OC Committee Considers Dedication Program

OCEAN CITY – The possibility of a bike rack dedication program along the Boardwalk highlighted discussions at a resort committee meeting this week.

Last week, the Ocean City Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) resumed its discussions on plans to replace the existing galvanized Boardwalk bike racks, some of which date back nearly three decades.

“They are heavily used …,” Council Secretary Tony DeLuca, committee liaison, said earlier this year, “and the way they look now, it’s not good.”

In January, DeLuca presented committee members with a proposal to replace 47 aging bike racks along the Boardwalk. While BPAC members have spent recent years 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.

With options for replacement racks narrowed down, committee members last week began looking at ways to fund the potential project. While there has been some discussion of purchasing the racks with leftover funds from the Boardwalk redecking project, Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) Executive Director Glenn Irwin also presented the idea of a bike rack dedication program.

“We’re not expecting any grant money to come for this,” said City Engineer Paul Mauser, committee president. “What we’re looking at as potential funding sources is, one, the Boardwalk redecking project, if we have any money left over … and, two, is the potential of a bike rack dedication program.”

Officials said the potential funding mechanism would be similar to the town’s Boardwalk bench dedication program, in which benches purchased by families and dedicated to loved ones. Public Works Director Hal Adkins noted that in recent years, the bench dedication initiative has reached a waiting list of 700 people.

“We had to cut it off …,” he said. “Once the people have them, they are renewing them every 10 years and paying a fee for maintenance. They aren’t letting them go.”

Adkins noted a bike rack dedication program could be another option for those looking to honor loved ones.

“It’s a policy decision of the Mayor and Council if you want to go with it,” he said.

Irwin noted the OCDC, a nonprofit, could also act as a passthrough for funding. Officials noted it would take roughly $70,000 to replace the 47 bike racks currently on the Boardwalk.

DeLuca agreed to bring the idea before the council.

“There could be some traction there,” Mauser added. “People would appreciate it. There are a lot of bikers in this town.”

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.