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Join the Sussex development protest

September 14, 2021

“Enough is enough!” is the phrase we often hear these days.

Change is expected. However, the speed of the change in the landscape is astounding: traffic congestion, exacerbated by construction trucks, is getting worse; mature forests are being clear-cut; even wetlands are filled and paved over to make roads; thousands of dwelling units are approved and built year after year.

At the same time, road construction is everywhere. DelDOT says those are primarily to mitigate safety hazards, not to increase capacity. We appreciate all those efforts, but DelDOT reacts when the situation boils up to the unsafe threshold. And then it takes years to plan and execute the improvement projects. By the time they are done, new problems await their attention.

Public safety and well-being don’t seem to be priorities for both the county and DelDOT.

The county approves subdivisions split across the public-funded roads, and DelDOT installs crosswalks to connect the split subdivisions even in dangerous curves.

DelDOT requires the developers to install shared paths or bike paths only in front of new subdivisions and lets them end abruptly, forcing the bikers or pedestrians onto the roadway. Delaware is already known as one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians and the most dangerous state for biking fatalities, according to a May 12 article in U.S. News & World Report.

The Sussex Planning & Zoning Commission treats the length of dead-end streets as a design issue rather than a safety issue that provides proper space for the fire engines to turn around.

Internet bandwidths and cell coverage - a lifeline for many - seem to be overloaded by the many new users.

Emergency evacuation for all the residents, many of them elderly, is another concern.

Recently, 180+ residents filed an appeal to the council to reverse the approval decision of the Terrapin Island subdivision in the Angola area of Rehoboth Bay. This is merely a poster child of many other approvals that the public has been watching in dismay. They finally reached a tipping point and had to take action. They quickly raised a significant amount of funds to file the appeal. Thanks to these appellants, we are about to learn how appeals are processed in Sussex County.

Do you have any issues to bring to the attention of the county officials? Join the countywide protest in Georgetown Circle Tuesday, Sept. 21,  9:30 a.m. to noon, to make your voice heard together with like-minded others. Spread the word; grab your friends; bring your voice, signs (optional), hat, and comfy shoes. Do you have a singing voice? There will be a stage for you to enlighten us with soft music in the background. Words to songs that reflect our concerns will be available.

For more information about this protest, go to sites.google.com/view/sussex2030upcoming/home or send an email to sussex2030.db@gmail.com.

Eul Lee
Angola
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