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Route 1 deserves high-caliber master plan

August 16, 2013

The Cape Gazette will continue to beat the drums for coming up with a holistic, enlightened, long-term and achievable plan for bringing the automobile, pedestrian, bicycle, public transit, shopping, entertainment, church and residen­tial components along Route 1 into the har­mony that is deserved and certainly possible.

Between the tragic and obvious problems arising from the chaos between the Nassau overpass and Delaware Seashore State Park south of Dewey Beach, and the Indian River Inlet and bridge fiasco, we have enough edito­rial fodder for the next several months.

An editorial in Tuesday’s edition of the Gazette said it, and we’ll say it again: A piecemeal approach to addressing Route 1’s problems is not going to get them fixed. We need an approach that involves a blend of pro­fessional urban planners working in concert with local representatives who can develop a long-term master plan to achieve that harmo­nious vision we all seek.

Of course that vision will include crosswalks and lighting, traffic­calming landscaping and sidewalks, aggres­sive enforcement of bicycling and walking rules, and more public transit. Some of that - especially the sorely needed crosswalks - is in the works. Those crosswalks will have to be regulated to allow pedestrians to cross at predetermined times - such as on the quarter hour - rather than adding further to the chaos by allowing random traffic light button-push­ing by walkers.

Like a mechanical clock with all its moving parts, will it all work correctly?

Do we have any idea what that functioning clockwork system will look like? At this point, no, but the significance of Route 1 in Dela­ware’s overall economic structure deserves the development and realization of that vision.

Let’s bring in the best we can find in this nation to work with the great minds and ideas we have locally to come up with a grand plan, not just a bunch of bandages. It’s going to take time, money and political will, but better to get started now than to keep kicking the prob­lem down the road, when the planning and fixes will cost even more.

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