South Main Street in Smyrna underwent a transformation during the downtown streetscape project, from the new sidewalks and road surface to the removal of overhead wires. The downtown parking has also seen some changes. The parallel parking spaces along South Main Street are no longer individually marked with painted lines, and some of the no parking zones have been extended somewhat to improve visibility, resulting in the loss of a few spaces along the street. These parking changes have drawn both concerns and praise from downtown business owners.


South Main Street in Smyrna underwent a transformation during the downtown streetscape project, from the new sidewalks and road surface to the removal of overhead wires.

The downtown parking has also seen some changes.

The parallel parking spaces along South Main Street are no longer individually marked with painted lines, and some of the no parking zones have been extended somewhat to improve visibility, resulting in the loss of a few spaces along the street.

These parking changes have drawn both concerns and praise from downtown business owners.

Ann Marie Dowell, owner of the Heart of Smyrna at the corner of Commerce and Main, said there were previously three spaces on the Main Street side of her business, but now it’s down to two.

“A lot of my customers will only stop by if there are open parking spaces,” she said. “That definitely is going to impact us.”

Dowell said she wasn’t expecting the parking changes.

“It was a little bit of a surprise when they finally put the paint down,” she said.

Dowell said that one way to improve the downtown parking situation would be to direct more people to the municipal parking lot behind the former school district administration building.

“It’s not clearly marked for people new to the area,” Dowell said.

A public parking sign leading people to that lot would help, she said.

Although concerned about the loss of a parking space in front of her business, Dowell said she loves South Main Street’s new look.

“It’s beautiful,” she said. “They did a great job. We’re very pleased. We’re excited to have our store on this street.”

Dowell hopes people will be curious and come downtown to check out the finished streetscape project.

Brian Brown, owner of Smyrna Sporting Goods at the Four Corners, likes the parking changes.

The lack of painted parking lines makes the street look more attractive, he said.

“It looks very neat,” Brown said. “It doesn’t look all gaudy like a parking lot. The neatness and attractiveness of it is well deserved for the town.”

He also said the new setup improves visibility and makes the street more accessible and safer.

Brown said he hasn’t had any problems with the new parking.

“It’s working,” he said.

Smyrna Town Manager Dave Hugg estimated that the street lost three or four spaces as a result of extending the no parking zones.

“The reason was to improve the sight distance and therefore the safety,” he said.

A majority of the streetscape project’s funding was obtained through DelDOT, so the town wanted to meet DelDOT’s standards for sight distances from intersections, Hugg said.

Hugg said there are no current plans to mark the parking spaces along South Main Street.

“We’re not going to put individualized spaces in right away, and maybe never,” he said. “I want to see how that works. I think aesthetically it’s a lot nicer.”

A handicap parking space will eventually be added to the street, though, Hugg said.

Hugg also said a new parking sign will be installed at the entrance to the municipal parking lot behind the school district administrative building.