Letter to the Editor: Whatever the name, West Dover Connector a mistake

Just because I moved away from the problems generated by the West Dover Connector doesn’t mean I forgot about the road or the injury it has done to the neighborhood of Rodney Village. Inasmuch as that housing development had its challenges before construction on the road began, the entire southern side of the village has been esthetically compromised.

Lifelong residents were compelled out of their homes, and I am unsure why they haven’t spoken out about it, but I know of at least two who were exceedingly unhappy about that for reasons I figure they thought some might take extreme exception to if they stood up for themselves.

I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to remark on the fact that no one seems to care about the children of Rodney Village whose lives are now in much greater jeopardy than ever before, considering the traffic being dumped into the area of Charles Polk Road and U.S. 13. Although the state does like to advertise that it’s doing so much to alleviate any disturbance to the wetlands, a disturbance is a disturbance, and there will surely be numerous difficulties caused by deer, geese and the sinkholes that permeate that swampy area.

The road will not make it any easier for emergency responders to access the west and east sides of town, except in the case of a cargo train passing through, thereby closing other arteries, but the state didn’t have to spend $40 million to resolve that problem.

Additionally, I know they say it’s only going to be two-lane, but already, the plans have been altered to include two multi-turn intersections, and if you look at the width of the bridges that were built, the construction will eventually accommodate four lanes.

The Connector shouldn’t have been put there in the first place because it does not grant ready access to Del. 1, so, doubtlessly, in time, there will be another project to create such access, as likely as not in the Puncheon Run area. I remark on this probability because, from inception of the Connector, the study groups were told the primary goal was to join whatever Connector was built up to Del. 1. The perfect place to have done so at minimal expense would have been Wyoming Avenue, but no, that’s a higher-tax-revenue neighborhood, so, the powers that be decided to foist it on Rodney Village. This despite their decision eventually costing the taxpayers so much more than it should have in the long run.

Consequently, one has to wonder if the powers that be will stick a cloverleaf in the Rodney Village Shopping Center and elevate access to Del. 1 over U.S. 13. Such a grotesque move would be an economic disaster, so, as likely as not, someone will engineer access in the area of the Kent Acres development or along that swath of underutilized land just south of the Puncheon Run exit ramp. Even so, there’s a 50-percent chance part of it will be elevated, and who wants to live or work in the shadow of such?

Although I am sure there are those out there who would argue that what I maintain is one futurist’s presumption, recall I remarked on the traffic jam the Redner’s light on U.S. 13 created less than a quarter of a mile from the Charles Polk intersection, and “voilà,” the state has decided to address the congestion by widening U.S. 13 from Puncheon Run through the Camden shopping district. That is a done deal; it remains only to be built. I wonder how long that is going to take. Lest anyone forget (I’m here to remind them), we were originally told that the Connector would take about a year to complete, but now, the Delaware State News reports it is at the midway point. [“West Dover Connector construction at midpoint,” article, Sept. 8] It’s been over two years.

In conclusion, the state, in its infinite wisdom, has put forth that the road will not be called the West Dover Connector. I suppose they think it sounds too intercity — “Duh.” Putting a human name on it as if it’s some sort of accomplishment (like “Look what I did to those people, ha, ha!”) will be a slap in the face of the people of Rodney Village. I say let them name it.

Carol Hotte


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