Ocean City Today

OC’s Cruisin’ workgroup suspends activities

After gathering twice, Miller tells committee to hold off on additional discussions
By Katie Tabeling | Aug 24, 2017
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(Aug. 25, 2017) Resort officials and Cruisin’ Ocean City promoters met twice this summer to prevent another rowdy crowd from gathering for the spring car show, but discussions have been suspended until further notice.

“The idea is to execute Endless Summer Cruisin’ and see what happens. We could potentially reconvene,” said Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller, who organized the work group. “We tried to come up with ideas for spring and fall Cruisin’ and look at tactics from what we could do from a city and promoter standpoint.”

Miller formed the work group last May after the mayor and City Council were inundated with complaints about a loud Cruisin’ event. Ocean City Police made 54 arrests that weekend, and traffic on Coastal Highway was gridlocked. It took buses two and a half hours, rather than the usual hour, to drive up the length of the island.

Diesel trucks and later-model mustangs, unregistered with the event, also rumbled on the roads with excessive exhaust systems.

The outcry grew louder after Mayor Rick Meehan tentatively suggested moving the car show earlier in the year.

“We looked at tactics at a broad scope that did not include moving the event,” Miller said. “From a special events standpoint, we looked at providing positive outlets, like pockets of events, not negative reinforcement.”

Ocean City Police Lt. Elton Harman, Public Works Director Hal Adkins, Special Events Coordinator Lisa Mitchell, and Emergency Services Management Coordinator Bob Rhode represented the city during the few Cruisin’ meetings while Meredith Herbert and Bob Rothermel with TEAM Productions represented the promoters.

Rothermel said the discussions looked “globally” at what could be done to discourage bad behavior.

“We asked if could we be considered a construction zone, to triple the fines and so forth,” he said. “We always encouraged police to bring in more manpower from the state and nearby counties.”

After the dust settled from the event, Rothermel reported that his registered participants complained about the lack of police presence. This week, Rothermel described the event as a perfect storm.

“The weather was beautiful, we had a big show and everyone came out to the beach,” he said.

Looking to the next car show, Endless Summer Cruisin’ on Oct 5. – 8, resort officials hope that several other initiatives would help rein it in. Signs reminding people that disorderly conduct is illegal must to be posted by highway-fronting properties by Sept.1

Another law that could help police discourage the wannabes is the state’s ban on “rolling coal.” Drivers that intentionally emit a large black exhaust cloud could be fined $500.

But Miller was doubtful the same issues will be present during Endless Summer Cruisin’.

“There’s a difference in size,” he said. “Personally, I think in spring, people are itching to take their cars out and hit the road after a long winter.”

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