OC Committee Eyes Bike Rack Program

Bethany Hooper

Staff Writer

OCEAN CITY – A resort committee awaits approval to implement a pilot program for new Boardwalk bike racks.

Last week, members of the Ocean City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee discussed potential plans for a bike rack pilot program along the Boardwalk. As the city looks to replace 47 aging racks along the boards, City Engineer Paul Mauser, committee president, said officials await the council’s approval to test one location for a bike rack dedication program.

“The plan for that is for Tony [Deluca, council secretary] to discuss it with the town council,” he said.

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In January, Council Secretary Tony DeLuca, committee liaison, presented BPAC 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 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 re-decking project, Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) Executive Director Glenn Irwin also presented the idea 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 are purchased by families and dedicated to loved ones. In recent years, however, the bench dedication initiative has garnered so much interest that hundreds of people are now on a waiting list.

“It was wildly successful, and we’ve got a waiting list right now of over 800 people wanting to purchase benches,” Public Works Director Hal Adkins told members last week. “We just don’t have any locations for them.”

To that end, the committee recommended a bike rack dedication program. While the replacement racks are expected to cost roughly $1,700, the cost of a dedication plaque and installation would bring the total to around $2,000.

“The idea was to order one, put it somewhere and see what it looks like before you buy 47 of them,” said committee member Joe Marx. “Like the benches, people could sponsor a bike rack.”

Mauser noted that there were complications in operating the bench dedication program. Adkins added that there were also issues surrounding maintenance.

“All I’m saying is if we go into the direction of a dedicated bicycle rack program, we need to do it very cautiously,” he said.

Committee members ultimately agreed to discuss the pilot program at its next meeting.

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.