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Sussex Countian
  • Town Council takes issue with DelDOT traffic signal

  • New traffic signals at the intersection of Market and Race streets in Georgetown are causing a stir among city officials.
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  • New traffic signals at the intersection of Market and Race streets in Georgetown are causing a stir among city officials.
    At a recent Town Council meeting, Mayor Mike Wyatt said the large black light arms installed at the intersection have no reflection on what the council wanted.
    "That is [the Delaware Department of Transportation's] street and they tried this probably five years ago and we held them off then, but we couldn't hold them off any longer," Wyatt said. "I guess it's something we're just going to have to get used to."
    Councilwoman Sue Barlow called the light arms' size "ridiculous" and she suggested the council send DelDOT a letter of protest.
    "It's just a really ugly thing," Barlow said. "To put that in the middle of a town as historic as Georgetown is criminal."
    Jim Westoff, a spokesperson for DelDOT, said the intersection of Market and Race streets was identified as a "high crash location" in the agency's 2010 Hazard Elimination Program. Westoff said the intersection averages about four vehicular crashes per year.
    "Our study showed that a likely cause for some of the accidents was the placement of the traffic signal, which was on a pole off to the side of the road," Westoff said. "Visibility was an issue in many of the accidents."
    According to Westoff, three of the light arms are 35 feet in length and one is 40 feet in length. Their height is about 22 feet. He said if the council is concerned about the color of the arms, DelDOT is willing to discuss a possible color change.
    "For now, the poles will make the intersection safer," he said. "It will be less likely we'll have tragic accidents at that intersection."
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