March '22' District 8 Neighborhood Update
Updated: Mar 3
Dear 8th District neighbors, It's been a busy winter in our neighborhoods. Here's my March-April newsletter update. As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance. Feel free to also share this newsletter with your neighbors.
Nathan Field 8th District City Councilman Cell phone: 530-6626 Facebook: @Fieldfordistrict8
(1) 10 MORE SECONDS FOR SENIORS TO CROSS PA AVE
Special thanks to Delaware's Department of Transportation for helping address a major concern of seniors living in Rodney Court, Luther Towers and Ingleside. This fall these seniors brought to my attention that the count-down timer only allowed 12 seconds to cross Pennsylvania Avenue. 12 seconds is not nearly enough time to cross, especially for those who might not be quite as mobile as they used to be. DELDOT listened carefully, conducted a detailed study and were able to nearly double the crossing time, adding 10 additional seconds at the N. Franklin Street crossing.
(2) IDEAS FOR WILMINGTON'S NEWEST NEIGHBORHOOD
Almost overnight, between 2019 through 2023 a neighborhood with more residents (AND cars) than Forty Acres will have been built on Mill Road and Riddle Avenue. How to long-term integrate this new neighborhood with the rest of the 8th District as smoothly as possible? One way is modernizing the old factory worker’s trail along the Brandywine. Hundreds of people used it to walk to work every day from the 1800s through he 1960s or so. This would dramatically expand the ability of 8th District residents to walk or bike to work at major employers or access Brandywine Park and Trolley Square without a car.
Since my last newsletter in early January significant new progress has been made. First, the City’s Office of Economic Development commissioned a technical study to identify exactly what construction work would need to be done to modernize the trail.
Second, the owner of 3 Mill Road, a strong proponent of bike trails, has agreed in principle to allow the use of the existing staircase on the building to be the all important "connector" of the lower trail with the upper Mill Road.
Most importantly, I am engaging all stakeholders, including residents of the Pointe and Brandywine Park condominiums across the River to ensure that all concerns are taken into account.
(3) EXCITING NEW COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN 40 ACRES & TROLLEY SQUARE
Delaware Avenue Community Association March Meeting March 22nd at 6pm at Catherine Rooney's. New President and Vice President Lisa Johnson and Stephanie Hanna bring incredible enthusiasm and will be rolling out some new ideas for the neighborhood at the March meeting. Forty Acres Civic Association The group will hold an election for new leadership on March 8th at the Delaware Center for Horticulture. They are committed to getting new neighbors involved and members even dropped this flyer off door to door:
"Coffee and Connections" - 1801 DE Avenue To create a stronger neighborhood community, small business owners Mary Kate and Vince Garman host a monthly coffee meet and greet at their office at 1801 Delaware Avenue. Next one is 3/17 at 8:30am. All are welcome. They also aim to generate interest in the broader Trolley Square area with their Instagram page @TrolleyTrends
(4) TROLLEY SQUARE UTILITY MURALS PROJECT
In late March a group of neighbors will launch a project to have local artists paint murals on 9 public utility boxes in Trolley Square. The goal is to add an interesting new vibe to Trolley Square, attracting new foot traffic and a stronger sense of neighborhood spirit.
If you haven’t already, drive by 18th and Market to see the Brandywine Village utility murals project aimed at commemorating George Washington's stay here (1803 N. Market, still standing) during the Revolutionary War. This is a community project so all feedback and suggestions are highly encouraged.
(5) BANCROFT FOOTBRIDGE - GOOD AND BAD NEWS
The bridge has been closed since suffering extensive damage from the September 2nd floods. On February 10th, the State of Delaware Parks Agency gave a detailed presentation on their engineering investigations into the way forward. Read the report here or watch the presentation here . First, the good news: The bridge is going to be rebuilt. That’s the cheapest and quickest option:
The bad news: it will take until March 2024
The State of Delaware Parks Management Agency will hold another meeting in September.
(6) GIBRALTAR: FINAL PROPOSED PLANS PRESENTED ON 2/28
On February 28th, the potential developers of Gibraltar and two surrounding parcels presented their final proposed plans to the community at a meeting at the Delaware Art Museum. You can watch the full presentation here:
The updated drawings will be placed on their website, and as soon as the link is live I will post it on my Facebook page.
(7) INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATES
When will the Stapler Park basketball court be redone? Gessler Construction, Inc. is now under contract with the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation to renovate six basketball and tennis courts throughout Wilmington. The Parks Director tells me that:
"Renovations to the basketball court at Stapler Park will likely begin in early April and be completed by the end of the month."
What's the time frame for Making Wilmington More Electric Vehicle Friendly? The City recently hired a contractor, Energetics, a company that provides EV planning for cities. The contract was executed in January and their work is starting now. The City aims to submit EV-related legislation to City Council by summer.
(8) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE 311 CALL CENTER - AN INCREDIBLE RESOURCE
On simple municipal problems you may encounter, calling the Public Works Call Center is the fastest and most efficient way to resolve an issue. Here's the number: 302-576-3878 Click #8 on the menu to reach the Call center. Describe the problem, with a specific address, and ask for an ID number. 8 times out of 10, this will do the trick within one day. I also highly recommend this excellent 311 Annual 2021 Report just published by the City yesterday.