Residents in the area of Camp Arrowhead Road have expressed concerns for months about a crosswalk installed near an S-curve on the road.
Now, someone has taken notice – Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan.
The crosswalk, and another about 200 yards away, connect two sections of Marsh Farms Estates, a subdivision still under construction on both sides of Camp Arrowhead Road.
In an email to resident Gail Quenneville, Cohan agreed that the crosswalk should be removed, with changes to the approaches on the existing paths.
Quenneville and others have written numerous letters and sent emails to state and county officials calling the crosswalk extremely dangerous.
“The last thing we want to do is to remove the crosswalk and signage just to have people cross there anyway due to the existing paths,” Cohan wrote. “My team has planned a field meeting to look into how we are going to remedy the condition.”
She noted that the developer will have no interest in changing it because DelDOT required the crosswalk at the location. “He doesn't have an obligation to do it since we have accepted the work. We will need to add it to a contract or come up with some other solution,” she wrote.
Cohan wrote that the crosswalk was built last year to tie into trails and landings on both sides of Camp Arrowhead Road. “It was decided since the paths on both sides met on a curve, a crosswalk and signage should be added to improve the visibility of the crossing to drivers,” she wrote.
“Moving the crosswalk may help, but my point is that crosswalks should be elevated or not be there at all,” said Lewes resident Judy Kane. “I am now concerned that crosswalks will become part of large, multi-site developments. Our roads are clogged with traffic now; stopping for pedestrians will only create dangerous conditions. Elevated crosswalks are expensive as they have to be ADA compliant, but lives matter, and lives will be at risk with crosswalks in ill-placed areas.”
Eul Lee, another area resident, said there are several approved communities that are split across busy roads and developers may want to build more crosswalks, including projects on Route 24, Hollymount Road and Miller's Neck Road. “This suggests close – or closer – coordination between Sussex County Planning and Zoning and DelDOT throughout the approval process to make sure the trails and bike path are directed and end where DelDOT sees safe. The public's safety must be the first concern when any approval of a subdivision or an access point/bike path/crosswalk is considered,” Lee said.