There has been a significant amount of discussion in Ocean City this year regarding the possibility of allowing three-wheeled electronic vehicles, known as Trikkes, to be rented on the Boardwalk.
Currently, after several meetings, the Ocean City Police Commission is withholding an opinion until a comprehensive review of the Boardwalk is conducted. The review is slated to touch on current allowances on the Boardwalk, congestion levels and the variety of bicycles allowed to be rented currently.
This review is a wise course to take every now and again and should take a close look at the rental of banana bikes, which are often pointed to as causes for concern due to the fact they are usually operated by youngsters and are highly unpredictable and unstable.
When that analysis is completed — probably in the fall sometime — the commission will then decide whether to pass on a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the Mayor and Council, which has the ultimate say.
When Segways were proposed for the Boardwalk years ago, we thought it was a bad idea and opined so in this space. We simply did not feel the Boardwalk needed anymore congestion than it already has in the morning hours, particularly electronic devices that may be difficult for some to learn in short order.
The city allowed them, but there are few operators offering them and their popularity is not an issue because most visitors still prefer to ride traditional bikes or the other adaptations the various rental businesses offer.
This will likely be the case with the Trikkes, as most operators will not make the investment to add them to their offerings. Nonetheless, the potential that one business wants to offer them should be concerning. We know based on the dialogue between the city and police department the decision is being weighed heavily.
Currently, it will take an ordinance change to allow Trikkes to operate on the Boardwalk and the city is right to proceed slowly with this consideration. The Boardwalk can be a hectic, and at times unsafe, place in the morning hours during the summer. Adding something that could jeopardize renters’ and pedestrians’ safety needs careful consideration.
Our view is the Boardwalk experience in the morning is a treasured one and Ocean City must protect that for its visitors and residents. Adding something that could be a nightmare from a safety perspective is simply not worth the risk.