Friday Editorial

Improving bus service an important issue

June 7, 2013

Route 1 and its traffic, congestion and safety issues continue to be a major focus for Cape Gazette editori­als. For those of us who live here and visit regularly, that should come as no surprise. Route 1 between Five Points and Delaware Seashore State Park south of Dewey Beach is Main Street for Delaware’s Cape Re­gion. It is not only the main corridor to reach the beaches, but also – with its many outlets, restaurants and other businesses – a major destination in itself.

Safety issues involving pedestrians and the limited number of controlled crosswalks remains a concern. We applaud Delaware Department of Transportation officials for planning and starting to construct new cross­walks and adding overhead lighting to help with visibility at night.

At the same time, the Lewes-Rehoboth Association of Churches is shining a brighter light on another transportation issue involving Route 1 and Route 24. Through the congrega­tions it serves, the association has become acutely aware of the problems many people face in getting around the area for shopping, doctor’s appointments, recreation and social­ization. The association has called on the state to improve and increase the number of public transportation opportunities throughout the Cape Region so people can get around more easily without relying on other people to drive them here and there.

Despite the apparent affluence of our area, there are plenty of people who don’t have the means to afford a car, insurance and gasoline, or who, because of their age, no longer feel safe or comfortable in the challenging Route 1 corridor. They want to be independent; they want to make their appointments; they want to enjoy a quality of life that a reliable public transportation system would permit.

Building the roads – the expensive part – is already done. Our growth is continuing. The Route 1 corridor is rapidly becoming a busy, year-round urban center. That will only in­crease in the decades ahead. Scheduling more buses to provide efficient, reliable service is an important element in making the desirable quality of life here accessible to all.