City of New Castle Transportation Plan


Final Report

City Council Public Workshop  – Refine Draft Alternatives – November 9, 2021

Public Workshop # 2  – Draft Alternatives – September 13, 2021

Visioning Public Workshop – February 10, 2021

About the Plan


The Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO), City of New Castle, Delaware, and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) are developing the City of New Castle Transportation Plan Update. WILMAPCO is designated by the Governors of Delaware and Maryland as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Wilmington, Delaware metropolitan planning area, which consists of New Castle County, DE and Cecil County, MD and is responsible for transportation planning in the region. The City of New Castle provides transportation services such as local roads, parking, pathways, and sidewalks. DelDOT is responsible for providing transportation services throughout the State of Delaware. This Plan will be a joint effort between WILMAPCO, the City of New Castle, and DelDOT, with WILMAPCO as the managing agency.           

This Plan will update the 1999 City of New Castle Transportation Plan and will further analyze issues raised in the 2009 City of New Castle Comprehensive Development Plan. The study area includes the entire municipality, and will also consider transportation transitions to surrounding areas within New Castle County as appropriate.


The purposes of this Plan are to:

  • Improve the multimodal transportation network, provide connectivity to communities and trails, enhance health and livability, reduce illegal truck traffic, and improve safety.
  • Address flooding and sea-level rise impacts on land use and access to major transportation corridors.
  • Improve gateways to the historic city.
  • Develop a shared-parking analysis.

In addition, this Plan will develop recommendations to address transportation goals identified in the City of New Castle Comprehensive Plan, which include:

  • Enhance bike and pedestrian connections and facilities throughout the City.
  • Clarify regional and local traffic patterns throughout the City.
  • Redesign streets and intersections to reduce speeding and cut-through traffic, while improving pedestrian safety in all City neighborhoods.
  • Formalize and optimize the existing parking supply.

Additional relevant goals address land use and redevelopment, urban design standards, gateways, pedestrian-oriented commercial district design, and drainage and stormwater. While the 2009 Comprehensive Plan is currently being updated, public comments indicate that these goals are still largely relevant.

This project will include a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study. PEL Studies are a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making that considers environmental, community, and economic issues early in the planning process. This information and analyses can then be utilized to inform the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process. PEL Studies are an Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) initiative used to help make better-informed project-level decisions and to shorten project delivery time, and they follow provisions set forth in 23 U.S.C. 168(b)(1)(A) and associated regulations under 23 CFR 450.212(d) and 450.313(e).


WILMAPCO will be responsible for administering the Study in collaboration with the Management Committee, which includes:

  • Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO)
  • Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT)
  • City of New Castle

An Advisory Committee of civic and business stakeholders will provide input on issues, opportunities and constraints, and draft scenarios. Membership on the Advisory Committee might include:

  • Land owners, businesses, civic entities and elected officials
  • Trustees of The New Castle Common
  • New Castle County
  • Delaware Transit Corporation
  • Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
  • Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination


Task 1: Confirm and Identify Transportation and Land Use Issues, Opportunities and Constraints

This task will be completed in-house by WILMAPCO. Task will finalize scope of work and review existing conditions. The consultants along with the planning partners will review existing and planned land use, transportation, and demographics for the corridor. This review will include analysis and mapping of existing conditions data including:

  • Zoning
  • Existing and planned land use
  • Demographics
  • Transportation facilities
  • Traffic conditions (i.e. congestion, intersection LOS, crashes)
  • Environmental features including parks, wetlands, brownfields, floodplain, sea-level rise.
  • Community, cultural and social features (assets, parks, etc.)
  • Prior analysis including the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, Draft 2020 Comprehensive Plan, Downtown Development District and Main Street program documentation, and 1999 New Castle Transportation Plan
  • Summary of recent and planned transportation projects


The Management Committee is seeking consultant support for the project as described below.

Task 2: Identify Transportation Issues and Opportunities

Work with stakeholders to identify issues and opportunities including traffic operations/system management, freight, transit, parking, and bicycle/pedestrian transportation.

  • Kick-off Advisory Committee will present the Task 1 report and seek feedback regarding stakeholder outreach process.
  • Committees will compile contacts for key community stakeholders and assist with outreach including civic associations and community Public Workshop.
  • Work with Management Committee and Advisory Committee to prepare for and hold Public Workshop.
  • Public Workshop will use an interactive approach to assess community preferences.


Task 3: Identify and Analyze Potential Multimodal Transportation Solutions

Identify and analyze potential strategies to address traffic operations/system management, freight, transit, parking, and bicycle/pedestrian transportation issues and opportunities.

  • Potential strategies for analysis will be developed based on stakeholder and public outreach, identified economic, land use, transportation issues, environmental issues including flooding and sea-level rise, opportunities and constraints, and existing plans.
  • Analysis should address roadway capacity needs, parking, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, freight, bus transit, green stormwater infrastructure, flooding and sea level rise, and interconnections with the surrounding transportation network.
  • A Community meeting will be held to present and discuss potential strategies and the analysis, and get feedback on the preferred recommendations.

Task 4: Identify, Prioritize, and Document Preferred Recommendations

Work with stakeholders to reach an agreement on a transportation plan for the City of New Castle that includes the best set of multimodal solutions and a prioritized implementation plan.

  • Based on stakeholder feedback, community outreach and technical analysis, preferred recommendations will be selected by the Management Committee.
  • The preferred concept(s) will be compared to existing conditions, using measures of effectiveness such as level of service, bicycle level of stress, traffic diversion, and others as appropriate for the proposed design(s).
  • Assessment will evaluate anticipated land use, demographic, environmental and transportation impacts of the proposed design(s).
  • For high priority recommendations as appropriate, planning level cost estimates, potential funding sources, and next steps for implementation will be identified, especially regarding infrastructure needs, costs, and phasing that include compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) standards to enable eligibility for future Federal funding, and will be documented in a final report.
  • Draft report will be presented to the Management Committee, Advisory Committee and public.