But planner David Saladino told the
council before it agreed on a congestion management system at
its meeting on May 3 that expanding capacity should be a last
resort. Although such a "quick fix" might often seem desirable
at specific locations, "additional capacity may actually be
adding to the problem," according to a staff report he presented
at the meeting.
Before that, the report recommends,
efforts should be made to reduce the amount of peak-hour
driving, shift commuting
to other modes of travel, promote
higher vehicle occupancy and improve roadway operations.
In an earlier interview, Ted Matley,
the council's executive director, told Delaforum that the report
and the study which led up to it represent the first time there
has been a systematic approach to defining specific criteria for
determining where congestion is a problem and what should be
done to address it. Moreover, he added, a focused effort should
prove more effective than the traditional method of relying upon
pressure to deal with specific problems and locations.
"You don't want to fix one spot and
just move the problem down the road. You want to identify
congestion and come up with ways to relieve it in the context of
the entire transportation system," he said.
Matley told the meeting
Rush-hour traffic congestion
Marsh & Grubb Rds.
Concord Pike & Murphy Rd.
Concord Pike & Fouk Rd.
Powder Mill Rd. & Rising Sun Lane
Powder Mill & Old Barley Mill Rds.
Kennett Pike & Rising Sun Lane
Augustine Cut-off & Lovering Ave.
Centre & Barley Mill Rds.
Centre & Faulkland Rds.
Mill Creek & Stony Batter Rds.
Mill Creek & McKennons Church Rds.
Kirkwood Hwy. & Limestone Rd.
Elkton Rd. & Christina Pkwy.
Kirkwood Hwy. & Harmony Rd.
Centre & Faulkland Rds.
Ogletown & Harmony Rds.
Christiana & Harmony Rds.
Christiana Bypass & Old Baltimore Pike
Old Baltimore Pike & Salem Church Rd.
S. College Ave. & Old Baltimore Pike
Pulaski Hwy. & Frazer Rd.
Pulaski Hwy. & Bear-Christiana Rd.
Bear-Corbit & Red Lion Rds.
DuPont Hwy. & Bear-Tybouts Rd.
DuPont Hwy. & Llangollen Blvd.
DuPont & Pulaski Hwys.
DuPont Hwy. & Christiana Rd.
Airport & Churchmans Rds. Airport Rd.
& Commons Blvd.
Basin Rd. & Commons Blvd.
Summit Bridge & Bethel Church Rds.
Chapel St. & Cleveland Ave.
Christiana & Chapman Rds.
Wrangle Hill & Red Lion Rds.
Concord Pike & Interstate 95 exit merge
Alapocas Drive & East Gate Road
Montchanin & Buck Roads
Concord Pike & Augustine Cut-off
Concord Pike & Fairfax Shopping Center south
Concord Pike & Fairfax Blvd.
Library & Delaware Aves.
Augustine Cut-off & 18th St.
S. College Ave. betw. Main St. & Old
Cleveland Ave. betw.Chapel St. and Capitol Trail and
Library Ave.and Chapel St. betw. Main St. and
Summit Bridge Rd. betw. Bethel Church and
Limestone Rd. betw. the Pennsylvania border and
Paper Mill Rd. and Paper Mill Rd. betw. Limestone
Rd. and Cleveland Ave.
Christiana Rd. betw. Stanton-Ogletown and Appleby
Lancaster Ave. and Pike betw. Interstate 95 and
Limestone Rd. betw. Kirkwood Hwy. and
Newport Pike and Stanton-Ogletown Rd. betw.
Limestone and Christiana Rds.
Interstate 95 betw. Concord Pike and Christiana Rd.
DuPont Hwy. betw. Basin Red Lion Rds.
Centre, Barley Mill and Powder Mill Rds. betw.
Kirkwood Hwy. and Concord Pike
Concord Pike and Ave. betw. Fairfax Blvd. and Market
St. and Market, King and Walnut Sts. betw. Concord
Ave. and Martin Luther King Blvd.
New London Rd. betw. Fremont Drive and Main St. and
Elkton Rd. betw. Main St. and Chestnut Hill Rd. and
Chestnut Hill Rd. betw. Elkton Rd. and S. College
Kirkwood Hwy. betw. Prices Corner and Newark
the report and its recommendations are intended to be
"information and a resource [for] agencies that have to go out
and address the problem." More specifically, he said in the
interview that the planning council will advocate the various
recommended steps in its dealings with Delaware Department of
Transportation and New Castle County Department of Land Use.
council's study was in response to a mandate in the federal
Transportation Equity Act that states develop and implement a
congestion management system for every urban area with a
population of more than 200,000 as part of their metropolitan
area planning process. The local council has jurisdiction in New
Castle County and adjacent Cecil County, Md.
said that all the intersections and highway segments in the
report are in New Castle because that is where data on which to
base the study was available. The Maryland County will be
included next year in the first of what are intended to be
happened, the study came as New Castle County Council was
involved in a traffic-congestion study of its own. Councilwoman
Karen Venezky said her small business committee was concerned
with addressing intersection congestion in light of its impact
on smaller development projects. Acting alone, small firms
cannot remedy so called 'failing' intersections but they
adversely affect those firms' plans to expand facilities.
reference to the congested highway segments, the report noted
that there are planning studies underway or actual projects
scheduled that are expected to deal, at least partly, with
that, she said, "people feel their quality of life has been
compromised by the volume of traffic."
of course, lies something of a delemma since traffic congestion
is largely in the mind of the beholder. "It's very subjective.
Congestion in Delaware isn't anything like what you would find
in other places," Ralph Reeb, who represented Delaware
Department of Transportation at the meeting, noted.
planning council approach was to blend highway planners'
level-of-service classification system with a measure based on
the average vehcile speed as a percentage of the posted speed
limit. The former grades intersections 'A' to 'F' depending how
long it takes to get through them at a given time of day, but
like the comparable academic grade, an 'F'-for-failure could be
only a few seconds away from passing or several minutes.
explained that measuring conditions along a highway segment by
average speed rather than time is valid becuase "we assume that
congestion is the reason they're not driving at or above the
report, the council's lists of congested intersections and
highway segments overlapped. The segments all incuded two or
more of the intersections.
planning council also reduced the County Council committee's
list of 59 bad intersectins to 32 to reflect improvements
recently made or in process. But it added 10 to the list on the
basis of more recent traffic studies. Also dropped was the
committee's ranking of the severity of the problems at each of
the crossings, but that information was included as an appendix
to the report.