Millsboro council favors second entrance to municipal parking lot

Town of Millsboro officials are moving forward with a proposal for a second entrance to the downtown municipal parking lot – from westbound Washington Street, which currently is exit only.

MILLSBORO – Town-based support is growing in the pitch to double entrance access to the municipal parking lot in Millsboro’s downtown district.

The request presented publicly by Roger Perry, owner of Main Street business Gunshooter Enterprises, at town council’s Aug. 6 meeting would allow entrance from both Main Street and Washington Street.

Currently there is one entrance (from Main Street) and one exit (onto Washington Street) to the municipal lot on the “island” that also borders State Street. In the current configuration, westbound traffic must make a U-turn – often in heavy traffic flow – from Washington Street onto Main Street to enter the lot eastbound from Main Street.

Mr. Perry said this could deter potential shoppers from stopping and could negatively impact downtown business.

“It’s one way now; you enter from Main and exit onto Washington,” said Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson, who favors dual access. “I supported the request. It makes the parking lot more accessible and that should be help the businesses.”

“I totally agree. I have felt that way all along, that you should be able to enter that from either street,” said town councilman Larry Gum. “Can we make the decision here tonight, to change the traffic pattern in that parking lot?”

“You could make it contingent upon any DelDOT approvals,” Mr. Hudson said. “I did reach out to DelDOT. I don’t think we would need their sign-off because we are not touching the sidewalks. But I did reach out to them.”

Parking space options are diagonal, which is the current design, and straight-in, with council leaning toward angled/diagonal parking.

“My concern would be, is it wide enough to do a straight-in parking versus an angle?” said Millsboro Mayor John Thoroughgood.

“I think we could leave the angle parking the way it is (on one side) … and then the opposite side change the angle the opposite way,” said town councilman Tim Hodges.

“I agree with what you are saying,” said Mr. Perry. “When I had first looked at it with Sheldon, when you came in from Washington Street the angle would be towards Main Street. When you came from Main Street the angle would be towards Washington Street. I think it would flow every well. I think the entrance and exit there are wide enough to accommodate that.”

The municipal parking lot issue comes as the state has wrapped up its State Street improvement project.

“Mr. Perry’s timing is great because we were looking to have that parking lot seal-coated and the state was going to help us re-stripe it, to help pay that cost because of the State Street project,” said Mr. Hudson. “So, now is a good time to look at parking stops, seal-coating and re-striping.”

With the multiple entrance request, Mr. Perry also encouraged town leaders to “try to acquire whatever parcels of land are available so that we can accommodate people to shop downtown Millsboro.”

“I think we are on the same page here,” said Mayor Thoroughgood. “It’s our target.”

“I can tell you, we have the opportunity for greatness in this town, if we all pay attention to what is going on,” said Mr. Perry.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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