Resort Committee Outlines Bike, Pedestrian Goals

OCEAN CITY – Encouraging bike events, developing a bike master plan and continuing the Lights on Bikes program are just a few of the goals a resort committee hopes to accomplish in 2020.

Since last January, members of the Ocean City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee have focused on several initiatives in an effort to make the town a more bikeable community.

In 2019, for example, the committee applied for the Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designation, established a solution for the bike route between 60th Street to 64th Streets on Coastal Highway, and developed a bike route on 141st Street.

“That added another mile to our bike routes in town,” said Paul Mauser, president of the committee.

The group also focused on J-1 student outreach, completed GIS mapping of current and proposed bike routes, and witnessed the distribution of 864 lights through the Lights on Bikes program. Mauser also credited the committee with the idea for installing bike racks at the oceanside street ends and creating a shared use path along South Philadelphia Avenue, among other things.

“If we didn’t have this group, that never would have been thought about,” he said.

But as the committee reflected on its achievements last week, it also highlighted several goals for the coming year.

In 2020, the committee wants to encourage a Bikes on the Beach special event during the shoulder season, develop a bike path connection to Delaware through 146th Street, create a bike master plan, and have seven bike racks installed at the oceanside street ends.

The committee also identified plans to secure a BFC designation in 2020, eliminate bike route impediments, and establish a Bike to Work day.

While many of the committee’s goals would benefit the town as it reapplies for a BFC designation later next year, Councilman Tony DeLuca – committee liaison – said the focus would continue to be bike and pedestrian safety.

“It’s more important to do things for the town, for the safety of Ocean City, than for this report card,” he said.

DeLuca said he also wanted to expand the Lights on Bikes program. In the coming year, he said the goal would be to purchase and distribute 2,000 bike lights.

“We have to go after it a little more organized this year …,” he said. “We don’t want to use taxpayer money.”

The committee agreed to prioritize its goals for 2020 at the next meeting scheduled in January.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.