Ocean City News In Brief

OCEAN CITY – In the brief this week, the City Council seems to have gotten compliance with one of its wishes, while Bob Melvin still quietly awaits for someone to do something about one of his.

Helmet Law Set In Stone

Councilman Doug Cymek said he’s been seeing a lot of helmets on Coastal Highway this week, and he couldn’t be more pleased.

The council unanimously passed the second reading of a new ordinance that would require all riders of scooters and passengers to wear helmets on town owned roads.

“I’ve been seeing them everywhere I go in town, and I am very pleased with the compliance from all the shop owners,” said Cymek.

Helmets are not required to be worn on state-owned roads, such as Route 50 or even Coastal Highway, but council felt that with the large number of scooters slaloming through already crowded local roadways, making this change requiring riders to wear them on town-owned streets, such as the side streets or portions of Baltimore and St. Louis avenues, would cause riders to have little else to do with the helmets than keep them on their head when they were on Coastal Highway.

In addition, the council further protected itself and perhaps those on the scooters by voting to amend the ordinance to include City Solicitor Guy Ayres’ definition of a helmet.

After there was a bit of debate on whether riders or businesses could claim something as simple as a cap to be a helmet, Ayres laid it out in the definition, simply stating, “protective headgear that meets or exceeds the standards of the American National Institute, The Snell Memorial Foundation, and the American Society of Testing and Measurements for the vehicle in use.”

Melvin Ready To Appeal

Ninety-year-old Bob Melvin is a proactive citizen on a mission, and as he grows more and more tired of the slow political process, he’s starting to think a few steps ahead.

Melvin came to City Hall on Monday night with a big stack of papers that held the contents of an appeal that he had personally prepared. 

“It’s been a few months, and I haven’t heard anything from the Tri-County Council or the Worcester County Commissioners about switching the funding over to Ocean City,” said Melvin. “So, I’m just here wondering if perhaps it’s time to file for an appeal because I have it right here.”

Melvin’s desire to improve the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) transit service from Ocean City to “off-the-island” destinations (primarily to doctor’s offices in Berlin) spurned the creation of a new committee that had written a letter requesting a service change.

Ocean City residents do not receive the same door-to-door service as the other incorporated areas of Worcester County because Shore Transit, who operates the service, feels that providing it would be a “duplication of services” since the town already had an “on-island only” ADA bus service.

In order to shorten the lengthy trips, dual charges, and strain on the handicapped residents caused by switching buses, Melvin and his committee asked Mayor Rick Meehan to pen a letter asking for the state funding, which the county allots to Shore Transit, be switched over to Ocean City for the eight-mile route, or more realistically, for the county to instruct Shore Transit to come into Ocean City and provided the same door to door service to off island destinations.

Meehan had penned that letter in mid-June, and Melvin said that no one in the county has responded.

“I didn’t think that we’d get anywhere with the county,” said Melvin. “I always knew that we’d have to run an appeal through the state, so I’ve been working on it myself.”

Meehan assured Melvin that he would be contacting the county this week to see where they stood on the issue.