Delaware has consistently been ranked in the top ten states for the number of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population from 2015 to 2021, per data compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Delaware was ranked as high as #1 in 2015, with a rate of 3.38 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population, and as high as #2 in 2017, with a rate of 3.45 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population.
The 2021-2025 Delaware Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) noted that within Delaware, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 25% of all fatalities and pedestrian injuries accounted from 9% of all serious injuries from 2015 through 2019. One of the goals for Delaware’s SHSP is to reduce pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries by 15% over the next 5 years.
Crash data from 2007-2020, along US 13, between Llangollen Blvd and I-495, south of Wilmington, DE showed that pedestrian fatalities accounted for 64 percent of all traffic fatalities along the corridor. Data reveals that New Castle County, and specifically US 13, sees a high number of pedestrian crashes. But what can we do? How do we help lower these numbers? How do we design for all users to feel safe while using this roadway?
To improve safety and reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities and injuries, Pennoni is working with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) to design major improvements focusing on pedestrian safety and accessibility along US 13, between Llangollen Blvd and I-495, south of Wilmington, DE.
The US 13 corridor is a major arterial with all types of land uses, including commercial, residential, institutional, office, etc. You will even find the New Castle Airport along US 13! Due to all the development and destinations along US 13, the average daily traffic ranges from 30,000 vehicles per day to over 75,000 vehicles per day. Additionally, this stretch of US. 13 ranges from four to eight lanes of traffic, with speed limits ranging from 45 mph to 55 mph. It’s a heavily traveled, high speed roadway.
The Pennoni team worked with DelDOT to improve this corridor and save lives! From the beginning, DelDOT knew that major improvements were necessary along the corridor to improve safety and accessibility. They recognized that the corridor needed to be broken up into multiple contracts or projects to see their vision and the proposed improvements constructed. To date, the corridor has been divided up into five major contracts, two of which have already been constructed and three that are still in design, with many quick-hitting task orders. DelDOT had fast-tracked some of the improvements along the corridor to benefit and support the ongoing I-95 Viaduct project through Wilmington. Major improvements include 350+ curb ramp upgrades, 3.5+ miles of additional sidewalk, SR 141 Interchange Ramp Realignment, 10+ miles of Bus/Bike/Right-Turn lanes, 350+ corridor lights, 6+ miles of median treatments, removal of six crossovers, two new traffic signals and so much more!
Many improvements have already been constructed along the US 13 project limits, with more on the way! Construction for additional improvements along the US 13 corridor is anticipated to commence in Spring 2023 and continue until 2026. The intention for these improvements is to improve safety and accessibility for all users, through improved lighting, connected and accessible pedestrian facilities, additional signalized crosswalks with the construction of median treatment to remove the opportunities for unsignalized midblock pedestrian crossings, etc.
Pennoni is proud to be a part of this important improvement program and is excited to help improve the safety and well-being of all Delawareans and their visitors, including drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users!