We need traffic relief from Tulip Drive

September 21, 2017

I am writing this letter as a concerned resident of Taramino.

I would like to express concern regarding the access and egress onto Route 1 from Tulip Drive. Tulip, already difficult, will now join other intersections as being an extremely dangerous intersection. Currently it is difficult to exit Tulip southbound onto Coastal Highway. Traffic volume and the excessive speed they travel when crossing the Nassau Bridge southbound presents a challenge on gaining entry onto Coastal Highway southbound.

The addition of 137 homes in the new development behind Dutch Acres and Taramino will only exacerbate the problem. DelDOT had refused to grant access from the development onto Tulip, originally forcing the developer to change the designation to the development being age-restricted. Without this designation the developer was prohibited from gaining access to Tulip Drive and couldn't have Sussex County Council rezone the parcel for development of 137 units.

DelDOT however now refuses to fully activate the traffic signal primarily because St. Jude Church objects and DelDOT doesn't want to restrict traffic flow over the Nassau Bridge. DelDOT allowed access for the development Reserves and the covered bridge access to Tulip and Route 1 using faulty statistical studies and non-relevant traffic studies. They used studies showing seniors drive fewer miles than younger householders.

This is true; seniors do drive less mileage but, and this is an important factor which was ignored, seniors actually have a greater frequency of car usage but less mileage. Since they are usually retired, they are home, and will often come and go from their homes more frequently than working families who spend eight hours away from home at work.

This being said, the developer is willing to pay to activate the light to full status. DelDOT and Sussex County Council refuse to take advantage of this offer. It would be possible to use laser or pressure plate technology to only activate the light when vehicles are attempting to exit from Tulip onto Route 1. This would mitigate slowing down traffic southbound as the signal would only activate when a vehicle was in the intersection attempting to cross into the southbound lanes of Coastal Highway.

There have already been serious accidents at this intersection, including a fatality. I surmise St. Jude is objecting to activation because they would lose the trooper affording their worshippers coming and going easily at Mass using manual activation of the signal. Isn't that a tad selfish on the church's part? What about the rights of the residents of Taramino, Dutch Acres and the new development to access Coastal Highway southbound without the danger of being in an accident?

Another alternative which avoids adding congestion and traffic onto Tulip is to scrap the covered bridge and have the new development access and egress over the now defunct railroad tracks through the Reserves of Nassau development. This idea is less appealing, as it makes the development less appealing to potential buyers, actually safer but less appealing. Since it appears Covered Bridge will happen even though misguided and unsafe, DelDOT and county council still refuse to act to ensure public safety. It seems the only thing they will do is point fingers at one another when someone does get injured or killed. This is a travesty and unnecessary.

It appears council sees tax revenue for use elsewhere in the county as being more important then public safety. Council and DelDOT are therefore willing to allow existing residents to be subjected to potential harm all for the sake of money. Existing residents will wind up injured, killed or at the very least inconvenienced because neither DelDOT nor Sussex County Council cares for our safety or quality of life.

Kenneth Ciarlone


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