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Automation of beach parking lot fails to get support from Rehoboth Beach commissioners

James Morrison
Delaware Public Media

Rehoboth Beach commissioners are looking to make parking easier at one of their beaches.

Rehoboth Beach staff are trying to consolidate and simplify parking throughout the city, and they’ve targeted Deauville Beach for improvements.

Projects Coordinator Evan Miller says the current parking system at Deauville Beach is antiquated and creates traffic concerns.

“We receive a lot of comments about only accepting cash down there — and the need to accept credit cards,” Miller says. “Certainly not being able to implement Park Mobile down there. So to address some of those concerns, the metered system would be the best way to do that.”

Miller adds because all drivers need to interact with the parking attendant, lines can sometimes form up on Surf Ave, and make the area dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Miller’s proposal is to completely overhaul the parking system, by removing the lot attendants and installing meters, allowing the city to accept credit cards and their app.

But the proposal would also make the lot independent of others in the city, meaning people who purchase permits from other parts of the city can’t park in that lot, even if they’re a city resident.

“I would hope that with all this technology, we can accomplish what we want to accomplish — which is, let’s make it more efficient but let’s not take something away from the residents.”

That’s commissioner Ed Chrzanowski, whose comments were echoed by the rest of the board.

And the loss of the parking attendant positions are also a concern, both in terms of removing paid positions, and the added benefit of having those attendants around to keep an eye on the nearby tennis courts.

Commissioners came to a compromise instead, approving installation of one parking meter to allow drivers to pay by credit card, but keeping the attendants.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member withReport for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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.