Rehoboth must deal with parking problems
I am a Rehoboth Beach property/homeowner and resident five months of the year, and very often in the off-season.
Parking in downtown Rehoboth has become a very frustrating problem, not only during the summer season, but all year. We have vacant stores because there is no place to park, and it makes for a good excuse to go out to Route 1 for both shopping and dining. I have found that it is just as hard to find a parking space in the off-season as in the summer.
On a weekend when it looks like town is not crowded, there are still few spaces for shoppers and diners. I attribute this to the spaces being filled with the business employees who do not have to pay for parking during that period. Without banning them from parking downtown, could we not ask them to park only on the median side of Rehoboth Avenue, and leave the curbside parking for those who intend to use the businessess?
The new City Hall parking lot should not be left empty after business hours. We need more spaces desperately. I would propose that it be reserved for employees in town, and all other cars could be towed - signs indicating no parking without permit, and employees would have to have a placard for their car from their place of employment. Or meters could be placed in the lot for use after City Hall business hours (with appropriate signage, ie: Public parking only after 5 p.m.) It would be filled by 5:15!
For the summer season, I would propose that employees use the shuttle from Route 1 though fewer park in town because of the cost.
One of the biggest summer problems is the all-day parking with eight-hour meters in the first blocks of Rehoboth Avenue. Those are taken by beach goers who arrive early in the day, and do not move their cars, resulting in no turnover for shoppers to get a space. I would hope that would encourage more day trippers to use the shuttle from Route 1. I would turn all parking on all commercial streets to two-hour parking to hopefully free up more spaces.
Finally, since parking revenue is a major source of income for the city, I see no reason that visitors to town in the shoulder seasons should not have to pay for parking. I would put meters and day passes in effect from May 1 to Oct. 15 at the very least. Year-round residents could be exempt from that with a resident parking sticker on their car windshield and pay in the summer season as do others.
We must do something to accommodate our residents and our visitors now.