Rehoboth Beach to study parking and traffic this summer in effort to reduce congestion

The study aims to determine the extent of traffic congestion in Rehoboth during the busy summer season and find ways to reduce its impact.

Shops, cars, and attractions are seen at Rehoboth Beach during the summer

File photo: A summer afternoon at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. (Johnny Perez-Gonzalez/WHYY

Anyone who’s spent a summer afternoon looking for parking near the beach along Rehoboth Avenue knows the frustration. Its boardwalk draws thousands of visitors every year, making it difficult for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to navigate around town.

This summer, Rehoboth’s Board of Commissioners will spend $150,000 to study parking and transportation in town. The study, by Maryland-based civil engineering and planning company Rossi Group, aims to identify ways to reduce those frustrations.

“This study will bring together all of the data we’ve accumulated through previous study efforts,” Assistant City Manager Evan Miller said. “We’re really focused on taking a comprehensive look and providing commissioners with a realistic set of improvement options and recommendations that can be implemented over time to effectively address parking, transportation, and traffic concerns.”

The study will look at congestion, traffic flow, traffic calming, safety measures, and parking policies.

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“There’s no doubt that there is a perception that there are not enough parking options in Rehoboth Beach,” Miller said. “This study will help us determine if that perception is reality.”

They’ll look at regular traffic patterns, as well as things like what happens on the roads when a summer thunderstorm pops up, forcing thousands of beachgoers on foot to run for shelter.

“I think we all know that during the summer season when you have a quick heavy rainstorm that rolls in off the beach, Rehoboth Avenue gets backed up and Lake Avenue gets backed up,” Miller said. “So also having an awareness of those odd events that occur and the impact that it has on traffic is going to be another area that we focus on as well.”

The commissioners hope to get preliminary recommendations from the study by the time they start building next year’s budget, which begins in April 2024.

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