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Public’s role critical in solving congestion

August 3, 2018

Over the past two Mondays, members of the Five Points Transportation Study Working Group voted on which of 103 ideas for improvements they should recommend to Delaware's Department of Transportation for consideration.

The public can review and comment on those recommendations during a public workshop scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 27, at Beacon Middle School.

During the process, thousands became interested in a proposal to use the abandoned railroad bed between Cool Spring and Lewes for a new relief road alongside the pending bicycle and walking trail. Hundreds attended meetings, primarily to express their objections. Although the working group ultimately rejected the proposal, it nonetheless produced at least two collateral benefits.

First, it brought many people out and exposed them to all of the discussions and proposals to improve traffic flow in and around the Five Points intersection. That increased participation generated additional ideas.

Second, the proposal illustrated tremendous enthusiasm and support for the off-road hiking and bicycling trail as a safe and healthy transportation alternative interconnecting dozens of communities abutting the Lewes-Georgetown trail. In public comment, person after person talked about the trail as an important component in their decision to buy homes where they did.

They clearly see the trail as part of a continually emerging outdoors and nature-oriented lifestyle attracting them and many others to Sussex County.

People at the meetings heard DelDOT officials discuss many projects already in the pipeline to improve mobility here. Those projects, along with many of the proposals recommended to DelDOT by the working group and so many improvements made in recent years, are not only sorely needed but have already improved conditions. Just as plenty more growth is coming, more improvements are needed.

Public participation in this process is playing a positive role in the progress. Let's keep it going.

  • 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.