Lewes bike committee recommends changes to drawbridge signs

Goal is to improve safety at congested crossing
July 29, 2023

The Lewes Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is recommending the removal of signs and stencils asking riders to walk their bikes across the Savannah Road drawbridge.

At its July 25 meeting, committee members said the signs are confusing and make getting across more dangerous.

The committee also wants sharrows placed on the bridge in both directions, indicating that bikes are allowed in the travel lanes.

Committee member Mary Roth said the signs lead some residents to believe bikes are not allowed on the bridge. 

“Others have a different opinion and only believe you have to walk your bike if you can’t get across. There’s a vast majority of folks who have their own opinion of what’s permitted on the bridge,” she said.

“I would invite people to use [the full width of the lanes] just so they’re not trying to squeeze right along the edge and invite cars to try and pass them on the bridge,” said committee member Sumner Crosby. “It’s not that long of a bridge, not that big of a deal to get behind a couple of bikes.”

The committee proposed changing the timing of the traffic light at Savannah Road, Front Street and Gills Neck Road to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to be released first, before cars. The committee agreed to submit that idea to the Delaware Department of Transportation for consideration in the bicycle master plan the agency is currently working on for Lewes. The committee said DelDOT is taking public comments online and will hold a public hearing in September. 

The committee is also recommending safety improvements for bicyclists on the Freeman Highway bridge, proposing plastic delineators be placed along the shoulders in both directions to separate bikes from cars.

There was also a discussion on improving the lighting at the crosswalk at Second Street and Savannah Road. Crosby said background lighting in the area makes it hard for drivers to see people crossing the street.

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