Speed Limit Reduced on Freeman Highway
DRBA, City of Lewes Work Jointly to Address Citizen Concerns
LEWES, Del. – The Lewes City Council voted Monday evening to amend Chapter 183 of the city code to lower the speed limit on Freeman Highway to 40 mph. Freeman Highway, which is an important access route to the Lewes Terminal of the Cape May – Lewes Ferry from points south and west, is maintained by the Authority. The DRBA maintenance department will be installing new speed limit signs in the days ahead. The speed limit reduction from 50 mph to 40 mph takes effect June 1, 2018.
The speed limit change was the result of concerns raised by Mr. Raymond Quillen, a resident of Lewes and local cycling enthusiast. A few months ago, Raymond Quillen met with DRBA Executive Director Tom Cook regarding the high rate of speed on the Freeman Highway and the safety risk present with cyclists, runners and walkers who use the popular trails of Junction and Breakwater and Gordons Pond. Following a meeting with DelDOT officials and discussions with Lewes elected leaders, the DRBA agreed to lower the speed limit.
“I’m gratified that we were able to work with DelDOT and Lewes officials to reduce the speed limit on Freeman Highway,” Cook said. “Mr. Quillen raised legitimate issues that needed to be addressed. It has always been my policy that government on all levels should be responsive to public concerns and implement necessary changes when appropriate.”
“I want to thank Mr. Cook and his staff for listening to what I had to say,” Quillen said. “They have indicated to me that the agency will continue to explore additional safety options on the Freeman Bridge where the shoulder narrows to just five feet. I am confident that additional measures will be developed in the future that works for both cyclists and motorists while addressing these concerns.”
“The City of Lewes has long enjoyed an excellent relationship with the DRBA and safety is always a primary concern for both the city and the DRBA,” said Mayor Ted Becker. “The overall increased usage of Freeman Highway by vehicles coupled with the uptick in the number of cyclists, runners, and walkers has increased the risk of the occurrence of an incident. The reduction to 40 mph on Freeman Highway will improve the safety for everyone without impeding the flow of vehicular traffic.”
“Motorists, pedestrians, joggers and cyclists all use this Freeman Highway every day,” said Lt. Clayton Palmer of the DRBA police department. “We want everyone who use the roadways coming and going from Lewes, Cape Henlopen State Park and the Cape May Lewes Ferry to feel safe doing so and this change helps.”
Palmer also noted that the transition from Kings Highway to Freeman Highway to Cape Henlopen Drive offers more uniformity of speed now. “Prior to the change, the speed limit varied from 25 mph near Cape Henlopen High School to 50 mph on the one mile stretch of Freeman Highway,” Palmer said. “Reducing the speed limit disparity within this zone not only promotes a safer environment, but is more practical.”
About the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962. The Ferry is open year-round and has carried more than 45 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2017, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.CMLF.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @CMLFerry.
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