Ocean City Today

Police Commission’s plans range to closing businesses

By Katie Tabeling | Nov 09, 2017
Cruisin’ Ocean City 2018 has roughly 2,000 cars pre-registered, according to Bob Rothermel of TEAM Productions.

(Nov. 10, 2017) The Ocean City Police Commission this week unveiled its plan to control motor vehicle events, although some members characterized it as a brainstorming list.

“In order to evaluate some of the ideas and suggestions, we formed a list and unfortunately, some have taken the list as all the proposals,” said Police Commission Chairman and Councilman Dennis Dare during Monday’s session. “These are items that have been in the newspaper, social media, emails from the public, and discussed with each other.”

After the May car show that drew thousands of noisy vehicles and caused traffic jams on Coastal Highway, the council announced that it was searching for ways to reign in the motor events. The public increased the pressure on city officials to find a solution after an unofficial H2O International car rally became so rowdy that Ocean City Police and its allied agencies struggled to contain it.

The Police Commission organized the “Ocean City motor events action plan,” during closed session on Oct. 13. Those suggestions include:

• Request promoter(s) to cancel or move event off Eastern Shore.

• Take legal action against promoter to recover increased event costs incurred by town. Dare said the city spends between $60,000-$80,000 in city services and law enforcement.

• Enjoin sponsors in legal action.

• Discontinue rental of convention center and inlet parking lot to promoters.

• Discontinue Boardwalk car parades.

• Launch an aggressive public relations campaign to advise citizens, property owners, businesses, visitors and participants of actions being taken.

• Eliminate vendor displays in required parking.

• Close businesses as early as 9 p.m.

• Request Gov. Larry Hogan to have National Guard on standby.

• Replace the events with youth sports tournaments, pickleball championships or senior citizen olympics.

• Establish an “enforceable vehicle noise law.”

• Double fines for traffic violations in a “special event zone,” similar to a construction zone.

• Charge drivers that “burn out” in confined areas with felony reckless endangerment.

• Impound cars that are not street legal.

• Organize DUI checkpoints, where officers are likely to make drug and weapons discovery.

• Seat-belt checkpoints.

• Implement “rolling” road blocks.

• Impose a curfew.

• Close Baltimore Avenue from 15th Street to 33rd Street.

• Reduce traffic lanes on Coastal Highway in a “road diet.”

• Install temporary strategically located speed humps.

• Schedule SHA road construction to start before motor events.

• Install more cameras on Coastal Highway for Crime Watch surveillance.

• Use advertising funds to buy events.

• Use advertising funds to reimburse the general fund for increased expenses of special events operations.

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