Delaware DOT increased safety for pedestrians and bicyclists along its State Route 1 beach corridor.
Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach are popular destinations for thousands of visitors each summer and there is simply not enough room within the right-of-way to comfortably accommodate the number of pedestrians, bicyclists, mopeds, and vehicular traffic crossing to and from the beach. The need for pedestrian safety improvements throughout the towns was apparent, as pedestrian and cyclist safety has been an ongoing issue. In 2012 and 2013, Delaware had the highest pedestrian fatality rate per capita nationwide, including five fatalities along the State Route 1 corridor from the Nassau Bridge north of Lewes to the southern limits of Dewey Beach.
To address these alarming numbers, DelDOT embarked on an $8 million series of projects that would increase safety. These projects made critical improvements for pedestrian and cyclist safety through the installation of 31 curb bumpouts at 11 intersections throughout the town of Dewey Beach and the installation of 17 new Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacon pedestrian crossing systems in Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach, the installation of 10 two-stage bicycle turn boxes at five existing signalized intersections, ADA pedestrian upgrades at seven existing traffic signals, and lighting upgrades. The overall project improved safety for the large number of pedestrians and cyclists who utilize this corridor, reducing the incidents of crashes involving automobiles and other modes of transportation.