Committee Reviews Boardwalk Bike Racks

OCEAN CITY – Members of a resort committee got their first look at some of the proposed cost estimates for replacing the aging Boardwalk bike racks.

In January, Council Secretary Tony DeLuca, liaison for the Ocean City Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), presented committee members with a proposal to replace 47 aging bike racks along the Boardwalk using surplus funding from the town’s Boardwalk redecking project.

In recent years, BPAC members have focused their efforts on identifying locations to add bike racks near the oceanfront street ends. DeLuca noted the idea of replacing the Boardwalk bike racks came forward as part of those discussions.

“I think it’s an important project,” he said at the time. “They are heavily used … and the way they look now, it’s not good.”

The committee in January agreed to explore options and pricing for new Boardwalks bike racks. And on Wednesday, members reviewed two options – a bike post costing $939 apiece and a “wave” rack costing $1,519 apiece.

“This is all open for consideration …,” said City Engineer Paul Mauser, committee president. “I know Tony’s initial comment was we would want to go back with just as many, if not more. I think all the existing bike racks provide a capacity of six or eight.”

While more expensive, committee members this week said they favored the stainless steel wave rack based on its capacity to hold more bikes. Continental Cycles owner Joe Marx, however, noted that the town could save money if it purchased the rack in another material.

“It makes it three times as expensive as the regular rack because of the stainless steel …,” he said. “The powder coating is $920 cheaper.”

Officials ultimately agreed to explore other options and discuss them at a future committee meeting.

“We’re looking to have these out there for maybe 20 years,” Mauser said. “So we wouldn’t want to have to replace it in about five years.”

Mauser added that the town’s ability to purchase and replace the bike racks would rely on surplus funding from the town’s Boardwalk redecking project.

“Lumber prices are so variable right now,” he said. “Last year, they were $1,500 per 1,000 board feet and then it tanked to $500 or $600 per 1,000 board feet. That’s what we bought it at for phase one. Now we are buying for phase two, which is from Ripley’s to 15th Street, and lumber is almost back up to $1,500 per 1,000 board feet, which is almost an all-time high again.”

Officials have noted the new racks would replace the existing galvanized racks, some of which date back nearly three decades.

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.