OCEAN CITY – The selection of a national planning and engineering firm will allow the town to move forward with the creation of a bike strategic plan.
On Wednesday, Ocean City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) President Paul Mauser announced the town had selected Toole Design Group to develop a bike strategic plan.
“The award is complete, the contract is complete, notice to proceed, the whole nine yards,” he told committee members this week. “It is for Toole Design Group.”
Last year, the town received $79,700 through the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Bikeways Program to hire a consultant for the development of a strategic plan that will be used to further Ocean City’s bicycle network.
In recent years, the resort has embarked on a multi-phased initiative to install a continuous bike path from one end of town to another without using Coastal Highway.
With the help of a strategic plan, officials say the town will have designs and cost estimates for several proposed biking corridors, including 94th Street, 146th Street, town alleys from 27th to 62nd streets and 62nd to 94th streets, and a 10-foot construction easement west of the dunes from 94th to 118th streets.
“They specialize in bikeways …,” Mauser said, “and they have existing contracts in place with Salisbury, so they are used to coming to the Eastern Shore and working around here.”
In December, BPAC members concluded their review of a Request for Proposal document seeking engineering services for the development of a bike strategic plan. And in January, following approval from MDOT Bikeways, the town moved forward with the bidding process.
Mauser told committee members this week the town will work with staff from the company’s office in Silver Spring, Md. When asked about the town’s next step, he said it would be to finalize a project schedule.
“It’s going to be in the range of a seven- to nine-month schedule,” he said. “They are starting in July and will finish in the February, March timeframe. That is going to include three public meetings …twice with town council and once with BPAC.”
Mauser added the company received good reviews from previous clients.
“I certainly feel really good moving forward with Toole Design,” he said.