If there’s one not-so-secret secret that’s a bit of a negative for life in Fenwick Island, it is parking.
Or, to be more precise, a lack of parking.
The problem is most visible in the summer months, when homeowners and vacationers both come to enjoy all that the area has to offer, and many who are staying on the west side of Route 1 try to drive closer to the beach to help haul all their items. Obviously, it also shows up at dinner time, when the popular restaurants in town get flooded.
To try to help alleviate the problem, Fenwick officials voted recently to pursue a bidding process amongst vendors to bring a shuttle service to town. The hope is to lock down a relationship between the Town and a vendor to provide a shuttle service and split the profits 50/50.
Besides the obvious hope that this will reduce parking woes and clear some of the traffic congestion in town, officials also said they hope this service can get people back and forth between local businesses, as well as provide safe passage for revelers who might have had too many drinks to drive.
“If it takes one drunk driver off the street, it’s worth it,” said Fenwick Councilman Gardner Bunting.
Really, that point can’t be stressed enough. If parking woes are an obvious problem, the amount of drunk drivers rolling through Fenwick Island is a problem that’s not as often discussed, but still quite prevalent.
Fenwick Island is the first town people returning to Delaware from Ocean City, Md., pass through to all points north when traveling Route 1. It is also, obviously enough, the last town people drive through when heading south from Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach to Ocean City.
To combat that, officials are discussing running the shuttle until 1 a.m. — closing time for Delaware drinking and eating establishments.
This is a proposal that would truly benefit many in the Fenwick Island community, from shoppers and diners to beachgoers to those just wanting nothing more than safer roads to travel. We applaud Fenwick Island officials for listening to what is needed in the town, and reacting to find a solution.