Delaware Department of Transportation officials are studying whether the intersection of South Chapel Street and Wyoming Road needs a traffic light.
Initial data collected in the spring shows that the intersection meets the minimum traffic volume to warrant a signal, and the crash data supports a signal as well, DelDOT consultant Matt Buckley told the Newark Traffic Committee on Tuesday.
However, DelDOT plans to do a more detailed study next month before making a final recommendation.
“We’d feel more comfortable analyzing things and taking a closer look at it to see if signalization is the absolute best option,” Buckley said.
The traffic committee, which is made up of representatives from the city of Newark, the Newark Police Department, the Wilmington Area Planning Council and a Newark resident, took up the issue in response to a request from Kristina Jackson, a Tyre Avenue resident who said she goes through the intersection several times a day.
The four-way stop creates a dangerous situation, Jackson said, adding that she believes it will get worse due to several apartment buildings and townhouses being built nearby, as well as changes at the University Courtyard Apartments. The University of Delaware took over the private apartment complex for use as dorms, and its large parking lot will be used by students and employees who buy parking permits.
“Not everyone is as respectful or even understands what to do at a four-way intersection,” Jackson said. “Sometimes you just shake your head and hope for the best.”
The traffic committee will discuss the issue again in October, after DelDOT has completed its study.
“How do we make a traffic signal as efficient as possible, as safe as possible, without locking things up?” Buckley asked rhetorically, explaining the work that still has to be done. “A prime example is Paper Mill and Creekview. We squeezed that in, but at times we get complaints that there's no turn pocket for people to get out of the way. So it could be a similar predicament here. Those are the things we really have to dig into this fall."
A traffic light typically costs upward of $100,000 to install.