• Dune protection a concern for beach mayors
    Dune protection a concern for beach mayors
  • Sussex Tech teacher named Delaware Teacher of the Year
    Sussex Tech teacher named Delaware Teacher of the Year
  • 18 indicted in Delaware prison takeover
    18 indicted in Delaware prison takeover
  • WATCH: Beef jerky Outlet store opening in Rehoboth
    WATCH: Beef jerky Outlet store opening in Rehoboth
  • WATCH: Gov. Carney takes ECO Tour on Lewes/Rehoboth Canal
    WATCH: Gov. Carney takes ECO Tour on Lewes/Rehoboth Canal
  • WATCH: Why dollar stores are sweeping across Delmarva
    WATCH: Why dollar stores are sweeping across Delmarva
  • WATCH: Hurricane Irma shelter dogs flown into New Castle Airport
    WATCH: Hurricane Irma shelter dogs flown into New Castle Airport
  • WATCH: Local Artist works with schools and organizations to paint murals to help educate
    WATCH: Local Artist works with schools and organizations to paint murals to help educate
  • WATCH: A 29-year restoration project celebrates historic Millsboro one-room school
    WATCH: A 29-year restoration project celebrates historic Millsboro one-room school
  • WATCH: Planting has begun at the new Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek
    WATCH: Planting has begun at the new Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek
  • WATCH: 'Support Our President' rally in Georgetown, Del.
    WATCH: 'Support Our President' rally in Georgetown, Del.
  • WBOC owner Thomas Draper dies
    WBOC owner Thomas Draper dies
  • WATCH: Volunteers help clean up Dirickson Creek
    WATCH: Volunteers help clean up Dirickson Creek
  • WATCH: Big Oyster Brewery to open in Lewes
    WATCH: Big Oyster Brewery to open in Lewes
  • WATCH: Students 'Rock the Block' in Millsboro
    WATCH: Students 'Rock the Block' in Millsboro
  • UD student's textbook app taking off
    UD student's textbook app taking off
  • WATCH: Vacationing in South Bethany Beach for 50 years
    WATCH: Vacationing in South Bethany Beach for 50 years
  • Watch the eclipse make its way across Brandywine Creek State Park
    Watch the eclipse make its way across Brandywine Creek State Park
  • WATCH: History of Dewey Beach Tower 3
    WATCH: History of Dewey Beach Tower 3
  • WATCH: Tough issues face next Rehoboth mayor
    WATCH: Tough issues face next Rehoboth mayor
  • WATCH: Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding semi-finals
    WATCH: Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding semi-finals
  • WATCH: Route 54 traffic headaches have no clear solution
    WATCH: Route 54 traffic headaches have no clear solution
  • WATCH:  Blind massage therapist uses sixth sense to help clients
    WATCH: Blind massage therapist uses sixth sense to help clients
  • WATCH: Local Radio station takes listeners back in time
    WATCH: Local Radio station takes listeners back in time
  • WATCH: Lifeguards have had calm season
    WATCH: Lifeguards have had calm season
  • WATCH: Free events at the beach add extra value
    WATCH: Free events at the beach add extra value
  • WATCH: A new wine experience in Rehoboth
    WATCH: A new wine experience in Rehoboth
  • WATCH: Ocean View Police Department "Officer for a Day"
    WATCH: Ocean View Police Department "Officer for a Day"
  • WATCH: Rosemary Connelly speaks about learning to draw and sketch
    WATCH: Rosemary Connelly speaks about learning to draw and sketch
  • WATCH: Chef Chris Parks shining at Lupo in Rehoboth
    WATCH: Chef Chris Parks shining at Lupo in Rehoboth
  • WATCH: New complaints of sexual misconduct vs. Dewey town manager
    WATCH: New complaints of sexual misconduct vs. Dewey town manager
  • Millsboro says plan to draw business, residents is working
    Millsboro says plan to draw business, residents is working
  • State Senator misses flight when gun found in carry-on
    State Senator misses flight when gun found in carry-on
  • Lawmakers consider fewer Delaware school districts
    Lawmakers consider fewer Delaware school districts
  • Irrigation system turned over during storm in Greenwood
    Irrigation system turned over during storm in Greenwood
  • Possible tornado damage at Delaware Electric Cooperative
    Possible tornado damage at Delaware Electric Cooperative
  • Meet Rehoboth Beach's trash valet company
    Meet Rehoboth Beach's trash valet company
  • Watch: Coast Guard rescues loggerhead turtle off Lewes coast
    Watch: Coast Guard rescues loggerhead turtle off Lewes coast
  • WATCH: Bidens purchase vacation home in Rehoboth area
    WATCH: Bidens purchase vacation home in Rehoboth area
  • WATCH: SoDel's Bluecoast Seafood Grill open in Rehoboth
    WATCH: SoDel's Bluecoast Seafood Grill open in Rehoboth
  • Watch: Police shoot dog during attack on animal control officer
    Watch: Police shoot dog during attack on animal control officer
  • WATCH: Residents, developer argue over White Creek usage in Ocean View
    WATCH: Residents, developer argue over White Creek usage in Ocean View
  • Governor talks plan for prison reform
    Governor talks plan for prison reform
  • Wilmington police investigate shooting on 6th Street
    Wilmington police investigate shooting on 6th Street
  • Wilmington shooting: "This stuff is nonsense"
    Wilmington shooting: "This stuff is nonsense"
  • ILC Dover develops big plug with an even bigger job
    ILC Dover develops big plug with an even bigger job
  • Trinity Carr sentenced to six months in death of Joyner-Francis
    Trinity Carr sentenced to six months in death of Joyner-Francis
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Historically, and I use that word advisedly, Oct. 1 marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for the federal government. However, final approval of the Yearly Federal Income and Expenditure budget, commonly known as Y-Fie, has been postponed until December. 

This interval provides a rare opportunity to delve into the specifics of the budget that Congress will consider at the end of this calendar year. 

What Delawarean pork, or rather coastal oysters and crabs, are hidden in the new budget? Could there be a proposal to turn a portion of our beloved Route 1 into a double decker highway by adding an upper level?  

Admittedly an expensive undertaking, the federal government would probably require a state matching grant of 10 percent for construction of the “Coastal Skyway.” No problem. Taking a page from the presidential playbook, we could argue that much of the traffic congestion is due to tourists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey and, therefore, those states will pay for the upper level.  

The exact length of the skyway would need to be determined, but the northern terminus ought to be located at the current intersection of Route 1 with Cave Neck Road. There, DelDOT could build an elaborate, inclined cloverleaf intersection accessing both the south and north sides of the skyway.  

Fortunately, there is sufficient acreage in that area for the necessary ramps. It is regrettable that this would effectively eliminate any possibility of building the Overbrook Town Center, with its 850,000 square feet of retail space, at that location. I guess that's the price one pays for progress.  

Unreliable sources indicate that Y-Fie 18 also will significantly increase the budget of the U.S. Department of Interior, including a provision to underwrite the expansion of local trail systems, such as those developed or proposed in coastal Delaware.

Unlike the unquestioned demand that creates summer parking spaces on Route 1, the number of people who actually use the existing trails here, while increasing, is open to debate.

Last February, a planner with DNREC indicated that they employ infrared devices to determine usage. These devices register any warm-blooded creature that happens along the trail. 

So, we can assume that the DNREC count includes a fair number of deer, foxes and raccoons. But rather than quibble about how many users are humanoid, let’s be magnanimous and grant those animals equal access to these paved paths, especially since they and their ancestors have struggled far longer than we without them.

READ MORE: Gov. Carney highlights outdoor recreation in Sussex with stop at Lewes and Rehoboth Canal

READ MORE: Three Senate Democrats propose scrapping debt ceiling

Currently, we have two significant, interlocking trails in the area — the Junction & Breakwater, which gets its name from a former railroad line, and the Gordons Pond Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park. Combined with town streets, they offer walkers and cyclists a 16-mile loop of hard-surfaced trails.

That number coincides with the name of a local microbrewery, 16 Mile, located in Georgetown, which will just happen to be the trailhead of the evolving Lewes-to-Georgetown trail. Coincidence? I think not.

Incidentally, these trails are part of a nationwide "Rails to Trails" movement which, contrary to public belief, is not shorthand for taking a train or trolley to a trailhead to undertake one's daily walk or ride. Rather, it refers to repurposing abandoned railroad rights-of-way to serve as trails for walkers and cyclists.  

Given that local trails are asked to support both types of locomotion, the adage "share the trail,” rather than “share the road,” becomes operative here. 

This is a necessary injunction given the dangerous practice of some would-be Tour de Shore contestants to whiz past walkers without sufficient warning. All these cyclists leave in their wake is a “swoosh,” much like the sound one’s cellphone makes when a text is sent on its way.  

As the number and extent of the trails increase, and they intersect with one another, we might need to create some new “rules of the trail” for their users.

We may want to consider making portions of them one-way, introducing traffic circles, and even erecting yield and stop signs. In fact, it may be advisable in some sections to separate walkers and cyclists by creating double decker trails.  

Mike Berger is a freelance writer and retired university administrator with a home in Lewes. Contact him at edadvice@comcast.net.  

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/10/05/rails-trails-budget-pork-delaware/727945001/