94th Street Speed Limit Reduction Approved In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY — As part of a larger review of traffic-calming in residential areas throughout town, resort officials this week approved a speed limit reduction on 94th Street for the existing 30 mph to 25 mph.

Throughout the end of last year and into early 2021, the Mayor and Council have been reviewing various traffic-calming measures in residential areas throughout the resort. The amended policy was borne out of concerns raised in certain north-end residential areas in Caine Woods, particularly 142nd Street and 139th Street, where speeding and reckless driving has become a consistent problem.

Out of those concerns was borne a series of traffic-calming measures for some of the town’s heavily-traveled thoroughfares in residential neighborhoods from non-physical changes such as increased enforcement, more signage or public outreach. In some cases, physical changes have been implemented, such as speed humps, curb bump-outs, rumble strips and the like.

Though much of the focus was on the known trouble spots in Caine Woods, City Engineer Terry McGean reviewed the other major residential roadways for potential safety changes. McGean got a request from residents along 94th Street to reduce the speed limit and brought the issue to the Police Commission two weeks ago.

The commission reviewed the request and forwarded a favorable recommendation to the Mayor and Council. On Monday, the Mayor and Council approved the requested traffic regulation, which will reduce the speed limit from the existing 30 miles per hour to 25-mph on 94th Street.

Councilman John Gehrig asked if the request to reduce the speed limit on 94th Street came from the residents along the corridor. He questioned if the public had been notified of the pending change, or if they even desired it.

“Was this complaint driven?” he said. “I know the issues in Caine Woods were the catalyst for some of the changes we discussed. I’m just wondering if the 94th Street issue came from the neighborhood association or if this was arbitrary.”

Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Chief Ross Buzzuro said his department did not request the change, but supported the public safety measure wholeheartedly.

“It came to us through the city engineer’s department,” he said. “That’s how it ended up at the police commission level. We are fully in support of this, but we didn’t initiate it.”

It was pointed out nearly all of the streets in the residential community of Little Salisbury had speed limits of 25 mph and 94th Street was a bit of an anomaly.

Councilman Mark Paddack said reducing the speed limit on 94th Street was consistent with the rest of the neighborhood and made sense from a public safety standpoint.

“In all of our neighborhoods, we have a 25-mph speed limit because they are residential,” he said. “I was kind of shocked we had a 30-mph limit in this area. I don’t how much this will help with the speeding and reckless driving, but anything we can do to make it a little safe, we should do.”

In the wake of the issues raised in Caine Woods, McGean late last year began exploring a formal policy to evaluate the streets in Ocean City when similar problems arise and identify just what level of traffic-calming is needed to rectify the situation. Out of those efforts was borne a policy approved by the Mayor and Council to assign a point-value to the various major corridors in residential areas based a variety of factors including speed.

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.