by Lisa Maguire
Hockessin Residents are all too familiar with the red and yellow flashing lights at the intersection of Mill Creek and Brackenville Roads. A 2016 traffic study was conducted in response to a four-year accident average in excess of the annual amount warranting actionable safety measures.
According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a rural four-way, two-lane intersection with five or more reported crashes annually that could have been prevented by a traffic signal is recommended for additional safety measures. Across four years (2012-2015), 35 collisions took place at that intersection, with more than half occurring after 5:00 pm. Ten of the 35 collisions resulted in injuries.
Due to the number of collisions, traffic analyses were conducted to determine the amount of traffic and speeds along the roadways. The study concluded that a staggering average traffic throughout the year on Brackenville Road between Limestone (Rt. 7) and Mill Creek Road is 10,415 vehicles per day, and 6,026 between Mill Creek and Lancaster Pike (Rt. 41), meaning about 3,000 turns at that intersection take place daily.
Further, even though the posted speed on Brackenville is 35 MPH, the average speed headed toward the intersection from Lancaster Pike is about 45, and 47 headed toward the intersection from Limestone Road. The study also notes that cars on Mill Creek must pull dangerously far out into Brackenville Road in order to properly assess traffic, and that turns off of Brackenville on to Mill Creek are often taken at speeds that cause them to cut into the lanes of opposite traffic.
A representative for DelDOT stated that they expect the work to be completed by mid-September.