Accessible Rehoboth is good for everyone
Over the past few weeks, Rehoboth Beach officials have announced there will be no kayak rental program at the city’s year-old canal dock, and that they’ve given special permission to a commercial developer to do demolition work on Rehoboth Avenue in the middle of the city’s annual demolition moratorium period.
These announcements have left some city residents questioning these officials over transparency. However, for the majority of the people visiting the city over the summer months, these two issues won’t register on their radar. Most won’t know the kayak rental program was supposed to be in place, and a lot are visiting from cities that are constantly under construction.
What visitors will notice are the continued improvements the city is making in the area of handicap accessibility. Years ago, Rehoboth Beach began installing the now-familiar blue access mats over its dune crossings. Due to their popularity, the majority of those dune crossings now have access mats.
Earlier this year, spurred by a lawsuit, the city announced it added a number of new accessible parking spots. A total of 15 new handicap parking spaces will be added over the next three years – nine in 2022, three in 2023 and three in 2024. The city probably could have argued its way out of these additional spots, but instead, officials recognized the need and moved forward.
Most recently, the city completed renovations to its Delaware Avenue comfort station. The facility now includes two family rooms and seven changing rooms. One of the family rooms has a table capable of holding and lifting an adult. Also, the accessible ramps on the north and south sides of the building were rebuilt to better accommodate visitors.
Residents will continue to question city decisions, and visitors will continue to enjoy the restaurants, stores and other attractions Rehoboth Beach offers, but it’s the beach and the ocean that have been bringing people to the city since the late 1800s. Making those two features more accessible for everyone will ensure it remains that way for another 150 years.