The Ocean City Council on Monday passed an emergency ordinance to extend the city’s Boardwalk bike hours from 2-11 a.m. to 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. The extended bike hours expires on Sept. 7. 

(Aug. 7, 2020) With no tram services this year, the Ocean City Council voted Monday to extend summer bike hours on the Boardwalk to 2 p.m.

City Manager Doug Miller said John Barrett, owner of Bike World on Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, asked that the bike prohibition be changed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Normally, this sort of request would go through a normal work session, an ordinance would be developed and followed up by two votes. 

However, “I do understand that time is of the essence … that is why we’re somewhat jamming everything into one meeting.” 

To extend the hours, the council would have to pass an emergency ordinance prepared by City Solicitor Heather Stansbury. 

Additionally, Miller said the Ocean City Police Department recommended the hours be extended until 2 p.m.

Councilman Mark Paddack said, based on his experience as a police officer, that he would prefer bike hours to be extended until 2 p.m. from Monday through Friday only, and normal hours on the weekends. 

He made a motion, but it died. 

Councilwoman Mary Knight then moved to allow the 2 p.m. extension every day and the council agreed.

One aspect of the decision, however, could affect other council actions. Councilman John Gehrig wondered why a minor matter like bike hours required an emergency ordinance suggested that should change. 

“I think long term, because no one could have anticipated there’d be a pandemic, we may need to revisit how some things like this are done,” Stansbury said. 

The extension will end on Sept. 7.

Josh covers everything Ocean City government and crime. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a B.A. in French and Journalism.

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