OCEAN CITY – The eastern part of North Division Street will be experiencing some minor parking changes in hopes of alleviating traffic build up along the popular street.
City Engineer Terry McGean came before the Mayor and Council this week to request the removal of two parking spaces from North Division Street so that cars could maneuver easier along the street end.
North Division Street, home to the Boardwalk Arch, is a popular street for vehicle traffic in the downtown area. Many cars travel into Ocean City over the Route 50 Bridge and continue onto North Division Street to get their first glimpse of the beach, to take a peak at the crowds along the Boardwalk, or to unload family and various items.
While businesses along the street are certainly not complaining about the traffic flow, they did voice concerns to both Mayor Rick Meehan and to Bruce Gibbs, Superintendent of Public Works Maintenance, about the traffic build-up on certain portions of the street.
As it stands, if a bus or large vehicle stops at the end of North Division Street along the Boardwalk, cars cannot turn around and travel west back to Baltimore Ave., which causes back ups while the bus or vehicle unloads.
McGean explained that while the city could post signs prohibiting vehicles from stopping, it would be more beneficial to simply allow for more room for vehicles.
The town also uses the street end to unload equipment to prepare for events on the beach or downtown, which also results in traffic delays.
To fix the problem, McGean suggested that the two easternmost parking spaces closest to the Boardwalk be removed. He explained that the removal of the two spaces would allow vehicles enough space to turn around while a 45-foot bus is unloading.
McGean also suggested that the new end space be turned into a handicapped/van accessible space. The handicapped space is currently located at the western end of the street, and would be more effective if it was located closer to the Boardwalk.
Meehan noted the importance of having better access to the popular street. The council voted unanimously to approve the request.