Development should meet higher traffic standard

July 27, 2018

In the search lies the solution.

Those are the words of Frank Lloyd Wright, who in his search for new ways to build houses found many solutions still in use almost 100 years later. That should be encouraging to all who have considered traffic problems in and around the Five Points area because there's a lot of searching going on right now.

Members of the Five Points Transportation Study Working Group have been going through a process for several months to review issues contributing to congestion.

Armed with data gathered by the consulting firm guiding the discussion, they have been proposing and refining dozens of possible solutions to make traffic move more smoothly and without so much teeth gnashing and car crashing.

The group came up with a list of 103 distinct ideas. Now they are voting on which ideas to forward to Delaware's Department of Transportation as recommendations. Some are as simple as improving signage and lengthening acceleration and deceleration lanes, while others are far more complex and costly, such as construction of roundabouts and grade-separated interchanges at some of the more notorious trouble spots.

We have a lot of catching up to do, and it will take many years and hundreds of millions of dollars to fix existing problems. The good news is that many important projects are already in the pipeline and scheduled for construction.

The more challenging news is that in the meantime, growth, and with it more traffic, is continuing.

It's critical now that every new development proposal be looked at extra carefully by Sussex County officials and state transportation officials to absolutely ensure that no proposal adds to existing problems. Extra weight leading toward more rapid approval should be given to those proposals that come to the table with solutions and contributions, to address existing problems and improve mobility in our area.

Development from here on out should be held to a standard of leading to net positive traffic impact.


  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, publisher emeritus, and Laura Ritter, news editor, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; Nick Roth, sports editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.