SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- Sussex County's busiest summer highway may see some changes come this summer.
The Delaware Department of Transportation plans to add signage and educational stencils at accident-prone Route One intersections such as Munchy Branch Road and Wolfe Neck Road.
DelDOT Bicycle Coordinator John Fiori says the agency wants to make improvements before the summer, due to increased tourist traffic and the high number of international students who use bicycles as their primary transportation.
"If you go up and down Route One you see many bikers riding up and down the sidewalk and along the designated bike lane," explains Fiori. "So we are hoping that these initiatives will help make it safer for not only international students but local residents and the tourists who come to the area."
Civil Engineer Tom Felice says the agency is also contemplating creating a low-cost bus pass for students, tourists and locals in the hopes of getting inexperienced cyclists off the roadway. Felice says there are also conversations to convert the existing flashing signal at the outlets into a signalized intersection.
"The signal would allow more green time for pedestrians and bikes," he says. "It will also improve traffic circulation within this development."
Many cyclists tell WRDE any pedestrian improvement is welcome along Route One.
"Traffic especially during the summer is so terrible it's just not safe for cyclists," says Lewes Cycle Sports owner Brian Kellman. "There are plenty of people who vacation and who stay here year round who live on the other side of Route One who want a safe way of crossing Route One and don't have to deal with the traffic while they are doing it."
Kevin Adams with Sea Green Bicycle hopes to see pedestrian improvements continue to expand.
"I believe we should have protected lanes for cyclists along Route One," Adams tells WRDE. "Right now we are in the bus lanes which are okay but there isn't enough awareness. People park in the bus
lanes, people turn in the bus lanes, and it can be quite dangerous."
Felice says DelDOT is committed to making Route One as safe as possible everyone involved.
"We want to make this a biking destination for the local residents and visitors," he says. " That's a good thing: to improve bike safety, to make people more comfortable when they are biking on this corridor."