Editorial: We have to keep the pressure on
A crowded Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach on a nice day is not unusual. But when the Boardwalk is crowded like a Fourth of July morning and it’s really New Year’s Day - that’s remarkable.
Such was the case this year when thousands of people took advantage of temperatures in the mid-60s to start their new year with an outdoor stroll.
They walked their dogs, walked their children, walked their talk - some even walked off New Year’s Eve hangovers.
For dozens, that stroll spilled over to the Junction and Breakwater and Gordons Pond Trails that spider out toward Lewes. Even more remarkable was the sense that many - probably the majority - weren’t out-of-town visitors who drove down for just a few hours. That may have been the case 10 years ago, but not this year.
Most of that New Year’s Day crowd on the Boardwalk were residents of the area. Many have been here for years, a few were born and raised here, and many were part of the surging wave of people who have retired and moved into Delaware’s coastal area during the post-2008 recession and post-2014 Hurricane Sandy boom.
That’s the reality we face as our coastal city continues to grow and evolve, and why it’s more important than ever to stay focused on issues of highway congestion, overall mobility and the search for solutions. That’s what humans do, and that’s what ingenuity is all about.
A crowded Boardwalk on New Year’s Day simply reiterates what most of us know. We live in a popular area. One look at the map tells us why. We’re a nice blend of attractive residential areas, thriving business districts, and publicly accessible and spacious open lands and beaches.
People want to be here. That’s a good problem to have. Growth is good. Managing growth is even better.
DelDOT’s billion-dollar slate of projects, including an aggressive public transit component to provide residents with alternatives to cars, shows recognition. But more is needed, and sooner rather than later. We have to keep the pressure on.