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Rt. 202 Master Plan may consider mixed use, walkability

New Castle County and regional planners are beginning to examine the future of a portion of the Route 202 corridor.

The Concord Pike Corridor Master Plan will consider a 6-mile stretch of the area surrounding Route 202, from the city of Wilmington to the Pennsylvania-Delaware state border.

Nearly 200 people attended a public information session held last week by Wilmapco, DelDOT and the New Castle County Department of Land Use, according to Wilmapco planner Dave Gula.

 

At the info session, Gula heard complaints about congestion and overdevelopment along the corridor.

“It’s a busy retail area. Some people don’t like that it’s so busy, but if you’ve ever seen a retail area that’s no longer busy, that’s less attractive,” he said. “You don’t really want to look at a dead mall.”

He says the plan will explore what can be done to improve traffic patterns at intersections, but will focus more on helping the area’s zoning keep up with the changing desires of potential residents and employers.

He notes successful commercial areas are increasingly mixed-use, and walkable or bikeable. He adds non-car transportation options can help curb congestion.

The study area includes four proposed or current development projects—at Brandywine Country Club, Concord Plaza, Wilmington University and the Astrazeneca site.

The new plan will not impact any currently proposed development in the corridor, but may help guide development for the next 20 years.

Gula says the planning process is just beginning.

“It’s very, very early in the study. We’ve just finished compiling existing conditions for the study area,” he said.

The plan will build on the US 202 Market Assessment Wilmapco and New Castle County commissioned last year.

Residents and business owners can sign up to participate in focus groups as the Master Plan is compiled. The process should be finished next fall.

Wilmapco has contracted with Design Collective for the plan.

 

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.