Bethany Beach is reducing restrictions on parking effective at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 5, increasing the number of spaces available for pay-to-park. Plans are to further reduce the restrictions on Friday, June 12, opening the bulk of beachfront parking to both permit parking and pay-to-park.

Bethany Beach officials announced on Friday, June 5, that, effective at 4 p.m., it was loosening some of the new temporary parking restrictions it recently imposed in an effort to control crowding on the beach and boardwalk, with plans to further loosen them next week.

“The effort to prevent crowding has been successful to the point that beginning Friday, June 5, at 4 p.m. oceanfront parking lots at Central Boulevard, Campbell Place and Parkwood Street will now only be restricted to residential permit parking from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” they said.

The parking spaces in those lots and corresponding portions of Atlantic Avenue will then be pay-to-park from 4 to 11 p.m., and free parking from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m., mainly to accommodate early morning walkers and shoppers, officials noted.

Under Gov. John Carney’s May 14 order to reopen Delaware beaches, he recommended that towns limit crowding and enforce social distancing by limiting parking, which Bethany Beach did, noting that depending on the success of that effort, the Town could then adjust parking.

They’ve done just that as of June 5, with the reduced restrictions running until Friday, June 12, at 4 p.m. Then, with Carney’s announcement on June 2 that Phase 2 of reopening the state will begin June 15, the parking restrictions will be reduced once again.

“This second phase allows for larger public gatherings and permits businesses and restaurants to operate at 60 percent of capacity, up from 30 percent in Phase 1,” they said, noting that the strict requirement for physical distancing remains in effect.

“In light of this new development, on Friday, June 12, at 4 p.m., all parking spaces on Atlantic Avenue and all oceanfront street ends and parking lots will be available as both residential parking permit spaces and pay-to-park for those without a permit. Pay-to-park will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Atlantic Avenue and beachfront streets closest to Garfield, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. farther north and south of Garfield Parkway, as indicated on signage.”

Parking is free when pay-to-park is not in effect. All of the 100 and 200 blocks will remain residential and/or business permit required 24/7.

“The State is actively monitoring the effect of lessening restrictions on the COVID-19 health crisis. Should the State impose new restrictions, or if crowding and a lack of physical distancing on the beach and boardwalk threaten public health and safety, the Town will reconsider restricting parking,” officials said.