Smyrna Town Council passed a motion at the Oct. 7 council meeting that will recommend DelDOT do a survey to determine whether or not the speed limit on Carter Road needs to be lowered.
The recommendation is a result of a proposal from the Public Safety Committee. Committee Chair Larry Thornton said several residents voiced concerns with the speed limit at the committee's September meeting.
The committee recommended the speed limit be reduced from 40 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. Thornton said the reasons behind the recommendation are the number of curb cuts on Carter Road from Sunnyside Road to Wheatleys Pond Road; Thornton counted 46 curb cuts and said they are primarily driveways and entrances to developments. Moreover, the DelDOT construction project will put five-foot bike paths on both sides of Carter Road.
"Bottom-line, DelDOT sets the speed limit because it's their roadway but we think the town should have input on behalf of the residents," Thornton said
Councilman Jeff Flairty said he wants the speed limit lowered but did have some concerns with the recommendation
"If we make this request, it says we are basically throwing down an ultimatum that we want it to be 25 miles per hour and we don't care about their process. I'm concerned with how that's going to be perceived," Flairty said.
Councilwoman Valerie White suggested the town send a recommendation to DelDOT asking them to look into possibly reducing the speed limit; Flairty said he would be fine with that.
During discussions, Vice Mayor Regina Brown asked if the town should look into making Carter Road a town road.
Town Manager Dave Hugg said it's something to think about and while there is some value in putting Carter Road in town limits, there are some disadvantages as the maintenance of the road would be the responsibility of the town.
"That's something to pursue. I don't know how they [DelDOT] would feel about that at this point in time," Hugg said.
Mayor Joanne Masten informed residents of her desire for the town to put together an emergency plan in case a disaster or an attack happens in town. Masten said the topic of emergency planning was an item discussed at the ICMA Conference Hugg attended.
Masten said the town should have plans prepared in case there's a shooting such as the one in Newtown, Conn. last year or the town hall shooting at a town in Pennsylvania earlier this year.
"Certainly we're not oblivious; it can happen here," Masten said. "We need to put together a plan just in case there's a problem here. Who's responsible for what, who relays information to the media, who keeps citizens advised….the whole gamut."
Masten asked Police Chief Wil Bordley to initiate a meeting with Clayton officials and police. She hopes to bring something back to council by the end of November.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.