Woodland Avenue Extended could become a one-way street

The Ocean View Town Council this week discussed the possibility of turning Woodland Avenue Extended to West Avenue into a one-way street.

“This is an old topic being revisited,” noted Mayor Walter Curran.

Councilman Bob Lawless said the topic has been “kicked down the road” for a number of years.

“Woodland Avenue Extended is a mess. It’s difficult. It’s a blind curve, people who think a 25-mile-an-hour speed limit is a suggestion, rather than a law,” he said. “The road itself has been deteriorated, and we’ve been beating our heads against a wall, trying to get easements to correct that.”

Lawless said a solution to the problem would be to make it a one-way street.

Councilman Tom Sheeran said he was concerned that changing the two-way street to a one-way street could create issues.

“If it’s traveled at the proper speed limit, it’s not a problem,” he said. “I think we need to survey the other people on that street to find out their desires also.

“We’re in the middle of a three-year project on Route 26,” Sheeran added. “Do you want to dump all that extra traffic onto 26 during this project?”

Administrative Official Charles McMullen stated that the Delaware Department of Transportation did take the initiative to address area back roads, with the idea that during the Route 26 project, those roads would see heavier traffic.

“How many accidents have there been on that road? Do we have any statistics on that?” Sheeran asked.

“I can say it’s very limited,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin of the number of collisions on the roadway. He added that there have been a few serious collisions in the past but that they were “few and far between.”

McLaughlin pointed out that the roadway also poses a danger to those who travel on bicycles.

“I’ve seen a number of near-misses coming around that turn… It can be pretty scary there,” said Curran.

“I don’t know what the answer is. Personally, I’m perplexed,” McLaughlin said, noting that the Town has been dealing with the issue since at least 2001, when he came to the town. “It’s another one of those cans that gets kicked down the road. I don’t know what the answer is. I believe there is a hazard that exists there.”

Curran said he has been contacted by a homeowners association for a community on Woodland Avenue Extended, which recommended speed bumps or changing the road to a one-way street during certain hours.

“I don’t think that’s a practical solution,” Curran said.

The council made plans to hold a public hearing and workshop in September regarding the roadway and requested that every property owner who can only access their property by traversing Woodland Avenue Extended be contacted regarding the meeting.

“They’re the ones who live on the street… I do believe they have the right and we ought to listen to what they have to say,” said Curran.

In other town news:

• McLaughlin said it has been a busy season for the police department.

“We are starting to feel some of the growth that has taken place over the last couple of years,” he said. “It’s been a busy summer for us so far — unusually large numbers of visitors to the town of Ocean View this summer, which is a good thing.”

• The Ocean View Police Department will hold a bicycle safety checkpoint at Taylor Bank in Ocean View on Friday, July 11, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

In the past, said McLaughlin, approximately 100 bicyclists have participated in the checkpoints, which review bicycle safety and provides lights and reflectors to cyclists.

• Susan Kerwin and Jim LeGates were unanimously reappointed to Board of Adjustment.