Traffic-safety improvement ideas for Long Neck area anticipated

Responding to constituents’ concerns about traffic safety in the Long Neck area, state Rep. Ruth Briggs King turned to DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, “imploring her to go beyond the crash data and look at the near-misses” along roads in that area.

“Especially over the past couple of years, I have been steadfast in my efforts to work with DelDOT to ensure that safety improvements continue to be made on Indian Mission Road, as well as along Zoar Road, Harmons Hill Road and Mount Joy Road, which are typically heavily-traveled roadways that seem to attract high-speed driving.

“I said, “I’m going to the Secretary. She has been very responsive,’ and she agreed to look into it,” Briggs King told the Coastal Point this week.

During the summer, Briggs King and state Sen. Brian Pettyjohn hosted a public meeting in Long Neck for citizens to talk to Delaware Department of Transportation officials and planners, Delaware State Police and emergency responders. Afterward, plans were made and, Briggs King said, progress began.

“Unfortunately, though, to many, the improvements are not being completed fast enough. Additionally, new development in the area, resulting in increased traffic along these roads, has added more challenges to the mix. There is a problem with people speeding, but it’s not just speeding. It’s near-misses,” she said.

Pedestrians often walk on Long Neck area roads at night, going in the wrong direction and wearing dark clothing.

“Can you imagine driving and not seeing anyone, then hitting something?” she said.

Better illumination is needed, Briggs King said, and Mount Aire near Millsboro has agreed to pay for lights in front of its business.

“Secretary Cohan has promised to revisit this issue and related traffic concerns, as well as provide solutions to legislators by February. She said she will get back to us by February, and she was scheduled to be on WGMD radio this week to talk about this,” Briggs King said.

Cohan has suggested heavier police patrols, although Briggs King said one problem is that officers are busy on other calls. She said Cohan also suggested additional state funding to possibly hire more officers.

Cohan drafted a memo “to confirm that her department is examining these specific Long Neck roadways and will be prepared in the next several weeks to make recommendations on possible additional improvements,” Briggs King said.

“I also remain committed to seeing this through for local residents, continuing to diligently address these traffic safety concerns with DelDOT and local law enforcement. I appreciate local residents’ continued advocacy on this important issue, as the safety on Route 5, Indian Mission Road and adjoining intersections remains a top priority of mine,” she said.

 

By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter