by Terry Rogers
On Monday, April 23, DelDOT and engineers from McCormick and Taylor presented Milford City Council with designs for a new bike and pedestrian path to be located along Northeast Front Street in Milford. The project is part of the DelDOT Transportation Alternative Program and will be included as part of Milford’s Streetscape Improvement Program.
“DelDOT approached us about this program,” Mayor Bryan Shupe said. “We have been discussing updating the streetscape for the Northeast Front Street corridor as the new overpass being installed on Route 1 at Route 14 will bring more visitors into Milford. The addition of a bike and pedestrian path will be an excellent addition to Milford.”
According to Todd Pryor of DelDOT TAP, the bike paths are funded partially by the federal government. HSWA will pay 80 percent of the costs for the project while the City will be responsible for 20 percent.
“This is a community-driven project,” Pryor explained. “The main goal is to improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity throughout the City. Initially, the priority was to extend the downtown feel toward Rehoboth Boulevard as well as add additional pedestrian pathways. This plan calls for sidewalks to be replaced with brick to continue the look of the downtown area in front of the shopping center. The ultimate plan is to extend the sidewalk all the way to Rehoboth Boulevard, but the first phase will just be to 4th Street.” Pryor explained that Blue Hen Springworks, which is located at the corner of Rehoboth Boulevard and Northeast Front Street, presents a problem due to large trucks that must enter and exit the parking lot, making it less safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.
There are two designs currently under discussion and community input is requested regarding which design is preferred. The designs shows the sidewalk on different sides of the street and it is a matter of community preference which design is chosen. Once the design is chosen, a cost estimate will be performed. DelDOT wants to make the decision on the design quickly in order to get the project started within the next few months or it could be delayed another year.
“The City had a Northeast Front Street Streetscape planned years ago,” Rob Pierce, City Planner, said. “It was never implemented because it was too costly. When DelDOT approached us with this project, we felt it would be a good way to beautify our gateway and add more ways for people to walk or bike in the City. The new design would also force slower traffic as drivers tend to drive slower when pedestrians and bicyclists are present.”
Any comments or suggestions regarding the plan should be sent in written form to Rob Pierce. Mailed comments can be sent to City Hall, 201 South Walnut Street, Milford DE 19963 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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