Rehoboth Beach Paves the Path to the Future of Pedestrian Safety - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rehoboth Beach Paves the Path to the Future of Pedestrian Safety

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - Crosswalk improvements are underway for the third, fourth, and fifth blocks of Rehoboth Avenue. The Streets and Transportation Committee met Friday morning to discuss adding signage and lights. 

The white paint has been burned off of the crosswalk in front of the convention center. This crosswalk and others in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th blocks of Rehoboth Avenue are due for a makeover.

Streets and Transportation Committee Chair David Mann says soon the white vinyl will be replaced with highway grade reflective paint. He says signage and flashing lights will allow pedestrians to stop traffic when they go to cross the street. 

"The city felt as though the intersections that are controlled by traffic lights are safer," says Mann. "The bandstand, First Street and Second Street are going to be secondary to the third, fourth, and fifth blocks."

Rehoboth Beach Police Chief Keith Banks says the goal is to work improvements like this and more into the city's budget each spring.

"The lighting and signage is going into the upcoming budget so that probably won't happen until early spring," says Chief Banks.

Chief Banks says there have been three minor pedestrian accidents on Rehoboth Avenue this year, none of which even happened at crosswalks. He says police are prepared to handle jaywalking, especially during the Sea Witch Festival which has historically attracted more than 100,000 people.

"We do shut down Rehoboth Avenue for the parade and people aren't running back and forth," says Chief Banks. "It forces them with the gates and the structure, how it's set up to have to use crosswalks at the intersection, but we are mindful and bring on extra personnel."

Owner of Just Comfort Shoes Sharonlee Diehl has seen how many people the festival can bring over the business's 12 years. Even though the pedestrian improvements discussed today won't likely be complete until summer, she can't wait to see how future Sea Witch crowds benefit.

"The crosswalks are great," says Diehl. "The push buttons would be really helpful. There's a lot of people in town and a lot of traffic."

Visibility at the traffic circle on Rehoboth Avenue was also brought to the table. One committee member even suggested removing the lighthouse that stands in the middle. The Streets and Transportation Committee will discuss these potential improvements at its next meeting on November 22nd.


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