Bayside Horse Route Tweaked In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY – Bayside horse and carriage rides will now start on 1st Street near de Lazy Lizard.

Randy Davis of R & B Ranch Carriage Rides came before the Police Commission on Monday morning requesting an alternative bayside route downtown.

In May, the Mayor and City Council approved a bayside horse-drawn carriage ride route starting on 3rd Street heading south on Dayton Lane, turning west on 2nd Street to Chicago Ave., turning north to 4th Street, east to St. Louis Ave., south to 3rd Street and return to Dayton Lane. The staging area was in the parking spaces in front of the tennis facility on Dayton Lane.

Since the Mayor and City Council’s approval, Davis had been working with de Lazy Lizard to set up a staging area on 1st Street, removing himself from city property as well as making his operation more visible.

“I wasn’t getting any business there [3rd Street] because nobody can see me. The main foot traffic is on 1st Street,” Davis said. “I rode the new route and it works great. It is a nice loop. I am not in any traffic.”

The newly proposed route stages Davis in the driveway to the former Cropper concrete plant’s warehouse across 1st Street from de Lazy Lizard. Heading east on 1st Street, Davis would head to 2nd Street, right onto Chicago Ave. up to 4th Street, left onto Edgewater Avenue up to 7th Street, looping around to St. Louis Ave. going south back down to 1st Street ending back at de Lazy Lizard.

The proposed route was approved by Ocean City Police Department Lt. Scott Harner as well as the Department of Public Works.

“I want everybody to be safe and I want you to be successful, and if all of those things are more aligned with this proposed route and nobody has any objections I will make a motion to move it forward to the Mayor and City Council for approval,” Mayor Rick Meehan said, as the commission voted unanimously to approve.

Davis came before the Mayor and City Council the next day at the work session.

“This relieves one of our concerns by removing his use of the parking spaces by the tennis courts and puts him in an area that won’t interfere with anything else, and give him more exposure. It will accommodate his business concerns while providing another amenity in downtown Ocean City,” the mayor said.

Councilman Wayne Hartman brought to the council’s attention the city printed the existing carriage signs on 3rd Street that will be moved to 1st Street if approved.

“I wanted to voice my concern over bearing an expense for a private enterprise, and also my concern over the amount of distance it will be traveling on St. Louis Avenue,” Hartman said. “Being in the downtown area frequently it would be nice to have it moved to the alleys or something like that to keep it off of St. Louis Avenue.”

The council voted 6-1 with Hartman opposed to approve the alternative bayside horse and carriage route starting on 1st St.

Davis, who operates the horse-drawn carriage rides on the Boardwalk during the off-season as well as in Berlin, first proposed the idea of rides along the bayside last year.

However, the commission had concerns over the safety of the originally proposed route that started on 2nd Street and the Boardwalk and crossed Baltimore and Philadelphia avenues to get to the bayside, which is why Davis returned this year with the route starting on Dayton Lane.