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Dangerous Route 1 crossovers must be remedied

September 22, 2017

On Sept. 19, yet another crash occurred at one of Route 1’s countless crossovers. A tractor-trailer failed to stop in the Route 1 median at Eagle Crest Road and collided with an SUV traveling south, sending the smaller vehicle onto its side and into a ditch. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. But that’s not always the case. 

From Five Points north to Milford and beyond, an alarming number of crashes has occurred in the last five years. Drivers often struggle to safely navigate these crossovers. Sometimes the issue is confusion. Do I stay to the left or do I stay to the right? Who has the right of way? It’s not plainly obvious.

At intersections with highly trafficked roadways, such as Janice Road south of the Nassau bridge or Cave Neck Road, the line of cars waiting to turn often blocks the view of oncoming traffic. 

Other times, drivers are unable to gauge the speed of the cars barreling up or down Route 1. These misunderstandings and miscalculations lead to accidents, and even when they don’t, they result in close calls. 

Even close calls are not acceptable. The Department of Transportation should re-evaluate the need for every crossover. Since 2012, 184 crashes have occurred at only five crossovers between the Nassau bridge and Hudson Road, just a four-mile stretch. 

As DelDOT removes traffic lights from Dover to Five Points, breaks in traffic have become fewer and farther between. That leads to impatience - and more people taking chances when impatience sets in. When DelDOT chose to streamline the path of traffic to the resort area, it also should have paid close attention to driver behavior in crossovers and drivers trying to enter Route 1 from local roads. 

Many years ago, when DelDOT dualized Route 1, it created a problem that has intensified as traffic increased. So far, DelDOT has only kicked the can down the road. These crossovers are dangerous. They must be fixed. 

 

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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