WEST OCEAN CITY – Parking enforcement efforts in the area of Stinky Beach are expected to increase in response to the growing use of the county-owned property.
The Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously this week to add more signage and stripes to the parking area at the entrance to Homer Gudelsky Park, the area at the end of Old Bridge Road better known as Stinky Beach. The issue came up at the request of Commissioner Bud Church, whose constituents are complaining of parking and noise issues associated with the park. Old Bridge Road resident Fritz Pielert even attended Tuesday’s meeting to relay the problems stemming from the park’s increasing popularity.
“The park’s a beautiful place,” Pielert said. “I’d like to see it kept that way.”
Church said he’d heard from residents who couldn’t access their homes near Stinky Beach because of cars parked along the street and cars parked two and three deep at the park’s entrance. There have also been noise complaints from residents who say people are having bonfires and parties on the beach at night, in spite of the fact that the park is supposed to close at dusk.
John Tustin, the county’s director of public works, told the commissioners that because there were just a few parking spaces at the entrance to Stinky Beach visitors were parking along the cul-de-sac. In doing so, they often blocked private driveways and made access to the street difficult for emergency vehicles.
Sergeant Robert Trautman of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office said officers had visited the park 66 times since June 1. He said 12 of those visits related to parking issues.
“At this point now, we are actively enforcing the parking regulation that’s there,” Trautman said, adding that police supported the addition of a ‘no double parking’ sign to the area.
Pielert said the problem with the park was the lack of facilities associated with it.
“They’re backing into mailboxes, they’re backing into ditches, they’re leaving trash everywhere,” Pielert said, adding that he’d even seen people going to the bathroom under nearby trees. “It’s become a nuisance problem.”
He said he hoped that with more enforcement of both park rules and parking regulations there would be fewer problems.
“It’s just very frustrating,” he said.
Tustin said he thought the addition of signs prohibiting double parking and parking near fire hydrants would help the issue, as well as the addition of stripes to the parking area. The commissioners voted to have staff move forward with the changes.