Add more traffic to downtown Rehoboth? Why?
In his recent letter to the editor, Tom McGlone alleges that the mayor and the city have ignored the issue of parking for decades. As a former city commissioner and chair of the Transportation Committee, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
Anyone who has been paying attention, attending city meetings, or reading the local newspapers can tell you that the Transportation Committee discusses parking issues several times a year with suggestions brought forth to be discussed by the Mayor and Commissioners at various meetings. It is been the aim of the Transportation Committee to fulfill the goal of the Comprehensive Development Plan to bring more people and fewer cars to Rehoboth Beach.
Over the years, several studies have been conducted regarding parking, including ideas for a parking garage. Not one has presented a financially feasible plan for constructing a parking garage. We currently have 2,179 metered spaces in our downtown area. The studies examined parking garages of anywhere from 200-360 spaces, at the most a 16 percent increase. This negligible addition would be an extremely costly way of providing little benefit.
To build such a garage that would sit virtually empty nine out of 12 months of the year is a financially irresponsible plan to spend over $9 million taxpayer dollars, dollars that could be more wisely invested on infrastructure projects that are truly needed and would benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike.
But more importantly, following the recommendations of the Comprehensive Development Plans, the city has continually worked to bring more people downtown without cars, and has done so by providing more bicycle racks, a promotional plan providing bicycle maps to visitors, scooter parking, ADA ramping, and additional crosswalks.
During my six year tenure as city commissioner, I can tell you that these measures are succeeding, and have been met with widespread support from our residents and visitors.
After years of successful policies and projects to bring people downtown by means other than automobiles, I would like to know why Tom McGlone wants to waste time and our money by reviewing studies that show that a parking facility would offer little to no return on investment.
And I also ask: why is he trying to reverse our success and worsen our traffic problem by bringing more cars downtown?
former Rehoboth Beach City Commissioner