Ocean City plans to repave several roads in the Gardens in the spring, and the city wants to use the opportunity to make a long-sought improvement: To help bicycles and cars find the Ocean City-Longport Bridge.
City officials held a public meeting Tuesday (Nov. 25) to solicit feedback from neighbors about plans to address two problems: Cars either speeding or getting lost in the neighborhood between Battersea Road and the bridge, and creating a safe path for bicycles to travel from the bridge to an island-wide bike route under development.
Contracts likely will be awarded in January for work on West Atlantic Boulevard, East and West Surf Road, Crescent Boulevard and East Inlet Road.
The proposed improvements include:
- Bridge Boulevard: Making the road one-way to allow only southbound traffic. Motorists heading toward the bridge would follow West Atlantic Boulevard and make a 90-degree left turn onto the Gardens Parkway (eliminating a dangerous angled turn that requires drivers to look behind them to see oncoming traffic). A bumpout or island would block one lane of Bridge Boulevard to slow traffic.
- West Inlet Road: Creation of an island at the sprawling intersection of West Inlet Road, Crescent Boulevard and West Surf Road would cut speeds and discourage through traffic for cars trying to get to the bridge.
- Bike Route: Painted sharrows would lead cyclists from Battersea Road to a bicycle lane on W. Inlet Road then West Atlantic Boulevard. The new path would lead to the Gardens Parkway carriage roads and the bridge.
The improvements are part of an ongoing city effort to use repaving projects to address all traffic and drainage issues at the same time. City officials, including Community Operations Director Roger McLarnon and City Engineer Art Chew, were on hand to vet the improvements with neighbors and seek suggestions.
Better signage to direct traffic from Battersea Road to the bridge using West Atlantic Boulevard … or directing traffic straight from Battersea on to Gardens Parkway were popular sentiments. Educating bicyclists about routes and, more importantly, the rules of the road was another suggestion.