OCEAN CITY – Efforts to install bike racks at three beachfront street ends are moving forward in Ocean City.
Last Wednesday, Engineering Manager Paul Mauser told members of the Ocean City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee a pilot program to install bike racks on three street ends near the beach would proceed in the coming weeks.
“The council is really in favor of this,” he said.
To encourage biking in town and to the beaches, the committee began exploring the pilot program earlier this summer.
The plan is to install bike racks on the street ends of 28th Street, 67th Street and 120th Street, where officials have identified a demand for bike parking. In many instances, bicyclists have resorted to locking their bikes to sign posts or even the dune fence because there are no readily available racks.
“The only reason they are out there is because they are looking for something to lock up to,” Public Works Director Hal Adkins said. “If there was a way to put it at the street end, where the pavement ends, I, the bicyclist don’t have to drag my bike in the sand.”
Mauser said officials are planning to put a bike rack 10 to 20 feet away from the street end at 67th Street and at a location to be determined on 120th Street. He noted, however, that the lack of space at 28th Street would require officials to place a bike rack in the sand dunes.
“At 28th Street we are looking at having to put that in the dune there because there’s not sufficient room,” he said, “unless we put it in the construction easement, which is definitely a no-go.”
Late last month, Mauser presented the committee’s plans to the Mayor and Council. At the time, however, Councilman Dennis Dare questioned why the dunes should be disturbed at all and pushed for officials to explore other alternatives.
Last week, Mauser noted there simply wasn’t enough room at 28th Street.
“We should lay those out based on the best use for the bicyclists,” he said, “whether it’s in the dunes or at the street ends.”
Adkins added the placement of bike racks might differ at each location.
“I like uniformity,” he added. “I like symmetry. But in this case, I think you are going to end up with potentially different areas.”
Mauser said he was working with the public works department to finalize a design for the bike racks before they are installed.
“We are planning to do a pretty sharp looking, but simple, pressure-treated wood structure with an aluminum or galvanized steel tube,” he said. “It will look sturdy and professional.”
Mauser noted officials will begin laying out the locations of the bike racks in the coming week.