Fenwick Group Talks Route 1 Improvements

FENWICK ISLAND – Officials continue to explore Route 1 safety measures in Fenwick Island.

On Tuesday, members of the Fenwick Island Pedestrian Safety Committee continued brainstorming ways to improve safety along Route 1, the roadway dividing the east and west sides of town. Councilman Ed Bishop, committee chair, said one of the town’s efforts include working with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) to install sidewalks along the remainder of the corridor.

“For us to make Fenwick Island safe for pedestrians, we need sidewalks on both sides of town,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Town of Fenwick Island finished installing sidewalks along five bayside blocks from Indian to Dagsboro streets. Since that time, the town has continued to push DelDOT to fund a sidewalk project for the remainder of the corridor.

“The planning is going to start this year,” Bishop said in an update this week. “As we stand currently, the funding for construction is approved for 2030 … They did indicate funding could be pushed up if projects elsewhere aren’t ready, but we’re really looking to have sidewalks done a year or two from now.”

Bishop said the town is also working with DelDOT to install and move crosswalks throughout town. He said the town is seeking a crosswalk at Lewes Street, as well as the relocation of the crosswalk to the north end of Bayard Street.

“It’s probably one of biggest U-turns in town for people leaving Royal Farms and going south …,” he said. “If we can get the crosswalk moved, it will make it safer for pedestrians.”

Police Chief Michael Morrissey said enforcement would likely increase at crosswalks ahead of the summer season. He said the department would also like to see flashing lights installed at all of the town’s crosswalks.

“I think flashing lights will be part of the sidewalk project,” Mayor Natalie Magdeburger replied.

Committee members this week also explored ways to calm traffic along Route 1. Bishop said officials are exploring a median project that includes new landscaping along the north end of Route 1.

“We’re looking to do things on the north end of town, changing up the entry way to the north end of town, adding flowers and making it look like you are entering a neighborhood,” he said.

Magdeburger said she had reached out to DelDOT seeking support for the town’s median project. She said state officials had suggested native plants, instead of crepe myrtle trees, to replace some of the landscaping in the median.

“In order to slow down traffic it must catch the idea of the person who is driving …,” she said. “Using native plants doesn’t do that. Using the crepe myrtles is a more attractive way to highlight we are a neighborhood.”

After further discussion, the committee agreed to table the issue until the next meeting.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.