Ocean City Today
https://oceancitytoday.villagesoup.com/p/1672036

City seeks $99K in bike path funds

Two uptown side streets could become shared use, if MDOT on board with plan
By Katie Tabeling | Jul 27, 2017

(July 28, 2017) Ocean City is hoping to keep the wheels turning on plans for a bicyclist-friendly resort, as city officials applied for a grant to build two more uptown bike paths.

If the Maryland Department of Transportation funds the $99,000 the resort requested this month, Jamaica Avenue, Assawoman Drive and Wight Street will be fitted with the signs and Thermoplastic markings for the designated path.

Engineering Manager Paul Mauser, the point person on the bike paths, said this arrangement is similar to the MDOT’s Bikeways Program approval earlier this year of the trail that follows Sinepuxent Avenue.

“As the town looks to provide alternative routes besides Coastal Highway, these three roads are extremely popular with pedestrians and bicyclists,” Mauser said. “Unlike Sinepuxent, these bike paths would be shared lanes with traffic. The signs will be a way to externalize the new project to drivers.”

The proposed Jamaica Avenue path would run for four blocks, from 123rd Street to Northside Park on 127th Street. Assawoman Drive and Wight Street, if approved, would allow bikers to ride from 118th Street to the Delaware line.

Both paths would include shared-lane marking on the roadway rather than an outlined path.

The Sinepuxent Avenue bike path, which received a $56,560 grant from the transportation department, runs on both sides of the street.

“There’s more intersections that we’ll have to mark in this proposal than with Sinepuxent, which is why we’re seeking more funding this time,” Mauser said. “We’re hoping that they’ll take into account that we finished the last project in six months compared to their two-year deadline when they consider our new proposal.”

If approved, Ocean City would have four designated bike paths. St. Louis Avenue has a bike lane for its 17 blocks that runs next to the parking lane.

For months, the resort’s Transportation Commission has worked on implementing a bicycle path that would run parallel to Baltimore Avenue, but issues obtaining easements from two properties have held up the project.

In April, resort officials reached an agreement for the use of property at the Rodeway Inn Eco Lodge on 29th Street and a bike-access curb was installed.

That leaves the Meridian Condominium on 59th Street as the last obstacle to the midtown path.

“We’re moving piece by piece, and hopefully soon we’ll be able to connect the dots,” Councilman Tony DeLuca, who is spearheading the mid-town bicycle path. “It’s fantastic that we’re moving forward with uptown though.”

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