Public Bike Workshop Near In OC

OCEAN CITY – Officials say a public workshop on proposed bike path improvements will be held next month.

In last week’s meeting of the Ocean City Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, City Engineer Paul Mauser, committee president, presented members with an update on the town’s bike strategic plan.

In February, the Ocean City Mayor and Council reviewed plans for possible bike path improvements along 94th Street, 146th Street and alleyways from 27th Street to 94th Street.

As a result of those discussions, Mauser said, the town plans to hold a public hearing next month on the proposed corridor improvements at 94th and 146th streets.

“The update there is that we have a public workshop that is to be scheduled,” he said. “It was originally planned for the mid- to late-April timeframe, but we moved that to May.”

Mauser said the event will be structured as a public workshop, with display boards and officials on hand to answer questions.

“You don’t want to turn it into a public hearing where someone stands at the podium …,” said Public Works Director Hal Adkins. “This allows a person who has a specific concern to focus in on what is of interest to them.”

Earlier this year, the town hired Toole Design Group, a national consultant, to develop a strategic plan that will be used to expand its 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 Coastal Highway, 94th Street, 146th Street and town alleys from 27th to 94th streets.

As part of its strategic planning process, Mauser and Toole Design came before the council in February to present options for three significant bike path projects – one at 94th Street, one at 146th Street and another along the town alleyways from 27th to 94th streets.

After considerable debate, however, the Mayor and Council agreed to throw out plans for utilizing the town alleyways after it was learned the proposed bike path called for the elimination of 125 parking spaces.

Instead, the council recommended having a workshop to discuss potential design options for improved biking paths along 94th and 146th streets.

It’s not something we have to do, it’s an optional project,” Mauser said. “We just want public feedback for those corridors.”

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.