Tony Pezone, Michael Tyler and John Boyle met with Sussex County state legislators concerning the issue of Route 1 at Legislative Hall on Wednesday. Senators Bunting and Simpson as well as Representatives. Booth and Schwartzkopf were present.
The meeting was productive as the officials agreed to sending two joint letters to Secretary Wicks:
1 – A letter asking DELDOT to formally respond to our position which includes lowering the speed limit, narrowing the travel lanes and the inclusion of bike lanes or the removal of buses from the shoulder.
2 – The second letter specifically applies to the last point, there was a consensus that the buses should be excluded from the shoulder/fourth lane.
Rep. Schwartzkopf is a strong advocate for the new lane but he also noted that the lane has reduced delays and that there was no need for buses to use the shoulder. He has been an advocate for a sidepath on Route 1 and we had a lively discussion of the design problems of such a facility. (Vehicular conflicts that would require strong engineering solutions, not to mention twice as much right of way needed as bike lanes).
Also on Wednesday at the Delaware Bicycle Council Meeting State Bicycle Coordinator Anthony Aglio briefed everyone on the final design and speed limit (dashed line for 4th lane and 45mph from 5pts to Route 24). He noted that sidewalks will be extended along much of the corridor and the two crosswalks will be added (Dartmouth Dr is one another will go between the outlet centers).
He also discussed the bicycle safety stations. Besides Route 1 station locations will also include Route 26 in Ocean View/Bethany Area (between 9pm and 2am). The stops will include light and helmet giveaways and a bike safety check. There will also be distubution of safety brochures in multiple languages and the possibility of a brief survey tolearn of the particular concerns of the cyclists (snacks and drinks would be another nicety).
The bicycling education community will be watching this innovative social marketing experiment carefully. Police in the Bethany area plan to step up enforcement after the bike station events. Anthony noted that the upcoming Route 26 widening project (2009?) will include bike lanes and sidewalks.
Finally Don Carbaugh worked with Rep. Sokola for a meeting with Secretary Wicks on May 9, I will be representing Bike Delaware and Doug Mills will be representing Delaware Bicycle Council, we have heard positive things about her from those who have worked with her in the past and we hope to work with her for a cultural change at DELDOT.