Ocean City Today

Spring Cruisin’ gets special zone welcome from OC, SHA

By Greg Ellison | May 10, 2018
Source: File Photo Police Chief Ross Buzzuro told the City Council on Monday, his department is coordinatioinwith the State Highway Administration

(May 11, 2018) With the 28th annual Cruisin’ Ocean City rumbling into town next Thursday, Police Chief Ross Buzzuro told the City Council on Monday plans are ready to establish temporary special event zones to curtail reckless road behavior.

Based on concerns emanating from Ocean City following car events last fall, Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38) and Delegate Mary Beth Carozza (R-38C) sponsored companion bills to permit the establishment of special event zones with reduced speeds and increased fines. Passed as an emergency measure, the bill became immediately effective after receiving Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature in late April.

“We’re very optimistic … for our first event … approaching us,” Buzzuro said. “We will be ready and special event zones throughout Ocean City will be established … all in the good name of public safety.”

In response to public outcry last fall, the mayor and council formed a Motor Events Task Force, which met in December, January and just last month, to seek solutions. With the first car event imminent, the council reviewed those efforts during its meeting on Monday.

Buzzuro said the State Highway Administration (SHA) and Public Works are coordinating with the police to institute the new approach.

“Public Works … will be changing speed signs throughout a good portion of Ocean City,” he said.

During the last task force meeting on April 25, Buzzuro said speed limits between 33rd and 62nd streets would be reduced to 25 mph, with special event zones starting on Tuesday, May 15 continuing through to Sunday, May 20.

Mayor Rick Meehan said the SHA would display driver alerts about the altered speed limits and boosted fines on leaderboards and road signs along Route 50.

To further spread the word, Meehan has encouraged all Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association and Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce members to display comparable messaging on its leaderboards.

“Let’s let everybody know this,” he said. “The more the businesses cooperate, the more participants see that message, we think the better it will be for everybody.”

Meehan also praised Buzzuro for soliciting assistance from across the Maryland law enforcement spectrum.

“The largest number ever, including now the Department of Natural Resources,” he said.

The efforts to reign in reckless driving notwithstanding, the basic Cruisin’ premise would remain unaltered, Meehan said.

“There will still be a lot of cars in town [and] there will still be some noise,” he said.

With a multitude of new approaches in play, Meehan said a post-event review meeting is scheduled.

“As we get through the first Cruisin’ event, we’ll be able to find out what worked and what we need to tweak,” he said.

Council President Lloyd Martin noted the importance of continuing to seek improvements.

“It’s not a one-time shot; it’s something we can always continue to make better,” he said.

Most importantly, Meehan said, city officials want to be sure residents know about the temporary changes and don’t get caught speeding.

“They’ll have to comply as well,” he said. “It might slow some of us down a little bit, but in the long run, hopefully, it will be better for everybody.”




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