Good news for Coalition for Safer North Bethany: The meeting went well this morning and now have DelDOT support. We still need Hocker and Gray to push for us.
I just spent ~3 hours with two senior DelDOT engineers/transportation planners and they totally agree with our points in our letter to Gov Carney and want to help enhance the safety of Route One in North Bethany.
Neither of them had studied the North Bethany area prior and both were very critical (off the record) of almost everything they saw that DelDOT is supposed to be responsible for (Signage, turnaround markings, vegetation overhang etc) so i am optimistic that with their help and continued pressure on legislators there will be changes and enhancements. The politicians have in the past always pointed to DelDOT as the roadblock and that excuse is probably gone now imho.
The two engineers fully agree that the 55mph speed limit is clearly an accident waiting to happen and needs to change in North Bethany.
I explained to them that we are an unincorporated area with little support from Hocker and Gray one this issue and that North Bethany has gotten left out of all of the conversations to dated focused on pedestrian safety.
We now have a voice.
They were very sharp and really get it.
*******We all need to lobby Hocker and Gray On this issue very hard!
We need to get our friends that are voters to lobby Hocker and Gray.
We need the politicians to support us.
DelDOT is going to explore the idea that we be designated as a coastal area / resort area to help. I dont fully understand what that means and they wanted to keep that off the record but I think that would allow for our part of Route One to get special exceptions. They were focused on what percentage of traffic that passes through North Bethany was interstate vs intrastate etc. They said they have a way of analyzing that and will.
I reminded them that according to the Delaware Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Section 2B.13.16 other factors to be considered when reevaluating speed limits would include pedestrian activity (D) and crash experience (E) which we hope to lower.
The flow of runners and bikers this morning was low due to the rain but did pick up so thank you to our neighbors that got out there.
DelDOT counted what pedestrians they saw this morning and understand the risks.
I quoted a casual runner and biker count study that David Cox did back in 2015 and that was helpful (100 runners / bikers in a 5 minute period over July 4 weekend). They might want a follow up chat with David for advice. They are going to install a camera or two to analyze pedestrian and driver data.
They are going to get Univ DE to help.
Cars were wizzing by us as we walked some of the problem areas of Route One this morning and they actually almost got rear ended when coming to my house.
We filed a FOIA for crash / accident data and were rejected which they said is the current trend of conservative interpretation of the FOIA law but would get the info for DelDOT analysis.
They reminded me that Route One is a DE State Evacuation route which they will explore as that will be helpful for our efforts and allow funding for changes.
I mentioned Becky’s work with DelDOT and they agree that Route One drainage structure along the sides and in median is a mess and needs to be addressed.
They love the idea of vegetation along median of Route One in North Bethany and have strong opinion that this would let drivers know that this is residential area and not a drag strip. I mentioned the rain gardens in South Bethany and new vegetation in Bethany median as examples and showed them.
They had a bunch of great creative ideas and are looking at North Bethany as the problem area it is and will help.
They are going to create a guide for Real Estate companies to give to renters to educate them on driving , running and biking safety for this area.
They now have a team evaluating the North Bethany situation and will be letting us know ASAP Wha they come up with.
I do fear that the gating factor will be Hocker and Gray and getting political support. We need to all focus on this crisis or not.
Open to thoughts and advice so please reply.
Who else should we keep in the loop?