OCEAN CITY — Ocean City Police Commission members agreed this week to invite Cruisin’ promoters to meet with them to review the spring and fall events.
Following Cruisin’ weekend in May, Ocean City residents vented on social media their frustrations over massive traffic backups, infrastructure damage to roads caused by the thousands of classic cars in town spinning out and the massive amounts of litter left behind by irresponsible visitors. In fact, one long-time Ocean City resident described the event in a letter to the editor as “broken” and in need of massive changes.
Bob Rothermel, one of the Cruisin’ promoters, took exception to the negatives being hurled by community members at the event, which had 3,300 registered vehicles at the May event.
Following Cruisin’ weekend, Rothermel and Jack Hennen of the event met with Mayor Rick Meehan and City Manager David Recor to address the concerns.
At Friday’s Police Commission event, Recor confirmed the meeting took place and a discussion was held on how to make it better.
According to Police Chief Ross Buzzuro, officer calls for service increased 20 percent over Cruisin’ weekend this year compared to last year. However, citizen initiated calls for service decreased 20 percent.
“Our enforcement efforts were higher this year than the four previous years for traffic citations but in contradiction traffic warnings were down considerably, so we opted for more strict enforcement,” he said.
The number of accidents and collisions were in line with previous years, coming in with 21 collisions this year during the event.
The number of arrests was also consistent with previous years with 50 arrests made this year during the weekend.
“There are some things that need to be talked about, and one of them is the trailer parking,” Mayor Rick Meehan said. “When this event started 25 years ago, everyone thought there were cars everywhere but there was only around 180 cars registered. The event has changed … and it is time to take a look at it.”
The mayor recommended Rothermel and Hennen come before the Police Commission at the end of the summer season to address concerns.
“I suggest we look at it sooner rather than later,” said Councilman Dennis Dare, pointing out another Cruisin’ event will take place in October. “If we make any changes, it should be made before that so they have the chance to get the word out. They have 3,000 registrants, and you are talking about getting 3,000 trailers off the street. This is going to be a big change and I think it should be dealt with a long time before next April.”
The commission was in consensus to initiate discussions within the coming weeks.