Back-in parking proposal draws attention

An alternative plan to Bethany Beach’s Streetscape design would include angled parking spots that require drivers to back in when they park. A meeting in the town earlier this week featuring engineering consultants showed clearly that there are those in town who vehemently disagree with the notion.

Kathy Dryden, who owns the Shore Foods in Bethany Beach, said she was not a fan of the proposal, saying she doesn’t want to have to educate drivers on the new plan, and openly wondered why a single travel lane from Pennsylvania Avenue to Atlantic had not been discussed. She felt that everybody ends up in one lane eventually.

“You could leave parking as it is today and add crosswalks,” she suggested.

Ruthie Parrimore, of Ruthie’s Bethany Bakery, said that “people in America don’t know how to back into parking spaces,” and wondered aloud what would happen to traffic patterns if they were required to do so under the proposed plan.

Of course, there were others who agreed with the proposal, such as The Blue Crab’s Tim Haley, who said that he thought the back-in angled parking would be a benefit to parents of small children because of the car doors’ proximity to the sidewalk. He also added that it would probably be safer when considering bicyclists’ safety, as drivers would have a better view of them if they were pulling out of spaces forward.

To us, the fact that so many people openly expressed their fears and desires regarding the new proposals is a major step in the right direction regarding Bethany Beach’s future.

All too often, we run into situations in local towns when residents get furious at a decision made by their town council and only voice that displeasure when it is too late to make an impact. The input from business owners at a time when the town is discussing future options for the project is much more likely to have an impact now than after everything has already been approved.

We encourage our readers to take a look at our Agenda section every week in the paper to see what meetings are on the horizon for your town. Yes, we are well aware that reading the entire Agenda can be a bit dry, but simply scanning your town or county meetings can keep you abreast of what will be discussed in the near future.

We applaud those who took the time to attend this week’s meeting in Bethany Beach and voice their opinions, and we also applaud the officials of Bethany Beach who are listening to this input before making any major decisions.