County’s legislators come up with right idea


We believe this is how politics is supposed to work.

State legislators from Sussex County have been discussing the proposed Route 113 north-south bypass that was to run south of Route 24 and parallel to Route 113 on the east side of Dagsboro, Frankford and Selbyville. The project was put on indefinite hold by Gov. Jack Markell after a series of news articles in the Coastal Point and News Journal exposed some flaws in the plan, as well as some pay-outs to developers and landowners to not develop land that might have been needed for the project.

For instance, developers of one project in Georgetown reportedly received $402,632.15 before it was determined that the land would not be needed.

And while pay-outs to developers and a price tag of somewhere between $687 million and $839 million garnered many of the headlines regarding the proposed bypass, the impact on farmers and landowners that would have been stripped of pieces of their land also would have been a steep price to pay for a project that many question is even needed.

Well, the legislators took a long look at the proposal, spoke to many people who would have been affected and put together a letter to Markell, saying that they do not support the proposed bypass, and instead would like to see in-line improvements to existing Route 113, including “intersection improvements and additional lanes in both directions between Milford and Selbyville.”

The cadre of lawmakers took this seriously and offered suggestions for a bypass around Millsboro to ease that town’s obvious traffic issues. Their proposal does not require expensive bridges, and was specific in their intentions to avoid crossing Betts Pond with any new bypass.

In short, they were thorough, listened to their constituents and formulated a proposal that should carry weight with Markell. The letter to the governor was signed by both Republicans and Democrats and focused not on party politics or one district’s needs over another — it focused on the people of this community and their needs.

Newly-approved legislation such as the legalization of medicinal marijuana in the state and the official recognition of civil unions has generated emotions and disagreement among our state legislators, but our Sussex lawmakers put all that aside to work for the people. We all should appreciate that effort.

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May is National Bike Month, and even those of us who are not active bicycle riders know that this area is quite popular amongst those who enjoy pedaling around on two wheels, and it’s not only kids riding around our streets.

AAA recently put out a release that said of the 630 bicyclist deaths in this country in 2009, 80 percent were adults older than 21. The average age of cyclists killed in crashes was, in fact, 41 years old.

With Memorial Day around the corner, and more visitors on bicycles, as well as some of our workers from overseas, we ask drivers to be more vigilant as they drive down our roads, and bicyclists to pay more attention to the laws of the road and their surroundings.

We have far too many bicycle-related crashes here every summer.