Lighting Considered for Cape Henlopen Drive - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lighting Considered for Cape Henlopen Drive

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LEWES, Del.- Lewes' Traffic Safety Committee is considering whether or not to add lighting to Cape Henlopen Drive.

During the committee's meeting Monday morning, Deputy Mayor Fred Beaufait said a number of safety concerns on the unlit roadway were brought to the committee's attention as there more bicyclists on the roadway and pedestrian crossings. But some neighbors in nearby Cape Shores worry that adding lighting could negatively impact the area.

"I think lighting this area is very different than lighting other areas in Lewes because of the fact that all of the area from Cape Henlopen Drive to the Canal is designated state open space," says Gail Van Gilder. "Lighting this area with artificial lights impacts our ecosystem and every small change is a big change for the wildlife there."

Van Gilder also wonders what the necessity for lighting is as the state park--where the road leads--is closed after dark. 

The committee says it's trying to determine if lights are necessary, and will require input from the Delaware Department of Transportation, the Delaware River and Bay Authority, and Cape Henlopen State Park as all agencies use the road frequently. City Manager Ann Marie Townshend says if the city does decide to move forward, they'll find a compromise.

"I do think that technology has improved," she says. "You have a lot more dark sky compatible lighting so I think there are likely solutions that can meet multiple objectives."

Janice Erich also lives in Cape Shores and says her neighborhood's primary goal is to be included in the decision making process, so both safety and homeowners' well being--as lights could shine into homes--are taken into account.

"A number of our owners would like a lot of light. A number of our other owners would like dark sky lighting," she says. "There is a difference of opinion and we just want to see that we can please as many people with whatever the solution is as we can."

The next Traffic Safety Committee meeting is scheduled for July 29th.



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