Eye opening summer leads to emphasis on pedestrian safety

FENWICK ISLAND, Del. – An increase in foot traffic this summer has opened the eyes of Fenwick Island town officials that they need to address the issues of pedestrian safety along Route 1.

“Those 5,000 visitors are not familiar with intersections that are bad like the one that were standing on at Bayard Street and Coastal Highway,” said town manager Terry Tieman.

“There’s no guarantee that a family with little children and beach equipment can walk from one side of the street to the other without being stopped by traffic,” said Vicky Carmean, the chair of the Pedestrian Safety Committee.

The town council voted to allocate upwards of $3,000 to be used for new signage at crosswalks.

“Please yield to pedestrians, and they’ll designate where the crosswalks are, so it’s clear to people in vehicles where pedestrians will be crossing,” Tieman said.

And if that isn’t enough, they’ve promised to increase that funding as needed.

“Our council is pretty forward thinking, and I think if we needed more, they would definitely allocate it,” Tieman said.

One intersection of pressing need is at Bayard Street. A crosswalk with no signage warning drivers going north and south, or making U-turns, about those walking the street. Officials are also concerned about the intersection because of a lack of traffic signal, median and lighting at night.

The signs are just step one.

DelDOT will be meeting with town officials to talk about possible funding and plans to change the infrastructure at some of these walkways. Changes that could include larger medians, additional traffic lights, more street lighting, and other options.

We’re told new signage to address pedestrian safety should begin getting posted along Route 1 within the next month.

We’re told that every crosswalk on route one is of concern to Fenwick Island and improvements will be considered.

That meeting with DelDOT is scheduled for next Friday, September 6 at 11 AM.

Categories: Delaware, Local News