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Planners look to improve multi-modal transportation on Gov. Printz Blvd

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media
Governor Printz Boulevard near the partially vacant Merchant's Square shopping center, looking north toward Claymont

Planners are looking to improve transportation along Governor Printz Boulevard in northern New Castle County in anticipation of growth there.

The Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO) is kicking off a transportation study of the Governor Printz Boulevard corridor— ahead of planned redevelopment and reuse projects at the old Claymont Steel and Edgemoor Dupont sites that could increase traffic. 

Planners are not proposing any specific improvements to the corridor yet. They held a meeting this week to identify the public’s primary concerns. 

WILMAPCO Planner Heather Dunigan says the study could consider improvements to public transit and other modes of transportation.

“All sorts of changes — we could be looking at better pedestrian connections along the corridor, maybe even a connection between Bellevue State Park and Fox Point State Park,” she said. “On the roadway side, it might be an option for a road diet, we don’t know. But that’s something we want to hear from the public about.”

Brian Donovan belongs to a cycling club that used to use the boulevard as one of their routes before construction started there. 

“I’m really interested in what they’re going to do as far as maintaining or keeping bicycle availability,” he said. 

Joshua Shattuck lives a few blocks from the boulevard. He says he does not want to see the road narrowed to fewer lanes to accommodate bike or pedestrian lanes. 

“Now if they want to put a pedestrian overpass in somewhere so that they can connect Fox Point Park to the other side of the road, I’m all for that,” he said. “But don’t crunch Governor Printz [Boulevard] to do it.”

Another attendee mentioned drainage issues on parts of the roadway.

WILMAPCO’s Dunigan says planners hope to bring options back to the public over the summer, and wrap up the study next winter.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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