Lewes council approves bike and ped safety recommendations

New police officer sworn in, other measures passed at Sept. 11 meeting
September 16, 2023

The Lewes Mayor and Council unanimously approved recommendations from the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee aimed at improving safety.

At its Sept. 11 meeting, mayor and city council approved moving the "No Turn on Red" signs at the intersection of Savannah Road, Front Street and Gills Neck Road to a more visible location.

They also voted to remove the "Walk Your Bike" signs at the Savannah Road drawbridge, repaint the "Walk Your Bike on Sidewalk" stencils on the sidewalks and add sharrows to the traffic lanes approaching the bridge in both directions.

Officials also agreed to coordinate with the Delaware River and Bay Authority to place reflective delineators or striping on the Freeman Highway bridge to improve safety for bicyclists.

Chip Davis of the bike and pedestrian committee said the changes are about safety and clearing up confusion on the drawbridge. 

“Motorists and bicycles can share the road. But anybody who is not comfortable with riding their bike on the road, can walk their bike across the bridge on the sidewalk. We want to make it perfectly clear, not every bike has to be on the road, but [bikes] have the right to be there,” he said.

Council tabled action on improvements to the lighting at the intersection of Second Street and Savannah Road, which was a fourth recommendation from the committee.

New police officer sworn in

Also at the Sept. 11 meeting, Jake Sipes was sworn in as Lewes’ newest police officer.

Chief Tom Spell said Sipes graduated from the Dover Police Academy Sept. 8, earning the Francis Schneible Award for Recruit Resiliency. 

Jake, his wife Kendra, and their two children live in the Georgetown area.

Roosevelt Inlet replenishment 

Council unanimously approved a temporary construction easement to allow the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to use the Roosevelt Inlet parking lot for an upcoming beach replenishment project. The easement approval is for 12 months. 

“This shouldn’t involve trucks going up and down Cedar,” said Mayor Andrew Williams. “The sand will come from offshore and be pumped onto the shore. What they’re talking about is a staging area for some bulldozers on the beach.”

The project is expected to begin in November. At a previous meeting, a DNREC representative said it will not run into next year’s peak season.

The replenishment is scheduled from Roosevelt Inlet, past Lewes Yacht Club to Iowa Avenue. But, Williams said, the hope is that as they pull more sand on shore, the replenishment can stretch farther down the beach.

Parks & rec appointees

Mayor and city council unanimously approved four appointments to the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission. Bill Adelman was reappointed to oversee Stango Park Extended for a one-year term. Christine Besche was reappointed to oversee Stango Park Extended for a three-year term. Mark Shue was appointed to oversee George H.P. Smith Park for a one-year term. Trina Brown Hicks was appointed to oversee George H.P. Smith Park for a three-year term.

Council worked with Parks and Marina Manager Janet Reeves to stagger the length of the commissioners’ terms.

RFP for legal services

Mayor and city council also approved a request for proposal for legal services, also known as the city solicitor position.

The vote was 3-2, with Deputy Mayor Khalil Saliba and Councilperson Carolyn Jones voting against the measure.

The city will accept proposals for city solicitor until 4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Irrigation license agreement approved

Officials unanimously approved a request for a license agreement for Olde Town at Lewes to allow for irrigation to be located within the right of way.

They discussed the license fee that the city will charge the homeowner’s association, but decided to set the amount at a later date.

BPW given OK for borrow money

Lewes leaders unanimously approved a resolution to allow the Lewes Board of Public Works to borrow $5.250 million from the Delaware Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for water tower and canal crossing projects.

The money will come from two separate loans. BPW General Manager Austin Calaman said the first loan is for a water main that runs from the town side to the beach side. It crosses the canal in the area of the old railroad swing bridge.

The other loan is for a water tower and piping to be built on the Jones Farm property, near Cape Henlopen High School. 

Tree public hearing set

The panel also scheduled a public hearing on a proposed tree density ordinance. The hearing will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 2 at the Rollins Center.



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