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Editorial: Parking breakthroughs in Lewes and Rehoboth?

February 22, 2019

Lewes and Rehoboth Beach continue wrestling with parking concerns. The issue is a thorny one, but the good news is that pressure for a fix is growing because more people want to drive into the towns, and spend time and money.

The pressure may finally be leading to potential breakthroughs.

In past years, Lewes has made occasional overtures to M&T Bank and its predecessors about a parking garage on its parking lot at the corner of Market and Third streets. The bank has paid scant attention to the requests.

This year, however, prompted by a parking committee not so quick to take no for an answer, city officials have contacted the bank a number of times. Bank representatives have, reportedly, finally said the garage is worth discussing. No one is sure where it all will go - especially how such a facility would be paid for and managed - but at least this time persistence has been rewarded with a real step forward.

Rehoboth Beach, meanwhile, is studying a public/private venture involving the city and a parking garage-operating company. As initially proposed, the company would lease land from the city, next to city hall and behind the fire hall. The parking company would build and operate a garage, charge its customers, and split profits with the city.

With the cost of parking rising quickly in Rehoboth Beach, and the year-round population doing the same, an economically feasible venture may finally be possible. Supply and demand.

The local trail system is also expanding, and a canalside dock is on the horizon in Rehoboth Beach.

There are more ways now for people to get around without cars. Lewes Mayor Ted Becker said recently he expects the opening of a several-mile section of the Lewes-Georgetown Trail to bring a tsunami of cyclists when the weather warms.

It’s not too early for local chambers to consider dining and shopping discount programs for those who opt to help ease the parking problems by leaving their cars at home and traveling by foot, bicycle or boat.

 

  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, publisher emeritus, and Laura Ritter, news editor, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; Nick Roth, sports editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.