BETHANY BEACH, Del. - Tour buses that unload passengers in the middle of the street are tying up traffic in Bethany Beach.
Mayor Tony McClenny said the town has received complaints from drivers and businesses about the large buses double parking, especially along Atlantic Avenue near Garfield Parkway.
McClenny called the problem "aggravating" and said it occurs on an almost daily basis on the summer, blocking parked cars and holding up already congested beach traffic. Town manager Cliff Graviet brought forward the issue at a town council workshop last week.
"It's tough because it is a town that's isolated to mainly one street," said business owner Justin Evans.
The buses are generally carrying dozens of day trip visitors from around the region; the town has no regulations to oversee the private buses making it difficult to track specific numbers or hold companies accountable.
The town is left to walk a fine line of welcoming tourists who spend money at local businesses while keeping order on narrow and often busy beach roads.
Shuttles and trolleys have designated drop off lanes throughout town; the owners also pay permit fees ranging from $3,000 to $6,000. The private tour buses are currently not required to have a permit, McClenny said.
"I think if there was a drop off area, it would be good," said store manager Kelley Burton. "It would create less of a traffic backup for drivers trying to pull into town. It also may be less of a hazard for people coming off of the bus."
Both Evans and Burton said they barely noticed the issue during the summer months; however, both hoped the town could find a solution.
McClenny said town council members were asked to brainstorm possible remedies and report back at a future workshop meeting.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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