Saturday, October 26, 2013

DelDOT sweeping reform still a few months away

The DelDOT Sweeper. One problem officials cite is the size of the vehicle, and that additional vehicles must follow behind in the interest of safety.

Some new developments in the ongoing campaign for sweeping reform

According to Randy Cole, Environmental Program Manager with DelDOT:
"Per our new National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, we have to submit an outline to DNREC by November 7, 2013 that describes our strategy for implementing the Stormwater Management Plan (SWPP&MP) that is due by May 7, 2014. The SWPP&MP will lay out the specifics and measurable goals for the various elements, including our sweeping program. We are near completion of a pilot study of our proposed sweeping plan. When the sweeping plan is submitted to DNREC, it may go through several iterations before it is approved. So we're still a few months away from full implementation. As for Otts Chapel [Rd], I spoke with the maintenance engineer and you should continue to submit requests to DelDOT for the entire roadway. As of now, that road is classified as "Swept by Special Work Order."

Otts Chapel at both the RR and I95 is one of the most important areas we hope to see stepped up sweeping as a result of the reform. I will attach photos of how it looks almost all the time, yet this is a widely used bike route for both commuters and students, and recreation as well. Even after swept, it only lasts about a month before looking like this again, forcing bikes to take the right lane instead.

Thank you so much, Randy. Please advise asap if this is okay to publish on my news blog as written.  -Frank

Featured quote:
"Yes, I've noticed there are accumulation zones. I always thought it had something to do with the sweeper and possibly the operator. The sweeper might not easily maneuver into some of these areas. Also, I do not think the shoulders are emphasized as needing sweeping. Sometimes, it looks like stuff it pushed into the shoulder from the road and then they move on to other tasks.  Rubble also piles up near islands at intersections, especially after car accidents. I think it gets pushed off the road and into the only space that cyclists can use. This happens routinely at Otts Chapel and Old Baltimore Pike or on any of the intersections up along Elkton Rd."  -Lou Rossie (a commuter who rides Otts Chapel and Elkton Road daily to and from UD.)

Otts Chapel Road North into Newark. Conditions like these force bicyclists to use the lane of traffic, drawing the ire of passing motorists.

Average condition of the Otts Chapel Road shoulder over I-95. Conditions like these are mostly found in reflection zones (curbs, barriers, etc).

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