At a recent meeting, Milford City Council authorized Mayor Archie Campbell to sign a letter to DelDOT requesting that speed limits on Route 113 through city limits be reduced to 40 miles per hour in any area where the speed is currently 45 miles per hour. According to the letter, on one section of 113, the northbound and southbound lanes have different speed limits.
“We have received a number of complaints with regard to the speed limit on 113 and throughout the city. We did a bit of a survey to look at what areas were posted at what speeds and it is somewhat scattered, I guess that’s the best word we could use but their actual location, there’s actually a different speed on the northbound side than on the southbound side in one section,” Mark Whitfield, City Manager said. “So the letter was prepared for your review. I’m obviously happy to make any changes you would like to see made in the letter before it goes to DelDOT. From a staff perspective, we were recommending a posted speed limit of 40 miles an hour through the city limits except where it’s already posted. 35 For safety reasons, mainly it turns or on and off ramps. But other than that recommendation of 40 miles an hour throughout the city.”
Councilman Andy Fulton commented that this was in issue relayed to him by many of his constituents, that overall speed in the city was excessive.
“I’ve watched people try to get on to Seabury traveling at 55 miles an hour and two wheels are not uncommon. So, reducing the speed within the city limits would increase safety and the only 35 mile an hour area is actually when you’re getting on to Route 1 from 113 going over the overpass, everything else will be 40 miles an hour,” Councilman Fulton said. “That’s ample speed going past residences and giving you enough time to slow and enter businesses without having someone running to you at a high rate and also when you’re leaving a business it gives you time to get out without being rear ended.”
Whitfield pointed out that several housing developments were approved in the southern section of Route 113 and that there had already been one fatality at the entrance to a development.
“Whether that’s done or not, I do believe we just need more patrolling out there because 45 isn’t the issue. It’s the 55 and 60 that’s the issue,” Councilwoman Wilson said. “It is just speed way out there. It really is. And I know we can change speed limits and try to control this. But unless we are known as a community that enforces and makes people respect the speed limits. Nothing’s going to be accomplished.”
Councilman Fulton agreed with Councilwoman Wilson’s assessment.
“I firmly agree with you, Councilman Wilson. When I think of cities that really crack down on the speed limits, I think of Harrington right away. I think of Greenwood right away,” Councilman Fulton said. “When people make that left turn in Greenwood heading down 13, they’re not jumping on the pedal until they get to that sign that says 55, because there’s a patrolman sitting down there at that gas station waiting to flip his lights on and pull you over. So, I mean, they enforce the speed limits, and they make them posted. They’re slower. They’re very safety conscious in their community. And they make sure people know it, and I hope Milford gets a good reputation like that as well.”
Councilman Todd Culotta pointed out that there were several housing developments proposed on Route 113 as well as new businesses. He was concerned that the town might be regulating themselves to strictly.
“There are municipalities that you’ll drive through that you just have to slow down. Drive too fast through Bethany and you’ll quickly know but, but I mean, we don’t want to regulate ourselves to death,” Councilman Culotta said. “But we also want to know, this is a state road gonna do their study and make the best decision. But we do have to take into account the amount of housing developments that are coming up, the commercial and everything else.”
Councilman Jason James felt that the council should put safety first, but agreed that more patrolling was necessary, pointing out that on South Walnut Street, the speed limit was 25 and people were traveling 50 miles per hour. He felt that if the city changed the speed limit, it had to be enforced.
“I’m in complete agreement with Councilwoman Wilson’s statement and even most recently, we had on Route 1, two individuals the same day, same weekend, traveling 119 miles per hour on Route 1. The officers were out there, they were patrolling, and we are looking at different ways that we can do enforcement efforts,” Chief Cecilia Ashe said. “So that when you do travel into the city of Milford, you know that you’re going to be policed fairly, but you’re going to be doing it slowly. Because the reality is in today’s world in the state of Delaware, we’ve already had 45 traffic fatalities. And that is ahead of last year, and speed kills. Last year alone, the state of Delaware experienced 165 fatalities and majority of those are related to DUIs and also to distracted drivers. And this weekend alone, the officers that were on patrol made four DUI arrests within the city of Milford So, we are getting there ,and I am in complete agreement with Councilwoman Wilson’s position on enforcement.”
The letter will be sent to Secretary Nicole Majeski as a request that DelDOT consider reducing speed limits on Route 113 in the city of Milford to 40 miles per hour.
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