When people are driving slowly through the downtown area, they can see what the town has to offer, said Middletown Mayor Ken Branner.


“I love when the Maryland people come through here,” he said. “They shop at Wal-Mart.”


But for those in a hurry to or from work, the extra couple of minutes added to the drive can be stressful.


The back up of cars on Main Street during rush hour has been a curse for some, but a blessing for others.

Local businesses have been able to make customers out of Maryland commuters.

When people are driving slowly through the downtown area, they can see what the town has to offer, said Middletown Mayor Ken Branner.

“I love when the Maryland people come through here,” he said. “They shop at Wal-Mart.”

But for those in a hurry to or from work, the extra couple of minutes added to the drive can be stressful.

Lakeside resident Rob Pritchard drops his youngest child off at Silver Lake Elementary School every morning before heading to work via Del. Route 1.

It used to take him only eight minutes to get from the school to the highway, but now he says it takes 12.

“Granted it’s only four minutes, but it shows that the same drive is taking much longer than in the past,” Pritchard said.

Throughout the day, there aren’t many issues on Main Street.

In the morning hours, there can be traffic when students are being transported to or from school.

Then at 2:30 p.m., there may be some congestion when the crossing guards come out and the busses begin to take students home. 

At around 5:30 p.m. though, there is about an hour’s time where commuters decide to cut through downtown Middletown from Route 1 to U.S. Route 301.

This doesn’t happen every day.

Turning off of Main Street’s cross roads may seem almost impossible around this time on certain days.

There are other routes drivers can take that local residents are familiar with, but for those who aren’t, the easiest way to travel west is down Route 299 and Main Street.

Townsend and Cecil County drivers get off at the Middletown exit instead of at the one at Levels Road, Branner said.

This other option allows drivers to exit at Boyds Corner Road and travel west towards U.S. 301.

An exit ramp from Route 1 near Townsend had been proposed but this would not have been cost effective, he said.

The town is looking at ways to fix this problem, but with all of the development going on in the area, it may take some time.

With Health South and the Christiana Care Free Standing Emergency Room currently being built on Del. 299, a true traffic study will have to wait until both are open.

Much of the hospital traffic will be emergency care coming on and off of Route 1, but Branner said it would not make sense to study the traffic patterns until the town and state know how they will be with these two new buildings.

“We’re working with the state,” Branner said. “We’re looking at coordinating traffic lights [on Main Street].”