Message From the President – Road Issues? Don’t Keep it to Yourself!

By JW Haupt

As riding season gets going full swing, we cyclists have to think about our safety and those of the cycling community.

As cyclists we notice the poor conditions of the road on a bike more so than when riding in a car.  We may have been driving the same roads all “off season” long, but get us on a bike and the condition of the roads appear to be so much different.  Since we use the roadway AND the shoulder we encounter debris, gravel, glass, and anything else that should not be there as an obstacle.  Encounter a large stick, a couple pieces of gravel, a chunk of concrete or anything that doesn’t belong and is unexpected, we may find ourselves taking a fall.  Ride thru glass or over something large and you may find yourself fixing a flat or two down the road.  

Alone we cannot clear the roads and shoulders of this debris.  If we did we wouldn’t have time to ride and where is the fun in that?  Fortunately for those in Delaware, the Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has a page within their website that allows anyone to Report an Issue about Delaware roads.  You can use this to report about 19 pre-categorized conditions and then the obligatory “Other” for those issues that don’t fall into one of the categories provided.  Categories include Pothole, Road Debris/Litter, Drainage Problem, Intersection Safety and Dead Animal to name a few of that may pertain to an issue we might report.

A link to the web page is https://deldot.gov/Traffic/ReportRoadCondition/index.shtml

The form has about 10 fields that need to be completed which should only take a few minutes to complete.  

You know the adage – A Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil.  I suggest that if you have a group that rides on roads that have issues, have as many people as possible make a complaint about the road.  If the issue pertains to safety, be certain to point out that you have concerns for the safety of those riding the roads.  Let them know if there are large groups of riders and it the rides are reoccurring rides, this may help them prioritize issues that affect a lot of riders.  

DelDOT has provided everyone with this tool to help guide them to address the needs of the public, but if no one reports a problem, then it may never be addressed.  Don’t sit back expecting someone else to report a problem, take it upon yourself to file a report.  A report made today may trigger a timely repair that could save you or another from experiencing a catastrophic event.  

Be safe out there.

JW Haupt
WCBC President