Next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 9

The special committee created to study and make recommendations regarding the ongoing truck traffic issue on Routes 41, 48, and 7 (Lancaster Pike, Newport-Gap Pike, and Limestone Road) held its first meeting in Hockessin last Wednesday, June 12.

Comprised of 11 members, six of whom are residents who live along one of the three routes, the group was created following Senate Resolution 10, which mandates the formation of the committee to study and make recommendations regarding truck traffic movement along the three routes.

Wednesday’s meeting was held to introduce the committee and its goals to the public, as well as review procedures for moving forward.

While truck traffic along the three routes has long been a concern for commuters and residents, the issue came to the forefront when DelDOT placed signs redirecting truck traffic along the routes last summer.

The signs, which were placed at the intersection of Lancaster and Gap-Newport Pike in June 2016, were removed last December after Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan said she received a petition with 1,100 signatures.

The petition also carried a request for a new open public process to revisit the truck traffic along all three corridors, the department elected to remove the signs in December.

The series of both fixed and digital display signs directed all truck traffic destined for Routes 95 and 295 to take Route 48 (Lancaster Pike) instead of Route 41 (Newport-Gap Pike).

The special committee is hosted by the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO), with WILMAPCO Executive Director Tigist Zegeye serving as chair.

Zegeye said the special committee is expected to make its recommendations to DelDOT and the General Assembly by Jan. 12, 2018.

The council is comprised of members of WILMAPCO, DelDOT, the Delaware State Police Truck Enforcement Unit, and the Diamond State Port Corporation.

Also part of the council are: Route 41 Representatives MaryAnn Summers and Bill Taylor; Route 48 Representatives Gail Hamilton (also chair of the Route 48 Coalition) and Nick Ferrara; and Route 7 Representatives Michael Lewandowski and Michael Censurato.

SR-10 is cosponsored by State Senators Anthony Decollo, R-Marshallton Heights, and Gregory Lavelle, R-Sharpley.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Delcollo said he was pleased to see a full house at the Hockessin Memorial Hall for the committee’s kickoff meeting.

He noted that he was late due to the outbound Wilmington traffic – a remark that brought snickers from the crowd.

“I have high hopes for what this community will do,” Decollo said. “We’re looking at really getting an open and clear and aggressive approach to finding short-term, mid-term, and long-term ways to address the problem of increasing truck traffic, because the problem is not going to go away.”

“I would like for outcomes to be based in fairness, and be data-driven,” Hamilton said. “Our goal is to be fair, equitable, balanced in the approach – that’s the kind of solution we’re looking for – for ourselves and others.”

The next committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the Hockessin Memorial Hall, 6 p.m.