The Bethany Beach Town Council in a videoconference meeting on May 15 approved temporary changes to the town’s parking regulations to address concerns about crowding on the beach and boardwalk as they reopened to the public. As approved, the plan:
(1) changes parking along Atlantic Avenue and the beachfront parking lots from pay-to-park to permit-only, requiring permits the Town issues to property owners and residents (the permits are also required on east-west side streets, as well as on the west side of Route 1);
(2) changes about 70 parking spaces along Garfield Parkway from pay-to-park with a two-hour limit to free 15-minute parking intended for carry-out customers;
(3) retains two-hour pay-to-park along the rest of Garfield Parkway, as well as in the gravel lot in the 200 block of Garfield Parkway and along a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue a half-block north of the Christian Church property and a half-block south of Garfield Parkway, plus roughly a block north and south of Garfield on Atlantic Avenue.
(4) retains long-term pay-to-park along Pennsylvania Avenue to the north and south of the small two-hour zone.
(5) retains existing business/employee parking areas, which require a business permit from the Town.
The council gave control of the parking regulations to Town Manager Cliff Graviet, enabling him to change them as needed, without additional council vote. Graviet said he would lighten the parking restrictions as soon as possible, given the State’s mandate for municipalities to enforce social distancing on beaches and boardwalks during Phase 1 of reopening and the Town’s limited ability to control access to its many dune crossings.
“I don't see any changes in this current parking regimen until we get deeper into the summer and get a better idea on its impact on limiting beach capacity,” Graviet said on May 28.
A map of the new parking configuration is also available on the Town website at http://www.townofbethanybeach.com/DocumentCenter/View/5163/Parking2020.