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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsMarch 2015

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2 DE Admin. Code 2309
The draft regulations were first published at 17 DE Reg. 1055 (05/01/2014), and written comments were sought. In addition, DelDOT held three public hearings regarding the proposed regulations, the notice for which appeared in 17 DE Reg. 1204 (06/01/14). These hearings were conducted on June 9, June 16, and June 23, 2014, in Kent, Sussex, and New Castle Counties respectively.
The text of 2 DE Admin. Code 2309 shall be in the form attached as Exhibit “A”.
Thank you for adding LONC eligibility for projects over 200 ADT. However, the 3-year limit appears inconsistent with, and may be in conflict with, Title 17 Subsection 146 Access to state-maintained highways (d) which states: “For purposes of this section whenever the use to which a property is being put is changed such that there will be a significant alteration in the character, flow, or volume of traffic, as determined within the sole discretion of the Department, a new permit shall be required.” There is no mention of references to time.
The last paragraph at bottom of Page 1-2 notes: “All new access permitting and other access design decisions shall meet the design standards in this chapter”. Suggest changing shall to should as often site constraints do not lend the ideal conditions the standards are often intended for.
Signalized Access Requirements. Traffic Signal Justification Study requirements being detailed are a welcome addition to the regulations. The concern is the potential challenges in maintaining the existing bandwidth while also accommodating minimum pedestrian green times for the side streets. What if existing signals do not accommodate minimum pedestrian green times? Will maintaining existing bandwidth be feasible? It is suggested to revise the word “shall” to “should” with respect to signal installation and the bandwidth requirements. There may be cases where the existing bandwidth perhaps cannot be maintained, but signalization is still the best option. For example, restricting movements at the site access to right turns could “flood out” an adjacent signalized intersection resulting in reduced bandwidth, perhaps more so than if a new signal were installed. The proposed King Property in Camden comes to mind as an example of that potential situation.
Access on the mainline is vital for corner parcel site access and often provides a safer option than funneling all traffic through a single access on the side street that may not be located an ideal distance from the mainline. Not allowing such access would be detrimental to corner parcels throughout the State, discourages businesses from locating on corner parcels without proper access, and is detrimental to economic development initiatives within the State of Delaware. Many examples can be found up and down US 13, US 113, and SR1. That option should still be readily available for corner parcels if access can be safely permitted. The character of the area and not simply the classification of the roadway should also be considered. While the DelDOT response to this comment previously stated the intent is to explain access along the arterial is a less desirable option, the text reads as if the option is a last resort. Often times, access to the arterial is essential for site circulation purposes.
Suggest deleting first sentence and word “subsequently” from 2nd sentence. After the 2nd “shall”, suggest replacing text with “determine if deductions beyond the site entrance are appropriate. If so, warrants shall be based upon external primary trips.”
1st paragraph adds Type II subdivision streets to be filled in within the area of influence. There is no need for this and it should be removed. Site entrances are designed using 10-year projections and the next development should not have to re-evaluate a recently constructed site access for an adjacent or nearby development. The only likely result is unnecessary intersections included in the study area or perhaps improvements needed to address existing conditions that were not constructed by the other developer. While residents of a nearby development may be concerned about how they will be impacted, including those intersections would be more appropriate if counted within the 3-intersection limit. Skipping them as part of the three-intersection limit creates unnecessarily large study areas and potentially creates an overburden of improvements for a development to proceed.
2nd paragraph states: “Further, to the extent that a local government receives requests from the public through their land use approval process that an intersection or other transportation facility be included in a TIS and asks that DelDOT include that facility in the study, it shall be included…” The scope of study should be based on land use regulation and engineering analysis and not the subjective opinion or emotion of the public, whom may or may not be informed on traffic engineering. We strongly recommend that this language be eliminated. While we understand this most likely came under pressure from a small fraction of the public within the state whom believe they have a right to scope a TIS just as much as the professionals trained to do so, we adamantly disagree. This type of language in a regulation is a slippery slope opening the door wide open for politics to control a scope of work. It has no business within a regulation and there is no need for this regulation. Anyone has the right to pick up the phone, call DelDOT, and ask DelDOT to consider something. DelDOT can take the request under advisement and make a professional decision on whether the request is merited.
Where a development depends on a nearby intersection for access, e.g. a corner parcel, (including parcels that have frontage on two roads that intersect at an existing signal), that has full access on a minor road and limited or no access on a major road, that intersection shall be treated, for purposes of cost allocation, as a site access, i.e. parts D and F above apply rather than part G through movements on the major road shall be excluded from the calculation shown in part F.
Please clarify that this requirement only applies to developments with State-maintained streets. The beginning of Section 3.5, 1st sentence, implies the Connectivity regulations apply to all developments seeking access to State-maintained streets. However, I do not believe DelDOT has that authority in cases such as subdivisions with private streets in Sussex County. The development I live in is a good example. In those cases, the authority for requiring connectivity lies with Sussex County and not DelDOT.
The projected 10-year volumes required by DelDOT conflict with known Delaware and national traffic trends. DelDOT growth factors for each Traffic Pattern Group (TPG) have shown flat or decreasing traffic volumes since about 2008 yet DelDOT requires adding 16% traffic on top of existing volumes resulting in ultra conservative design volumes. An annual growth factor of 1.0% is suggested resulting in a more realistic 10-year factor of 10.5%. While DelDOT previously responded the growth rate is based on historical data, it is highly unlikely the historical data is the same for each traffic pattern group and theoretically as DelDOT improves multi-modal facilities the vehicular trips should not be increasing at as high rates as in the past.
States a “five foot bike lane shall be provided”. Consistent with DelDOT design practices, “shall” must be changed to “should”. DelDOT routinely designs and constructs four foot bike lanes and the developer should and does have the option as well. Five feet is recommended but only four feet is required. The regulations need to reflect that. It is noted in the text that tables provided in Figures & b are for info only but the figures themselves do not note that. It is suggested notes be added to each figure referencing the Auxiliary Lane Worksheet required by DelDOT.
Suggest adding a reference to the Auxiliary Lane Worksheet similar to Section It is noted in the text that table provided in Figure is for info only but the figure does not note that. It is suggested a note be added to the figure referencing the Auxiliary Lane Worksheet required by DelDOT.
An intersection shall first be considered for a bypass lane using the warrants in accordance with DelDOT’s Auxiliary Lane Worksheet and outlined in Figure Bypass lanes shall be designed in accordance with Figure
Suggest adding a reference to the Auxiliary Lane Worksheet in 1st paragraph similar to Section The minimum thresholds for requiring left-turn lane volumes should be raised to at least 30 vph for all AADT’s. Requiring a left-turn for 5 vph (1 left every 12 minutes during peak times) or even 10 vph (1 left every 6 minutes during peak times) or 20 vph (1 left every 3 minutes during peak times) is simply unnecessary and creates burdensome improvements with little benefit to the traveling public. The Auxiliary Lane Worksheet that implements the parameters often requires left turn lanes when the AASHTO Green Book and the DelDOT Road Design Manual suggest a left-turn lane is not necessary. That should not happen and the engineer should be allowed to reference official publications used by DelDOT when the worksheet is in conflict with them. It is also noted the Auxiliary Lane Worksheet does not consider the advancing volumes or the % left turns in the advancing volumes. Both of those are standard parameters when determining left-turn lane warrants that appear to be ignored by the worksheet.
While DelDOT provided a very detailed response to the previous concerns regarding left-turn lane requirements, we still have concerns based on the results we see in some cases. Additionally, it is noted the listed ranges in the response for when a left-turn lane is warranted differ in the December 2014 regulations that are posted. The response provides four AADT ranges and four left-turn volume ranges while the posted proposed regulations on list three. The highest minimum left-turn volume in the response is also 30 vph where the posted regulations list 20 vph. Lastly with respect to the left-turn lane warrants, if DelDOT is not revising the DelDOT Road Design Manual per the more current data, why the need to revise the Development Coordination Manual? It seems they both should be revised simultaneously if DelDOT is not comfortable with the existing manuals. Have revisions been initiated to the DelDOT Road Design Manual based upon the same reasoning? If not, why not and when will that occur?
Appendix B is not included online with the revisions but it is assumed it has not changed. We have commented on numerous occasions about what we feel confident is the misapplication of Appendix B in direct conflict with the legislation and resulting regulations that were passed as part of a valid public process. While we understand the standard response has been orders from the Secretary, there is now a new Secretary whom may take a different position on the apparent previous circumvention and disregard for the required State process and State code. We ask that DelDOT verify whether Appendix B is appropriate and consistent with State code as currently included.
What I found appears clear and straight forward as to what happened. The proposed Section 507 that was later revised as part of the required public process was included in the approved Subdivision Manual at the time instead of the final approved version that became effective on November 1, 2006. Both are attached and labeled clearly. Unless I am missing something or some action was taken after November 1, 2006 revising the Delaware Code, Appendix B needs to be replaced with the final version in Delaware Code not the proposed version. Otherwise, the process appears to have been circumvented.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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