Traffic, safety on Robinsonville Road continues to worsen

April 15, 2022

Mid-afternoon, just a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were driving along Robinsonville Road in Lewes. A back tire came off a truck in the opposite lane and struck our front grille. Given the poor and rapidly deteriorating condition of this road (winding road, no shoulders, poorly lit, patchy and crumbling asphalt), coupled with vastly increased traffic, we were very lucky the damages were only to property.

The overdevelopment of Robinsonville Road borders on criminal. Neither the roadway itself nor the intersections are able to handle the current traffic, much less the traffic that will exist when the upwards of 1,000 existing, under construction or planned dwellings exit onto it. You might think, “Well, of course, DelDOT has plans in place to handle the traffic and state funds are on the way to deal with other basic infrastructure – police, fire, EMS, schools,” but you would have thought wrong! Even DelDOT studies to understand the growing problems on this roadway are years away.

In the climate of this overdevelopment problem, Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission denied approval to just one development – Coral Lakes. The developer has, of course, appealed to Sussex County Council. In addition to adding to the traffic problem with 315 tightly packed homes (potentially 630 more cars), this Coral Lakes plan violates many of the P&Z commission’s own regulations.

My wife and I had what, thankfully, was an injury-free accident. But given the very poor condition of Robinsonville Road (and no plans to deal with that), the increased traffic load indeed will lead to worse accidents, quite possibly multiple fatal head-on collisions.

Why are we, the voters of southern Delaware, tolerating the degradation of our safety and lifestyle? I’ve personally talked with folks who have lived along Robinsonville Road for as long as 30 years. If the Sussex County Council does anything other than uphold the denial of Coral Lakes, and starts to chip away at other overdevelopment, they are ignoring the will of the voters in our area. These are elected officials supposedly in office to serve us. If the P&Z decision on Coral Lakes is reversed, one would then have to start asking them, “why?”

John Porter
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