Requests for Route 1 public input ludicrous

October 10, 2013

What caught our eye in Ron MacArthur's front page article titled "Work underway on Route 9 intersections," was the subheading "Route 1 project starting in fiscal 2014."  What?  And there it was on page 2, the paragraph stating "The highly anticipated Route 1 crosswalk and sidewalk project is scheduled to begin during fiscal year 2014.  The $14.4 million project will complete sidewalks on both sides of the roadway and add a dozen crosswalks from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal to north of Five Points."
Let us study the true meaning of this pronouncement:

1.  The "highly anticipated... project" it most certainly is not.  Anticipation connotes an element of happiness and excitement in awaiting something positive to occur.  From what we have seen, heard and read, there are many thousands of residents, local business owners and tourists who have expressed their fears and concerns regarding this project, all of which DelDOT has arrogantly dismissed and decided it will proceed with regardless of facts in evidence which prove the planned installation of crosswalks and additional stop lights will vastly undermine the flow of those "80,000 vehicles per day during the summer season" (Road Facts insert provided by the Cape Gazette).  Note to 2014 tourists advancing from the north and west:  Make sure you have a motel reservation in place somewhere in Kent County or the Eastern Shore for an overnight trip to the beach.  The days of your two to four hour travel time are officially over!

2.  The Highway One Pedestrian Safety Task Force (or whatever it's called) appointed to study alternative remedies for presentation to DelDOT and the legislature may as well pack up their briefcases.  Public opinion also means nothing to DelDOT officials so Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, Sen. Earnie Lopez and company might as well attempt to redirect their energies toward passing immediate and obviously necessary legislation to prohibit Gov. Jack Markell's non-elected minions in state agencies such as DelDOT and DNREC from further misappropriation of $14.4 million of our taxes.  Instead of working to create a more stable and improved economic environment where more Delawareans can willingly go off unemployment, proudly get back to work and pay their fair share of taxes, just where do these geniuses presume future revenue will come from to fund these misguided projects?  The arrogance of these entities to disregard the concerns of local citizens and businesses is disgusting, and the audacity to effectively thumb their noses at our duly-elected legislators is unconscionable.  We are not yet under totalitarian rule, but we're getting damn close to it!  It's time to stop bleeding us dry with misguided project expenditures when the horse has already left the barn.
3.  You can't take back "stupid":  There will always be heartbreaking accidents which are just that, accidents.  But there will also always be stupid people with no common sense who will attempt to do stupid and likely illegal things, e.g., drive under the influence, ride bikes any time of the day or night while intoxicated, and walk/run across a high-volume eight-lane highway after successful shoplifting. In addition, while the many lovely visitors who come here for the tax-free shopping will certainly welcome the planned additional crosswalks and light controls, there will be shoppers who will attempt to cross the highway even if there are but a few seconds left on the timer.  It's human nature to tempt fate; it's just not intended to create massive traffic jams.
How many more gross errors in judgment and resultant expenditure of our taxes by these tyrannical state agencies must we endure?  It boggles one's mind that a state as small as Delaware should have such an out-sized budget and be so far down the national economic scale as to be on the verge of recession.

As the man whose office approved and wrote the checks under former-Gov. Minner, Gov. Markell and his "expert" appointees have shown they will blatantly disregard any opinions or evidence presented in opposition to their plans, regardless of whether it saves us money or not.  Their requests for public input are just for show, empty political gestures extended to the electorate, having no real impact on their agendas.  Guess they figure when they're all packing their bags for Washington or other higher-profile positions away from little ole Delaware, we'll be the ones left to suffer the consequences of their disastrous decisions and they could care less.

Bob and Priscilla Clark

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