Second meeting of committee, with members of WILMAPCO, DelDOT, others

The special truck traffic committee will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 6 p.m., at the Hockessin Memorial Hall, 610 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin.

The 11-member committee was created by Senate Resolution 10 (SR10), which mandates the formation of the committee to study and make recommendations regarding truck traffic movement along Routes 41, 48, and 7 (Lancaster Pike, Newport-Gap Pike, and Limestone Road).

Members of the committee include employees of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOt), the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO), the Delaware State Police, the Wilmington Port Authority, and residents from along the three routes.

The resolution was put forth last winter following the addition – and subsequent removal – of signs by DelDOT directing all truck traffic destined for I-95 to take Route 48, sparking a reaction and a petition from residents protesting the move.

WILMAPCO Executive Director Tigist Zegeye said she wants the committee to produce a consensus that all stakeholders can live with.

“My hope is the committee would come together with a recommendation on its own, so it’s not WILMAPCO or DelDOT making it,” she said. “It’s the actual special committee that would make the ultimate recommendation [to DelDOT].”

Making that decision, she said, is improved vastly by the committee members having access to experts with accurate information.

“So that everyone is on the same level, when they talk about actual solutions, they will be able to get information from experts on the subject matter,” Zegeye said.

She added that she felt the initial meeting held on June 12 set a good path forward.

State Rep. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, who is co-sponsoring the bill with State Sen. Anthony Decollo, R-Marshallton Heights, said he was encouraged by the number of residents in attendance at the first meeting, and also believed it to be a good start.

“While the members have different experiences and backgrounds, I believe they are well intentioned and appreciate the vexing problem ahead of them,” Lavelle said. “Like Whack-a-Mole, attempting to ‘force’ traffic from one area to another only worsens the problem.  These roads have decades and decades of use as commerce and travel routes and encompass multiple states.”

Lavelle said he also appreciated the public comments, and thought the resident who identified himself as a professional truck driver made some especially important points and initial suggestions on how to help truckers slow down.

The committee’s recommendation is due on Jan. 12, 2017.

To read more information on SR10, and to view the June presentation, visit wilmapco.org/SR10.