Ocean City Today

Bike path obstacle cleared, deal reached

Hotel on 29th St. agrees to loan property to trail, condo last impediment
By Katie Tabeling | Apr 06, 2017
Photo by: Katie Tabeling Public Works worked all day Wednesday to install a bike ramp in the sidewalk on the Rodeway Econo Lodge on 29th Street

(April 7, 2017) One impediment to the proposed bicycle path that would run along the side streets that parallel Coastal Highway has finally been cleared.

“We will have a license of use with the Rodeway Econo Lodge on 29th Street that will let us put a path there,” said Councilman Tony DeLuca, who had been spearheading the effort. “The license of use is revocable.”

The Econo Lodge, owned by the Esham family, is one of 13 private properties that the bike path would run through. In 2016, DeLuca and the Transportation Commission started piecing together a continuous trail that would get cyclists off Coastal Highway for good.

The issue was that the city needed permission from each property owners along the proposed trail to create it — and some were not too receptive of bikers encroaching on their land.

Eventually, bike path discussions were sequestered to closed sessions in March 2016 until DeLuca announced a deal had been struck with the Esham family this week.

Construction started on Wednesday morning and finished by the end of the day. Public Works Director Hal Adkins said it was a minor project, as his staff had to port a concrete ramp.

“A small section of the standard sidewalk must be removed and replaced with a depressed ramp so to transition the area without [a biker] having to dismount,” Adkins said.

Public Works staff also did minor landscaping work to the surrounding area to clean it up.

Now that the Econo Lodge property is included, DeLuca is looking to the last obstacle in his path.

“Next up, the Meridian,” he said.

The Meridian condominium on 59th Street would need all its residences to sign an easement, which is something they were reluctant to do last year.

If that bump in the path is cleared, it would be the final piece in the puzzle to establish a bicycle-friendly resort. St. Louis Avenue has a bike lane for 17 blocks that runs next to the parking lane.

MDOT also had approved a $56,560 grant to implement a bike path on Sinepuxent Avenue, which runs from Montego Bay to the Delaware Line. Ocean City would provide an in-kind match with labor and installation.

The Sinepuxent Avenue path will run on both sides of the street and would be completed by Memorial Day Weekend.


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