidents and with state personnel. They also consider individual requests for improvements.
Concerns can be reported by dialing #77 on a cell phone or filling out a form at www.DelDOT.gov.
Delaware residents can also download the DelDOT app to obtain information about cameras and travel time, and to find news releases and, during winter, the snow-plow tracker.
By Susan Canfora