OCEAN CITY – The Police Commission began discussion this week on the rental of hoverboards on the Boardwalk.
Last week Councilman Wayne Hartman asked the Police Commission to discuss the addition of hoverboard rentals on the Boardwalk to its agenda on Monday morning.
What is being referred to as a hover board is produced by multiple manufacturers. One of those manufacturers is Monorover, which describes the device as “a Segway without the bulk … features gyroscopic technology, the same as found in Segway. Two sensors (one under each foot pad) detect the micro-movements in your feet and ankles, and relay that information to the motors. Just point your toes down to go forward, and put your weight into your heels to go backwards. The sensors are incredibly active, and within minutes of roving, it begins to feel intuitive.”
According to Police Commission Chair Councilman Doug Cymek, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Lt. Mark Pacini spoke with the business renting the hoverboards. The renters are being told the hoverboards can operate on the Boardwalk with no time restrictions at a rate of $35 per hour.
The State of Maryland defines hoverboards the same as a Segway in being an Electronic Personal Assistive Mobility Device (EPAMD), which is having two non-tandem wheels, self-balancing, powered by an electric propulsion system, has a maximum speed capability of 15 mph, and is designed to transport one person.
The Town of Ocean City’s law regulates EPAMDs in the same category as bicycles and pushcarts, which can allowed on the Boardwalk from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m., and from the day after Labor Day to the start of Memorial Day weekend at any time except for during the times of Springfest and Sunfest.
The code furthers, “it shall be unlawful for any nongovernmental motor vehicle, motor-assisted vehicle, bicycle, pushcart, or EPAMDs to be operated on the boardwalk at any time without permission of the Mayor and City Council or its designated agent except during the time set forth in the code.”
The commission questioned the definition of hoverboards, and with City Solicitor Guy Ayres absent from the meeting the discussion will be furthered at a later date.
However, Cymek reminded the commission it was just last year Bryant Hungerford requested approval to rent electric Trikkes on the Boardwalk, which was ultimately denied over congestion concerns.
“It was pretty clear the commission was not in favor of adding any additional vehicular load on the Boardwalk and we did not approve that,” Cymek said. “This should not be allowed and we need to nip this in the bud.”