(Jan. 15, 2021) Following an initial presentation in mid-December, Ocean City Council on Tuesday approved policies for installing traffic-calming devices on resort roads.
The policy discussion was generated by reports regarding traffic issues on 139th and 142nd Streets in the Caine Woods neighborhood, where motorists cut through to Coastal Highway rather than follow Route 54 to its intersection with the highway.
Ocean City Engineer Terry McGean said the intent is to establish formal roadway evaluation procedures to maintain safe traffic flow without reducing response times for emergency vehicles.
The policy would apply to permanent or semi-permanent physical changes to roadways, but not involve temporary measures for construction or special event zones.
Three categories of traffic-calming measures would include non-physical, passive physical and active physical.
Non-physical measures would include motorist education, traffic enforcement, striping changes or speed display signs.
Passive-physical measures, which would encourage vehicles to reduce speeds or re-route, include raised intersections, bump-outs, rumble strips or realigning intersections.
Active-physical measures, which would require vehicles to reduce speeds or re-route, include roundabouts, turn prohibitions, one-way street pairs, speed tables or humps, raised crosswalks, as well as street closures or diversions.
McGean said following the discussion last month additional policy tweaks were adopted.
McGean said although 65 percent of adjacent residents must concur prior to employing active traffic-calming devices, that requirement could be dropped if the council elects to hold a related public hearing.
McGean also amended the previous blanket prohibition on installing active measures on roadways designated as primary routes for emergency responders.
The revised policy would permit active measures on primary response routes contingent on approval from the Ocean City Fire Chief Rich Bowers.
Councilman Tony DeLuca recommended changing that parameter to mandate review and recommendation by fire officials.