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DelDOT to review traffic safety upgrades in Milford

Government, Headlines

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Two all-way stops may be installed on Seabury Avenue once DelDOT completes a traffic study

Milford City Council authorized James Puddicombe, City Engineer to request DelDOT conduct studies regarding traffic upgrades in the city. DelDOT will now review the benefits of two all-way stops at Seabury Avenue and Elm Street as well as at Seabury Avenue and Pine Street. In addition, DelDOT will study and recommend options to reduce speed on King’s Highway.

“Several council people have been contacted about issues with speeding on Seabury Avenue,” Mark Whitfield, City Manager, said. “These would be all-way stops so that all vehicles approaching those intersections would be required to stop. There is also some concern about short-cutting through Simpson Crossing when that development builds out and this may prevent that.”

Councilman Andy Fulton felt this was an excellent suggestion to slow drivers on Seabury Avenue.

“I know there are concerns about enforcement there,” Councilman Todd Culotta said. “Seabury has been like this for years and all of a sudden, we are going to put not one stop sign but two. I get the safety issue but four way stops also back up traffic. When you come off the highway onto Seabury, you take that corner pretty quickly. Do we really need two stop signs on that road? I know there have been complaints, but it really is just one resident.”

Councilman Fulton disagreed with Councilman Culotta.

“I attend St. John’s and that parish as a whole has been talking about this,” Councilman Fulton said. “It has been going on for some time and a number of residents have expressed concerns as well as our entire parish. That is a road that is known for speeding and that is on any given day. Anything that will slow down traffic should be a benefit.”

Councilman Culotta pointed out that if the referendum passes and the former middle school reopens, there would be significantly more traffic in that area. He stated that he has gotten two tickets himself on Seabury Avenue, so he gets the need for enforcement but was concerned that with the added school traffic, there could be significant backups if there are two all-way stops.

“I certainly think it will help,” Chief Kenneth Brown said. “We did a study there about two years ago and there was significant speeding from the highway to Pine Street. Recently, officers have been out there pretty heavily and haven’t gotten a whole lot, but they have been concentrating near the church. Most of the heavy speeding is from the highway and turning onto Pine Street. This is why we put the speed sign where we did, but this would be another tool.”

Councilman Culotta suggested that just one stop sign at Elm Street would be enough to break up the momentum coming off the highway, suggesting that one may be enough to slow people down. Councilman Mike Boyle felt that getting DelDOT involved in a traffic study would be beneficial, especially with two large developments going into the area. Councilman Culotta suggested adding a bike or parking lane to reduce the width of Seabury Avenue. Whitfield stated that DelDOT determined that the road did not qualify for those types of improvements.

“Listening to the chief’s comments, it sounds like the interim action taking place have led things to be somewhat better,” Councilman Jason James said. “There is not as much speeding as before. If we are comfortable, even though we cannot predict the future, if we are going to cause backups, we need to take a good look at this.”

Puddicombe explained that this was simply a request for DelDOT to look at the area to see if all-way stops would benefit and that DelDOT could return with other recommendations. Council authorized the request to be sent to DelDOT for a review.

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The City of Milford will request that DelDOT review options, such as speed mats, on King’s Highway to reduce vehicle speeds.

The other request for review from DelDOT was for speed mats on King’s Highway in an effort to control speeding on that street.

“That is an “S” curve,” Councilman Culotta said. “If you put speed bumps there, that also slows fire trucks. This one, I don’t know.” Puddicombe explained that this may not be a speed bump but could be striping on the road to warn drivers a stop sign was coming up.

Councilman Culotta was not sure the request was necessary, stating that DelDOT would not make their decision in a ‘vacuum’ but would listen to what council recommended. Councilman James pointed out that the city was simply asking for a study and that there was really no harm in conducting that study.

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