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Rehoboth Beach to improve pedestrian safety

City of Rehoboth Beach
An example of a pedestrian crossing sign

Rehoboth Beach wants to address safety on crosswalks by making signage clearer for drivers.


Improving pedestrian safety is an issue frequently debated by the Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners.


And Tuesday at their regular workshop meeting, the commissioners approved $50 thousand to improve signage and install crossing signals along Rehoboth Avenue. 


Commissioner Ed Chrzanowski  notes while he hasn’t seen any accidents, there are a lot of near misses along the busy street.


“I’ve witnessed a bunch of near hits this summer. In addition to pedestrians, cyclists has been a concern of mine as well," he says. "I agree, I think when it comes to something that’s related to public safety like this and we've got  the resources to push it forward I think we should.”


Police Chief Keith Banks says Rehoboth Beach has seen very few crosswalk accidents in the past few years, but argues there are a lot of close calls.


“The crosswalk is an issue even though we don’t have the accidents and data to back it up because with the brick pavers - a lot of people do not understand - that is a crosswalk," Banks says. "So if you’re driving along at 15, 25 mile an hour, you’re not preparing yourself that that’s a true crosswalk and that people may decide just to walk out in front of you.”


The commissioners gave the go ahead for the city manager to order the signs and crossing signals to ensure drivers are aware people could be crossing the street.


Mayor Paul Kuhns suggested deferring approval until the next regular meeting on September 18th, where the new mayor, Stan Mills, takes over. But most commissioners pushed back, saying they don’t want to see the can kicked down the road any longer.


This is one of Kuhns’ last official meetings as mayor.  He lost his re-election bid in early August to former commissioner Stan Mills. Two new commissioners also join the board in September.


The new crossing signals are expected to be installed as soon as possible, according to the city manager.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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