Taxi Parking Raises Concerns For OC Restaurant

OCEAN CITY – The town’s taxi ordinance may be in question once again as ongoing discussions and complaints have been received about cabs taking over city streets when not in service.
At the conclusion of this week’s Police Commission meeting, Dead Freddies co-owner Steve Carullo presented the commission with a growing issue on 64th Street.
“We are having a big problem with taxi cabs inundating the parking on 64th Street. There are about 60 spots and on any given day there are at least 20 to 30 cabs, and in addition to the cabs there are personal cars they have parked there while their cabs are in service taking up those spots as well, so on any given day we lose about 40 of those parking spots,” Carullo said. “That area is just turning into an eyesore … it is becoming a nuisance area.”
Carullo complained the taxi cabs are taking parking away from residents and tourists alike, and Dead Freddies has begun to receive numerous complaints over the vanishing parking spaces on 64th Street.
“I would really like to get something done about this because the problem is going to continue to grow to other streets as well,” he said. “Business owners have a responsibility to find a place to park their vehicles, not on public streets taking up tourist’s parking spots. It is turning into an industrial parking zone.”
Carullo added one of Dead Freddies perks is the restaurant has bay view dining, which they pay a significant amount of tax dollars for, and now guests are taking in a view of taxi cabs instead.
“If there is not a law, we have to put something in effect to change it because obviously you wouldn’t want this in front of your house,” he said.
Mayor Rick Meehan said Carullo has a legitimate complaint.
“It is different from businesses being out and traveling from place to place, they are actually staging their business in the street. When we did the taxi cab ordinance, the one thing we didn’t think about was making a requirement for a place to put their cabs,” the mayor said.
Police Commission Chair/Councilman Doug Cymek recalled a time when taxi cabs would drive to and from work from home, so cabs would be found scattered through neighborhood streets instead of lined up on city streets.
“This is getting out of hand,” he said.
Meehan made a motion to have City Manager David Recor discuss the matter with Solicitor Guy Ayres and return with recommendations.
“This is not an anti-cab discussion,” the mayor said. “It is how we can work with them to make it better.”