OC’s New Trailer Parking Rules In Effect For First Bike Week

OCEAN CITY — OC BikeFest arrives in the resort next week with the fall Cruisin’ event soon to follow, but much has changed in terms of the parking rules for trailers and oversized vehicles since the same events last fall.

As part of the ongoing effort to rein in some of the behavior associated with the vehicle-related special events in the resort, the Mayor and Council last fall began exploring changes to the town’s ordinance regarding trailer and oversized vehicle parking on city streets. The changes were debated at various levels throughout the offseason with the Mayor and Council approving a final version in March.

The ordinance changes were borne after a particularly troublesome spring Cruisin’ event last year when residents complained of trailers and other oversized vehicles parked along main thoroughfares and side streets, taking up vast areas of street parking in some cases and causing traffic obstructions in others.

Boiled down to its simplest terms, the new ordinance allows only registered participants in the special events, including OC BikeFest next week, to park trailers on public streets from May 1 to Oct. 31 after purchasing a permit from the event organizer and affixing the associated sticker to their trailers. The permits cost $50 and apply only to the event prior to or during which they are purchased.

Those motorcycle and hot rod enthusiasts who come to the resort during the events but formally register will have to park their trailers on certain municipal lots, private property with the permission of the owner, or at the Park-and-Ride lots in West Ocean City.

According to the event’s website, OC BikeFest has also partnered with the Jolly Roger Amusement Park at 32nd Street to make trailer parking available in the days leading up to and during the event. For example, those who arrive early for OC BikeFest, which officially runs from next Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 18, can make arrangements to park trailers at Jolly Roger beginning this Sunday on a sliding fee schedule.

Trailer parking at Jolly Roger will be available this Sunday, Sept. 11 through Tuesday, Sept. 13 at a rate of $75 per day. During the actual OC BikeFest event, trailer parking will be available at Jolly Roger for $50 per day from next Wednesday through the event’s conclusion next Sunday. Event organizers will have staff on hand to begin selling trailer passes at Jolly Roger beginning this Sunday.

Essentially, those are the new options. Official event participants can purchase permits to allow trailer parking on any city street with the exception of Baltimore Avenue, which was eliminated entirely from the ordinance because of the narrowness of the roadway. Permit holders will also be allowed to park trailers on the gravel portion of the municipal lot on 100th Street.

Those not registered for the events can make arrangements to part trailers at Jolly Roger with the aforementioned dates and fees, or at the Park-and-Ride in West Ocean City. Of course, any trailer can be parked on private property with the permission of the owner.

Under the revised ordinance, violators found parking trailers on public streets without a permit would be subject to a $250 fine for each day. Those who don’t move their trailers after receiving citations could have their oversized vehicles “booted,” or immobilized, until the fines are paid. The town will only tow a trailer as a measure of last resort, such as an obvious traffic obstruction or public safety hazard.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.