OCEAN CITY – More paid parking will be added downtown this summer season.
De Lazy Lizard, located on 1st Street bayside, recently wrote the Mayor and City Council a letter requesting additional paid parking in 1st Street west of St. Louis Avenue, which is the public street to the south of the restaurant.
City Engineer Terry McGean recommended the paid parking be installed in the 19 head-in parking spaces directly across from De Lazy Lizard. As for the parallel spaces between St. Louis Avenue and Bayview Lane, he suggested for those to remain free because residents use them for parking.
City Manager Dennis Dare said that the city has a Cale machine available and could be installed on site shortly. The Cale machine will be located on the north side of 1st Street in the paver area behind the sidewalk west of the entrance to the restaurant.
“We would maximize parking on the street,” McGean said. “On the street, you could go either way, you could go head in on one side or parallel on both sides but on a dead end street I would prefer head in on one side, particularly on that street.”
McGean said given the pedestrian traffic on the side of the street where the sidewalk is located the head-in paid parking would be better off on the opposite side of the street. If that side of the street were to be developed in the future, it could be considered to flip the head-in and parallel parking around.
McGean added the head-in parking spaces remain mostly empty until De Lazy Lizard opens, so residential parking wouldn’t be an issue.
“It is probably the right thing to do,” McGean said. “It is similar to what we do in the Marina District just south of there where the streets are metered on the bayside where you have M.R Ducks and the Marina Deck.”
According to McGean, it is difficult to estimate how much revenue will be generated from the additional paid parking. Prior to De Lazy Lizard, the city parking lot across from St. Louis Avenue generated $300 per space but last year after the construction of the restaurant each parking spot generated $450. On the other hand, the bayside parking spaces on Somerset and Dorchester streets generate $1,000 per year.
McGean gave a guess that the new paid parking on 1st Street would generate $500 to $600 per space or around $10,000 per year.
Councilman Joe Hall made a motion to accept De Lazy Lizard’s request to add paid parking on the bayside of 1st Street and the motion was approved in a unanimous vote.