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.
One thought on “Dangerous Hockessin Intersection to Get Safety Makeover”
Yes, the intersection at Mill Creek Road and Brackenville Road has been hazardous for many years. An attempt to correct it by installing four-way stop signs was missed when DelDOT tried the blinking lights. Four way stop signs seem to work fine at Old Lancaster Pike and Brackenville Road, North Star Road and Brackenville Road, Doe Run Road and Brackenville. Yes traffic backs up on Brackenville Road, but our courteous residents of the area (who are the ones traveling these roads) take turns at the stop signs and traffic flows safely. The 2016 DelDOT traffic study found that not only criteria are met for signalization, but also criteria are met for an all-way stop configuration. Had Section 40.04.110H of the New Castle County Unified Development Code regulations been upheld which states that “no plantings that can block street traffic visibility within the triangle formed at the intersection” by “measuring 25 feet back along the property lines from the intersection of the two property lines form the triangle,” the hazardous corner that drivers have to nearly pull into the intersection to see around would have been eliminated. An all-way stop configuration would have slowed down the speeders; a yellow light preceding the red will potentially encourage the speeders to “step on it” to beat the red as they often do at Lantana and Limestone Road and Valley Road and Limestone Road. An all-way stop configuration would have cost taxpayers much less and preserved the village-like environment of the neighborhoods of Hockessin. DelDOT again missed the opportunity to correct a hazardous situation in a safer, fiscally prudent, environmentally less impactful way. I hope and pray the traffic signals do the job intended!