Streets & Transportation Committee Discussing Recommendations to Improve Visibility at Rehoboth Avenue Traffic Circle
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - Rehoboth Avenue’s main entrance could be one of its most dangerous points for pedestrians and drivers. That’s according to some members of the city’s Streets and Transportation Committee. The committee met Monday morning to discuss recommendations for safety improvements. The committee even discussed whether or not removing the lighthouse in the circle would improve visibility.
The lighthouse has been in different locations in Rehoboth for close to 100 years. The Streets and Transportation Committee says it can be hard for some drivers to see around the lighthouse and the wall it’s elevated on.
Police chief Keith banks says there was a minor accident at the circle this fall, but that the main issue here is people failing to yield. Banks says there's always room for improvement mainly with how drivers yield at the circle.
"People at times do not know they have to yield when they're going east or west on Rehoboth Avenue," says Banks. "They'll just blow right through instead of yielding to the traffic, so we're trying to make sure that it is well marked. There are signs there already."
Hal Bennett frequently enjoys running down Rehoboth Avenue. He frequently passes through the traffic circle, which he says can be concerning for both pedestrians and drivers.
"People think that because they're on the main boulevard that they should have the right of way and the side streets should be the ones yielding but that's not how a traffic circle is supposed to work," says Bennett.
Streets and Transportation Committee Chair David Mann says more signs with brighter lights might help. "There could be signs in advance of the circle," he says.
One committee member mentioned that the lighthouse used to be in Grove Park and that it should be moved there or somewhere else. Other members say that perhaps lowering the wall it sits on would be enough.
"We've got issues with the walls that would be easy to correct," says Mann. "Issues with the lighthouse, I think would be very difficult to eliminate."
Locals like Bennett and even some committee members see the lighthouse as an icon and don't want to see it go. "I don't think the issue is so much the lighthouse blocking vision," says Bennett. "I think you need the lighthouse as the entrance to Rehoboth."
The Streets and Transportation Committee will discuss recommendations for the traffic circle at its next meeting on February 7th. Even though it makes recommendations to the city, DelDOT has the final say for any changes.