North-End Bike Path Work Near

OCEAN CITY — After gaining state funding for the implementation of a designated bicycle path for an important section in the north end of a large city-wide effort, resort officials this week debated how best to spend the money to install the new path in time for the summer season.

At Tuesday’s Transportation Committee meeting, a discussion resumed on how best to spend a $57,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) for the implementation of a designated bike path along Sinepuxent Avenue, which runs from 146th Street to Montego Bay roughly parallel to Coastal Highway. The aim is to make Ocean City more bicycle-friendly and get more bikes off Coastal Highway.

At Tuesday’s meeting, transportation committee members debated how best to spend the $57,000 grant from MDOT for the Sinepuxent Avenue bike path, considered a lynchpin in the larger effort to implement bike-friendly corridors from end of the resort to the other. Establishing an official bike path along Sinepuxent Avenue will require some changes to traffic patterns and resort officials are already planning on getting out front of the curve. Currently, there is a stop sign at every single numbered street, creating a stop and start route for bicyclists and motorists for that matter. The plan calls for removing the stop signs along the north-south section of the roadway and re-establishing them at east-west intersections. However, in order to make bicyclists and drivers aware of the pending changes, town officials are planning on moving the stop signs sooner rather than later.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins said moving stop signs and adding crosswalks and additional thermos-plastic markings along Sinepuxent Avenue could be completed by Memorial Day, but Mayor Rick Meehan suggested the traffic pattern changes be made as soon as possible.

“I think we need to move the stop signs now so people get used to the changes,” he said. “I think we need to get notifications to those homeowner associations up there so they are well aware of the changes.”

However, changing the stop sign patterns is only part of the larger project, which also includes additional striping and signage. Councilman and committee member Dennis Dare suggested implementing all of the changes at the same time.

“We should do the stop signs, crosswalks and thermo-plastic markings at the same time to eliminate the confusion,” he said.

The committee voted to expedite the implementation of all of the changes well in advance of the 2017 summer season.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

Alternative Text

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.