The proposal to offer horse and carriages rides in downtown Ocean City during the summer months comes with inherent public safety risks and plenty of unknowns.
Therefore, the Ocean City Police Commission was right this week to not advance the matter to the Mayor and Council for further consideration.
There is simply no reason for the city to add the carriage rides to an already cluttered downtown scene during the summer months. Although the proposal was just during the week days, it’s still a flawed proposition because of the route, which takes the carriage from 2nd Street and the Boardwalk over Baltimore and Philadelphia avenues toward the bayside, north to 4th Street and then back on St. Louis Ave.
At one point, the police commission considered allowing the carriage rides on a trial basis, but that was wisely shot down. The only reason to give them a chance is if there is a belief it might add something positive to the downtown without raising any public safety or logistical concerns. That’s just not the case, and it’s obvious.
Taking a carriage ride at sunset from the Boardwalk to the bay might be a nice attraction for some, but the traffic concerns outweigh that. Adding carriage rides will undoubtedly cause issues for motorists both familiar and unfamiliar with the downtown core. It’s a distraction and would surely lead to accidents.
As anyone who travels the downtown area in the height of the season realizes, it’s a congested area in the summer. There are vehicles and people everywhere. The people are sightseeing, shopping and traveling to and from their vehicles, while the motorists are seeking out the coveted parking spots or simply trying to navigate their way north. Adding the carriage rides will only stress an already hectic scene during the summer.
The carriage rides add something to OceanCity, but they need to remain an off-season attraction.