Pedestrian Outreach Planned In Fenwick

FENWICK ISLAND – With a young boy being struck crossing against a light last month, the Town of Fenwick Island urges pedestrians to use crosswalks while conducting an annual pedestrian safety campaign.

During Friday’s Town Council meeting Chief William Boyden touched on the pedestrian accident two weeks ago and the importance in using crosswalks while crossing the streets.

Just before 9 p.m. on June 20, Zander Hartman, 9, of Lehighton, Pa., was crossing Coastal Highway at its intersection with Route 54, or Lighthouse Rd., with family and friends when he was struck by a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban. Last week it was reported that Hartman is expected to make a full recovery, despite serious injuries.

The group, crossing Coastal Highway from west to east, stopped at the median when the pedestrian crossing signal went red. According to Delaware State Police, after Hartman and his family and friends successfully crossed the southbound lanes of traffic the crossing signal changed, forcing them to halt in the median. Hartman did not stop at the median and darted out into the northbound lanes of Coastal Highway just north of the intersection with Route 54. Hartman was struck by the Chevy Suburban, driven by William D. Murphy, 52, of Havre de Grace, Md. The driver was not found at fault.

“We and the state have worked hand-in-hand over the past several years to upgrade the crosswalks, upgrade the pedestrian lights, which give plenty of time. It only takes a few more seconds to walk farther down and use a crosswalk,” Boyden said on Friday, pointing out a pedestrian safety campaign is being conducted in Fenwick Island over the next couple of months.

On July 16 at 8 a.m., a Pedestrian Safety Outreach Campaign will be conducted at Town Hall where the Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Fenwick Island Police Department and Sussex Bicyclists will collaborate to educate the public on bike and pedestrian safety.

In addition, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety in conjunction with the Fenwick Island Environmental Committee will perform pedestrian safety outreach at all Fenwick Flicks. The flicks start at dusk with the safety outreach occurring approximately one hour prior.

“The Town of Fenwick Island takes bicycle and pedestrian safety very seriously. The proactive approach we take consists of outreach activities, bike patrol during the summer, and information disseminated at town meetings that covers how to be safe and navigate a busy commercial corridor,” Town Manager Merritt Burke said.