Final Report on Trans-Ocean City Bike Route Is Complete
Mayor Jay Gillian is expected to address the issue at a public City Council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13.
A final report recommending a safe bicycle route through the chaos of island traffic was issued last week.
The state Department of Transportation and a consultant, the RBA Group, released the Haven Avenue Corridor Report -- a complete copy is available by clicking on the PDF icons at the right.
The idea of creating a safe bicycle corridor from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge at the north end of the island to the Corson's Inlet Bridge at the south end has been universally applauded. But a proposal to use an abandoned railroad bed across wetlands as part of the route has led to years of acrimonious debate.
The report makes "no specific conclusions" about the feasibility of the rail trail, but it does suggest the process could be long, costly and not necessarily permissible. The bulk of the report identifies a route on existing roads and suggests low-cost strategies for reducing the impact of traffic.
The report also identifies strategies for converting West Avenue into a safe bike route between 36th and 49th streets as an alternative to the proposed rail trail.
"We've reviewed the report one final time with the steering committee that worked with the consultants, and we are now prioritizing the recommendations," Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said.
He said some priorities include providing a safe crossing of Ninth Street, improving the existing bike path behind the Ocean City Primary School and repaving Simpson Avenue between Battersea Road and Fifth Street.
"Overall, we are finding the report very informative and useful," Dattilo said. "As we develop our capital plan, we'll incorporate several measures outlined in the report over the next few years."