Parking Study Okay If Cost Reasonable

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Paid parking is a divisive issue in Ocean City. It always has been and probably will be whenever the topic is discussed because its impacts are widespread.

The latest confirmation comes with the Mayor and Council’s decision to add the Cale parking system to the south side of 146th Street, one of several new parts of town that will be metered this year that were not last year.

At this week’s meeting, the Mayor and Council showed the first sign of willing to compromise with the outraged property owners affected by the move on 146th Street. While the council did not change its mind, a dialogue was held that might lead to a consultant studying parking in Ocean City in general and the financial complexities that surround it.

We think this is a solid direction if the price is right for the study. It would obviously fly in the face of consistency if the Mayor and Council decided to fund an expensive study of parking in the resort when the whole concept behind the new paid parking areas was to raise new revenues to help balance the budget.

Working off the consideration the price will be modest for a parking and financial feasibility study, the hope here is it will encompass the entire resort area.

Although the reasoning behind the selected blocks for the new meters is justifiable in our view, the city is missing out on major revenue by not looking at the Boardwalk prime spots, those ocean block spots from 11th to 27th streets that are currently not paid parking. The Inlet to 10th Street on the ocean blocks are currently paid parking.

Although the $100,000 adding these spots would create was discussed briefly back in April, the Mayor and Council for some reason is hesitant. It does not make sense because adding meters to those streets, or at least the dozen or so eastern most spaces closest to the beach, will boost turnover rates and help the businesses in the area. It’s no secret some locals and visitors park in these prime places for days at a time so they can utilize their own parking spaces for guests.

The consensus of the current council does not seem to agree, but Councilman Dennis Dare broached the topic during a recent budget session.

 “As we re-deck the Boardwalk and pay off that debt, and replenish the beach this coming year it seems to make sense to extend the paid parking for half a block of some of the most prime parking in Ocean City,” Dare said. “I just think we need to have our day tripper’ participate in beach replenishment, beach cleaning, lifeguarding, street paving and all the amenities we provide.”

Any evaluation and financial feasibility of parking in Ocean City should start with this area and question the reasoning behind why the city has not taken advantage of what seems to be an obvious move. Other resort areas charge for prime beachfront parking and it seems illogical for Ocean City to not address these areas, while picking and choosing other blocks of town that will reap far less revenue.

4 comments on “Parking Study Okay If Cost Reasonable

  1. Mr. Publisher; As I’m sure you are aware the city engineer has already presented a parking feasibility study to the council. The ocean block revenue generated from 11th to 27th streets would be $300,000, throw in the bayside business districts, and Baltimore Avenue up to 27th street and you have over $1 million in revenue annually. Unfortuanately we have a mayor who is afraid of upsetting his friends in the business community, a weak council president, and two council members who owe their seats to the biggest hotel owner between 11th and 27th streets, so it ain’t gonna happen. I agree with you and Councilman Dare; at a minimum OC has to start charging for these prime ocean block spaces, and I feel the entire ocean block on those streets should not be free
    . The day trippers must contribute to the $4 million cost of the amenities they enjoy.

  2. It saddens me that some are overly concerned about day trippers who are accused of not spending money while in OC. These same day trippers allegedly leave mess for someone else to clean up.

    Do we have any hard evidence to prove these accusations?

    Why aren’t we more concerned about the wasteful spending?

    Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, $650,000 if my memory serves me correctly, were spent by the town for an art gallery, something that will benefit a limited number of people.

    And how about the gargantuant amount that is being spent to build an auditorium at the Convention Center? That number is in the MILLIONS, again, if memory serves me correctly.

    Couldn’t those monies (and there are surely more examples) be better spent?

    Instead, some want to continue to squeeze monies out of the tourists who are already sufficating from paying $5 for a milk shake, $10 for a bucket of fries, and well over $300 a night for an oceanfront place to sleep.

    The new/old majority council has already rescinded the measley $20.00 tax break for property owners from last year – it being declared as being needed back. This body also continues to find ways to increase revenues instead of controlling spending, and/or finding ways to get the 10% decrease in summer attendance back to Ocean City.

    Free fireworks, movies, concerts, and light shows aint doin the trick, but it does give those providers additional income.

  3. John – your enthusiasm is appreciated, however some within our City still embrace “the needs of the few (or the one) outweigh the needs of the many” mindset. We have watched in amusement the rangling of a skate park because of fiscal challenges, where you bring up very VALID cases where BIG $$$$$ continues to be thrown at the convention center as well as trying to get a “few” visitors from DEL to pay to park. (hello ~ 94th Street empty mall parking lot!!! The cruisers stay there each and EVERY year…for FREE!!) It continues to be laughable how the small ticket personal challenges keep being harped upon time after time. Our City’s immediate big ticket item isn’t figuring out how to get the 10% back – it should be how to keep the current 90%. FYI – Hylton still has rooms for $450 a nite and Buddy Jenkins did the pier repairs, not the City. The City is in charge of the new restroom area on our boards sooooooo…Hot weather is on its way!

    ~BUSHMAN!~

  4. BUSHMAN! – Indeed, keeping the 90% should be a priority ahead of gaining the 10% back. The pier article, to the untrained eye, would appear to be congratulating a city accomplishment, with all the quotes from the mayor…

    Oh yea, and how about the ‘purple’ boards in front of Shenanigans that cost the city $39,000? Maybe this coming weekend a Ravens Roost will take on the project of actually making those boards look purple.

    Looked like a BIG drop in Memorial Day weekend attendance this year, which surely will be blamed on the cold and windy weather.

    Marty’s Playland closed by 11:15 on Friday Memorial Day night, (and it could have closed WAY earlier), possibly the earliest closing for that date ever. Hopefully that is not an indicator of the OC summer attendance.

    Looking forward to my next boardwalk bike ride!

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