People Changing Clothes At OC Comfort Stations Causing Problems

OCEAN CITY – City officials have recognized that long waits at Boardwalk restrooms during peak times are a result of people utilizing the stalls as makeshift changing rooms.

During Monday evening’s Mayor and City Council legislative session, Recreation and Parks Commission Chair Councilman Joe Mitrecic included in his report of last week’s commission meeting that staff suggested adding port-a-potties to the Boardwalk when expecting larger crowds in town, such as on the 4th of July.

“There was talk about on the 4th of July the attendance was so great downtown that we have to possibly think about putting in some port-a-pots as our restroom facilities are overwhelmed, and it puts an additional onus on the Boardwalk properties and storefronts to use their bathrooms, and it just starts to get out of control,” Mitrecic said.

Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller has been tasked with looking into the matter and will bring a recommendation forward to the Mayor and City Council in the future.

“I hope the council can look at the bathrooms on 4th of July,” Councilman Brent Ashley said. “I have noticed it even on the weekends. There is a crowd. The ladies room line is across the Boardwalk … this past weekend at all three restrooms the lines for the ladies room were just long, and the ladies I could start to see were starting to get a little agitated.”

Mitrecic responded he didn’t feel the addition of port-o-potties were necessary for every day of the summer but agreed they should be put in place on busy weekends.

Council Secretary Mary Knight pointed out the new Caroline Street Comfort Station was not re-equipped with “No Changing” signs, which could help reduce the wait at the restrooms. Those signs were present before at the old facility.

“I witnessed yesterday morning there was a line because there was about 10 people with children and themselves changing, so that would probably help the situation,” she said.

The next day Public Works installed “No Changing” signs at the comfort station. However, it is unknown whether it will eliminate the problem as there is no other area for day-trippers to change out of their beach gear.