The people have spoken
The petition to stop the Royal Farms proposed at the corner of Angola Road and Route 24 passed the 1,000-signature mark Sept. 12. It was started Aug. 3 at a meeting in the Angola area, which, I might add, didn’t have great publicity. It’s interesting to note that the signees are in a wide spread area, not just in the Angola Neck area. Robinsonville Road, Long Neck and Millsboro areas, Beaver Dam area, even Lewes and Route 9 folks have spoken up. Some as far south as Bethany and Fenwick have spoken up. Why? Route 24 is a major east-west corridor, well-traveled by so many. I said it’s a corridor because it certainly is not a major artery. Angola Road remains a country road, deemed not suitable for DART bus service in March 2021. If it’s not suitable for a bus, how are 18-wheelers going to navigate the entrance and exit on Angola Road?
The traffic backups at the Angola Road light are now epic, extending past Walden and sometimes as far as Holly Lakes Campground. Will Route 24 be widened in the Angola area? The corner may be improved, but how much will that improve Angola Road? It won’t. Was Route 24 widened when work was recently done at Burton’s Pond? No. Will it be widened going east toward Peddler’s Village? I don’t think any time soon. And forget about the Love Creek bridge being widened; there are no plans for that before 2045. At best, Route 24 will be a hodgepodge of two lanes, three lanes, four lanes and turn lanes, which will only contribute to even greater bottlenecks.
Environmental issues remain at the forefront, but traffic issues are preeminent to some. People I speak with, and there are many, say there are sufficient gas stations in the area and a new one is not needed, especially at the proposed location. They are worried about the safety of the intersection; they are concerned about the impact traffic has on first responders’ ability to help people in need. The topography of Angola Road and the proposed site is just not conducive to the amount of traffic and the type of vehicles that will frequent a gas station. It dips, it turns and it floods.
There will be more signatures gathered, either on paper or online at sussex2030.com. There will be meetings attended, letters written, marches too. The energy around this conditional-use permit is real. The people have spoken. They are the same ones who buy gas; the same ones who vote. I hope a Royal Farms representative is reading this because if you are, I implore you to be satisfied with the two stations you have on Route 24 and consider having this application withdrawn.