Dover neighborhood traffic nightmare: “It’s pretty deadly at times”

DOVER, Del. – After years of battling for a fix, a Dover veteran and his community say they’re fed up and don’t feel safe in their own neighborhood.

“I can’t roll or walk, whichever, in my own neighborhood. It’s pretty deadly at times,” says Rick Rettinger, a concerned resident and paralyzed veteran.

For almost 4 years, Rettinger says he’s been trying to get simple road signs poste

d. He hopes the signs would prevent 18-wheelers and tractor trailers from driving in the neighborhood.

“The basic problems and the issues is the heavy traffic that comes through and big time is the big trucks,” says Rettinger.

Fieldstone Village, a 55 and older community, is right behind Redner’s. It often serves as a short cut to the shopping plaza or as a way to avoid Route 13. But that’s creating headaches for residents.

“We have big trucks coming through here. I had to stop a tractor trailer truck not too long ago. And I’m waving him and I’m saying stop stop. You’re not supposed to be coming though here,” says Anna Pillik, a concerned resident.

Besides safety concerns, residents tell 47 ABC that the neighborhood’s roads simply aren’t built for big commercial trucks.

“If you look behind me where it’s gray that’s built to industrial standards. That’s built for heavy trucks. The black road, like I said, is residential. It’s not built for the heavy trucks,” says Rettinger.

Homeowners say they’ve tried everything. They’ve even been able to make some of the streets one way but that didn’t seem to solve the problem.

“When we made the streets one way, they didn’t care. We would stand on the corner to try and stop them from going the wrong way on the one way street and they don’t care,” says Pillik.

Their latest proposal is to put signs up on Fork Branch Road. “Two small signs. Trucks no left turn. Trucks no right turn. It will help. Won’t totally prevent it but it should help and that’s what we want,” says Rettinger.

But they say lawmakers haven’t been able to help. “Just getting no response out from the county and the state representatives,” says Rettinger.

So they tell 47 ABC they’re at a loss, left hoping that something bad doesn’t happen.

“Somebody’s going to get hurt or something’s going to happen and then we are responsible,” says Pillik.

Rettinger tells 47 ABC he isn’t faulting Redner’s. He just wants something done to make it clear to drivers that these roads aren’t built for all that traffic.

47 ABC reached out to Representative William Bush and were told, “The issue of truck traffic in this neighborhood near Fork Branch Road has been a longstanding issue that pre-dates Representative Bush’s time in office. We are still in communication on this issue, and there is not much to comment on at this time.”

Del DOT says they can review the area to make sure the appropriate signs are in place but they wouldn’t be able to enforce. Meanwhile Allan Angel, Kent County’s Third District Commissioner, says the community owns the private road and believes they should be able to regulate it how they want to.

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