LEWES, Del.- Amid safety concerns and increased severe bicyclist injuries, state Sen. Ernie Lopez is hosting a bike path safety meeting at the Lewes Public Library Tuesday evening.
On Tuesday, July 9, from 6-8 p.m., Lopez, officials from the Delaware Department of Transportation and are police agencies, will address locals’ worries and remind users of the rules of the road.
“These paths are being used mostly by our locals. It’s a Delaware taxpayer funded amenity that we have here in eastern Sussex County that are going to continue to grow,” Lopez says. “But we want to make sure first and foremost that they are safe and that those who use the trails are aware of what’s required and expected of them.”
Lopez says the trail crossings at roadways are a big area of concern, something echoed by Karma Hair Studio’s Lori Steele.
“We’ve had three clients get hit by cars on the bike trail and one has had to have surgery. We’ve come close to hitting bicyclists on the trail,” she explains. “I really think it would be a big help if they had blinking lights to tell them to slow down; watch for the cars [and] the cars are watching for them.”
Old World Breads owner Keith Irwin says his bakery has prospered with many customers coming from the adjacent trail, and Irwin is happy to see many cyclists wearing helmets. He says aside from safety improvements, the trail could use other changes.
“We’ve witnessed people urinating out in the parking lot and also along the trail,” he says. “Hopefully we’ll work together with our legislators to get some sort of bathroom facilities along the trail, port a pots, whatever they can do to help provide that.”
Lopez says the meeting will be a chance for people to express opinions and also see what changes can be made if necessary.
The meeting runs from 6-8 p.m. at the Lewes Public Library on Tuesday, July 9.