Pines Focusing On Public Safety Education Efforts

OCEAN PINES – Ocean Pines Association President Doug Parks underscored recent pedestrian and bicycle safety messaging during an Ocean Pines board meeting on Saturday.

Parks read through a recent Ocean Pines communication that he said was important “in light of the tragedy that happened a couple of weeks ago when a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and killed” on Ocean Parkway.

“It has to do with people walking on the streets [and] the direction they’re supposed to be walking in,” Parks said.

According to Maryland code, “Where a sidewalk is not provided, pedestrians must walk on the left shoulder or the left side of a roadway, facing any traffic that might approach from the opposite direction. Walking on the opposite side is a violation of Maryland Transportation Code 21-506b, and violators are subject to a $50 fine.”

“The idea is that we see a lot of people walking, especially on Ocean Parkway, with their back to the traffic,” Parks said. “I think this is something that people should be aware of and try to practice more often.”

Parks said it was probably not practical for the association to fine violators, but he added, “that education and knowledge is important, and those rules are for the public’s safety.”

On the subject of bicycle riders, Parks referenced another section of Maryland code states riders cannot wear headphones or ear plugs in both ears because “they cannot hear the traffic.”

“Just be aware of those kinds of things,” Parks said. “A little bit of practice, a little bit of encouragement, maybe you mention it to a friend … there are some laws out there for the safety of people either on bicycles or walking on crowded parkways.”

Parks also reminded homeowners that the annual Memorial Day celebration will return to Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, May 29 at 11 a.m.

“If you’re so inclined, please attend that event to honor those who have served our country. I think it’s very important that they be recognized,” he said.

Lastly, Parks said a homeowner asked about cell towers at the last Board meeting, and he promised to investigate the issue.

“I’ve started that process and John and I have been reaching out to Verizon, [and] there’s some logistics and things that we’re coordinating. Whether or not we will get a new cell tower, I can’t guarantee that,” Parks said.

“I will share updates on the issue when they are provided,” he added.