DelDOT Responds to Public Feedback
State Route Designation to Remain on SR 82
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) recently completed a Virtual Public Workshop intended to receive public comment on a proposal to declassify State Route 82, removing the state route designation from the roadways that are part of the corridor. As a result of the response generated by the online presentation, DelDOT has announced that no change will be made.
The Virtual Workshop was posted on the DelDOT website on March 4, 2010 and remained available for public viewing and comment for a period of 30 days, until April 4th. Viewers were given an opportunity to respond to the delisting proposal, also online. During the presentation and survey period, DelDOT received 120 responses. Seventy-five percent (75%) of respondents indicated that they opposed the removal of the state route designation from SR82. The main concern expressed by opponents of the proposal was the value of the state route designation when giving directions to visitors who would make their way through the roadways that constitute SR82.
State Route 82 is a five-and-a-half mile corridor in the Red Clay Valley, and is part of a network of roads that were designated by DelDOT as a Scenic Byway in 2004. SR82 includes Campbell Road, New London Road, and Creek Road. The Scenic Byway designation requires the development of a corridor management plan to help preserve the attributes of the byway. The information on the reason for the delisting, including the assurance that it would have no impact on DelDOT's maintenance responsibilities or 911 response, was presented in the online Virtual Workshop. Opponents of the proposal also noted disagreement with the contention that truck and other vehicular traffic would be reduced, and the opinion that the state route designation was part of the historical qualities of the byway.
Concern was also expressed that the new Auburn Heights Preserve on Creek Road in Yorklyn is dependent upon the state route designation in increasing awareness of the location.
Virtual Workshops were initiated by DelDOT in 2009 as a means of extending the department's outreach while generating cost-savings. The cost to conduct a standard public workshop is estimated between $3,000 and $8,000, depending upon location and the project involved. By eliminating costs such as staff, consultants, and rental feeds, DelDOT's only cost for a Virtual Workshop is the required paid public notice that appears in newspapers. The video presentation is completed in-house by DelDOT personnel, so no costs are incurred for production.
The Virtual Workshops are used primarily for presentation of projects that, based on previous experience, would typically generate very little attendance during the normal three-hour period. In this instance, more people had the potential to respond to the presentation because it was available online for 30 days.
Virtual Workshops may also be used in the future to supplement traditional workshops on larger projects for which DelDOT desires to increase the availability of information and gain a larger public involvement. The department will continue to use traditional workshops for many projects.
For more information, visit DelDOT's web site at www.deldot.gov