Proprietary attitude blocking public access to pathways

April 19, 2013

The lawsuit holding up work on the Junction & Breakwater Trail extension, reported on April 12, is another example of the selfish, proprietary attitude that keeps blocking public access and community enjoyment of our landscapes. People seem to move into the county and then proceed to chop it up into small, private warrens with no common connections.

I bicycle from Lewes to the fitness center in the Midway shopping center. I have been accustomed to passing from the end of one cul-de-sac to another through empty lots, to reach the J&B trail, but recently a certain development has constructed a spite fence to prevent such passage, which means I have to bike out on the highways and hazard the busy vehicular traffic, on the road itself or in the few less-than-adequate bike lanes.

With all this blocking of accesses, a resident in one of these developments would have to get in his car and drive about a mile out on the roads merely in order to visit a neighbor who is only 50 feet away in the adjoining cul-de-sac development. The county zoning authority should put regulations in place requiring that a pedestrian/bike link must connect any two cul-de-sac developments that back up against one another.

England has more than 1,400 miles of public foot paths all across the country, through private forests and across farmlands, open to everyone to enjoy and to walk from village to village. It is too bad that we can't have a similar community-minded attitude here in lower Delaware, especially considering our extraordinarily beautiful woods, fields, and wetlands. Here it's all cars, cars, cars.

Peter Schultz

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