CHAPTER 4:Transportation (text only)Ocean City’s transportation system has evolved over many years into a true multi-modal system.The transportation system is still dominated by the automobile. Automobile movement viahighways and streets will continue to have capacity limits, will be seasonally stressed, andcongestion will continue to be evident in future years. Given the linear form of the communityand its condition as largely developed, opportunities to construct or widen existing highways andstreets to accommodate vehicular traffic and build additional parking lots to store vehicles willbe quite limited.Therefore, the communities’ growing use of alternative modes of public transportation includingbus, trolley, bike and pedestrian means of transport will continue to demand attention and berequired to augment the capacity of the Town to accommodate automobile transport viahighways and street systems. Successfully moving both people and goods will be among theTown’s greatest future challenges and will call on the community to continue to explore morecost-effective and efficient modes of transport. The following goal and objectives are designedto support efforts to meet expected ongoing transportation system needs and demands.Goal:To maintain and improve the transportation system to accommodate themovement of people and goods as efficiently as possible, with minimumcongestion and maximum safety.Objectives:In order to achieve the transportation goal for a balance of auto, transit,bicycle and pedestrian mobility, the following objectives are adopted.4.1.Identify and implement opportunities for short and long-term improvements to thethoroughfare system.4.2.Continue to develop public transportation system alternatives to and on the island to itsmaximum potential to minimize automobile congestion and damage impact to air quality.4.3.Utilize off-islandIdentify lands property in key locations to accommodate parking, parkand ride and public transportation facilities where possible to augment Island existingfacilities.4.4.Determine the feasibility of developingContinue to implement a bikeway system usingalleys, secondary streets, the Boardwalk, bayfront and the beachfront connections.Ocean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-1

4.5.Develop additional bike storage (racks) and lockers to encourage additional bike use.4.6.Decrease reliance on automobile use by continuing to increase transit ridership.4.7.Encourage walking activity by enhancing the pedestrian environment through the use ofpedestrian signals, pedestrian pushbuttons, and location of crosswalks in appropriatelocation. completion by SHA of future phases for the dune-style median fence down thecenter of Coastal Highway to improve pedestrian safety and use of crosswalks andcontinue the Walk Smart Bike Smart public information campaign4.8.4.9.Explore use of trolleys to augment transit system on St. Louis Avenue to reduce transitcongestion on Philadelphia Avenue in the downtown area.Coordinate with WorcesterCounty and Sussex County to improve transit connections between Ocean City and newgrowth areas along the Route 50 and 54 corridors. Facilitateuse of Tram by improvements to ticketing and reduce pedestrian/tram conflictsalong the boardwalk.Explore opportunities to establish a bay-side ferry service or encourage use ofbayside water-taxis as an alternate mode of transportation. to upgrade and improve the Ocean City airport to meet future demandfor air transportation. to cooperate with Wicomico County in the operation and improvementof the Wicomico/Ocean City Regional Airport. adequate off-street parking for new and existing land uses.Utilize traffic system management (TSM) techniques to preserve street capacity,promote smooth traffic flow, and maximize safety. feasibleCoordinate with State and Federal agencies to maintain andimprove long-range local and regional transit options along with demand and financingrequirements. to iImprove pedestrian safety and accommodate pedestrian circulationthroughout town. pedestrian and bicycle connections between the Oceanfront and bayfrontto foster greater pedestrian activity, particularly within the downtown. City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-2

4.19.Incorporate the SHA Route 50 Bridge Replacement project – Alternate 5A into longrange planning and evaluate potential impacts to the local street system.4.20.Identify preliminary design criteria for improving Baltimore Avenue between NorthDivision Street and 15th Street to complete the streetscape improvement project withwider sidewalks, relocated utilities, etc.4.21.Study the location of the southern terminus of the bus system to identify a possiblerelocation of the transit station north of Route 50 in order to reduce downtown trafficcongestion and periodic flooding impacts to operations.4.22.Investigate improvements to the Route 90-Coastal Highway intersection to increasetraffic flow through the intersection.Continue to advocate for the Dualization of Route 90 in long term StateTransportation Plan priorities to improve long term access and emergency route capacity. to work towardCoordinate with Sussex County and Delaware stateagencies to maintain and improve a viable a third point of access to Ocean City fromRoute 54 to the north. in the northern section of the city. areas with acute parking deficiencies and develop financing mechanismsto provide necessary parking. Parking districts, fee in lieu of parking, and other methodsof development and financing should be considered. costs and benefits of design and construction of parking decks or garagesto augment parking in the downtown and to enhance or reinforce downtown streetscapes. and work with the State of Maryland and Worcester County toimprove the flow of traffic on the Rt. 50 corridor gateway into Ocean City. City’s Transportation SystemOcean City’s transportation system has developed locally into a true multi-modal system, madeup of highways, streets, and public transportation, and air travel. The system is still dominated bythe automobile, especially during the summer season, which serves as the most viable means ofaccess from major population centers to the resort community. Traditional rail access,Greyhound Bus service and regional airline flights no longer provide direct connections to OceanCity and are located at least a 30 minute drive away. For the near term, a coordinatedtransportation strategy will continue to emphasize convenient access by private automobile withadequate parking provided ‘where you stay’, and recognize the need for day-trip parkingOcean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-3

facilities. Each of the components of the transportation system is described below.Town Street SystemOcean City’s local street system is simple in layout. One major median divided 6-lane arterial,Coastal Highway (MD Rt. 52850), accommodates the bulk of north-south movement. Northsouth movement in the Downtown area is also accommodated on Baltimore Avenue and St.Louis Avenue. Short east-west streets provide property access and provide connections betweenthe Ocean and Bayfront. The modified grid system is simple but is called on to work hard tomeet seasonal demand.Arterial roads such as Coastal Highway, portions of Baltimore Avenue (S. 1st Street to 15thStreet), and several cross streets (1st, 9th, 15th) are owned and maintained by the Maryland StateHighway Administration (SHA). 63 miles of local streets, 38 miles of storm drains, and 15miles of alley are owned and maintained by the Town of Ocean City with approximately 2-3million annually budgeted for repaving and repairs. In recent years, local revenue sharingreceived from the Ocean Downs Casino in Worcester County has been directed to public streetsand utilities.Primary access to the island is provided by two bridges, one near the town’s southern tip, theHarry W. Kelley Bridge (Route 50), and the other at Ocean City’s midpoint, the Route 90Bridge. Both serve the primary east-west highway, Route 50. The Route 90 Bridge also providesaccess from Route 50 and Route 113, a major north-south highway.Two secondary access roads feed in from Delaware. Route 54 links Coastal Highway to Route113 via Selbyville. A two lane secondary highway, Route 54 meanders through severalcommunities before reaching Route 113. Often during storms this route is flooded. The othersecondary access is Route 1 which is the extension of Coastal Highway northward along theDelaware beaches and merging in Milford, Delaware with Route 113. Often during storms theseroutes are flooded.Coastal HighwayCoastal Highway (MD 528) serves as the main arterial running from 33rd Street to the Delawareline. Due to the narrowness of the island, it is the only continuous north—south route in OceanCity. Coastal Highway consists of three 11 foot wide travel lanes northbound and southbound, a14 foot wide bus/bike lane in each direction, a 14 foot median and left turn lane, and a five footsidewalk on each side.Parking is not permitted on Coastal Highway and curb cuts for new development are discouragedor carefully located. Over the past 10 years, several improvements have been made to CoastalHighway. The signal system is fully computerized to ensure the smoothest and most efficientOcean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-4

traffic flow possible and additional turning lanes from northbound Coastal Highway haveimproved traffic flow onto Route 90.Annual average daily traffic volumes (AADT) along Coastal Highway have remained ratherconstant in recent years and have actually shown some decline. Table 4-1 identifies AADTvolumes for the past five yearsover 5 year periods from 1980 to 2015., at Several locations areidentified on Coastal Highway at the DE line, above and below the Route 90 bridge intersectionand near the north end of Philadelphia Avenue at 14th Street, as well as the Route 50 bridge.Traffic flow along Coastal Highway varies dramatically with the season. Off-season flow isunimpeded; summer brings heavy volumes. In-season traffic has both weekly and daily peaks.Weekly peaks occur on Saturdays, and are partially due to “check-in and out” of vacationers. Atthis time, thousands of visitors are all leaving and arriving at about the same time. During suchperiods traffic volumes can range from between 32,000 and 38,000 vehicles per day. Congestionalong the corridor during such periods can make access to the route difficult causing backupsalong the Route 90 and Route 50 corridors.In-season daily peaks on Coastal Highway occur in the early evening for southbound traffic andseveral hours later northbound. During the earlier period vacationers head to the Boardwalkamusement centers, restaurants, and other night spots. Later, as everyone migrates back, trafficpeaks heading north. Also, rainy weather causes a peak in traffic conditions. As a rainy dayalternative to the beach, many go shopping, thereby causing congestion.A major safety, stormwater management and beautification project was completed by the StateHighway Administration from 9th Street to the Delaware state line during the 1990's. Thisinvolved the installation of landscaped medians in Coastal Highway with signalized breaks aboutevery three blocks. This restriction and control of turning movements has greatly improvedtraffic flow, reduced the number of accidents and has also improved pedestrian safety. SHA iscurrently proceeding with a phase one dune-style median fence down the center of CoastalHighway from Route 90 to Convention Center Drive to improve pedestrian safety and use ofcrosswalks.In 2004, the Town completed renovation of the 94th Street corridor and 142nd Street. Theseprojects included replacement of metal storm drains, horizontal alignment changes, andlandscape improvements.Philadelphia AvenuePhiladelphia Avenue is a continuation of Coastal Highway (MD 528) from 33rd Street to South1st Street. It is one way southbound from 9th Street to South 1st Street. Philadelphia Avenue’sconfiguration varies. Generally it has three southbound lanes with parking on both sides. It flaresto four lanes at the intersection with Route 50 at North Division Street. In October, 2002, theTown initiated a two-year project to improve an eight-block corridor of Philadelphia Avenue,Ocean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-5

from North 1st Street to South 1st Street. Improvements included new sidewalks, concretepavers, street lighting, landscaping, and patterned pedestrian crosswalks.Average Annual Daily Traffic counts for 201503 in the vicinity of 20th Street indicate an annualaverage daily traffic flow of 22,25029,571 vehicles per day. As in the case of State maintainedportions of the route, in-season traffic volumes along the route can exceed 35,000 vehicles daily.Baltimore AvenueBaltimore Avenue extends from South 2nd Street to 33rd Street between the Boardwalk andPhiladelphia Avenue. From South 2nd Street, north to 33rd Street it is MD 378. BaltimoreAvenue serves as the “Main Street” of “Downtown” Ocean City, and also serves as thesecondary north-south traffic mover in the southern part of town. Baltimore Avenue does nothave a dedicated bus lane to support transit service. Therefore when peak season congestionoccurs on this route, bus traffic is caught in the traffic. Transit system alternatives for thedowntown are currently being explored to determine how to alleviate this condition.In 1993, the southern portion of Baltimore Avenue, from Caroline Street to South 2nd Street,was completely renovated with upgraded underground utilities, landscaping, decorative pavingand street furniture. Similar improvements were subsequently made through the 1990's from 15thto 33rd Streets. These projects have improved both the function and appearance along thecorridor and have served to spur private investment in the area.The remaining portion of Baltimore Avenue from Caroline Street to 15th Street has beenidentified as a priority for streetscape improvements including wider sidewalks, undergroundutilities and pavement reconstruction. Existing right of way along the east side of the existingroadway is owned by the Town of Ocean City, while the roadway is maintained by SHA, whichwill require a coordinated project design.Other Road ImprovementsIn 2004, the Town completed renovation of the 94th Street corridor and 142nd Street. Theseprojects included replacement of metal storm drains, horizontal alignment changes, andlandscape improvements.In 2014, St. Louis Avenue improvements were completed from 1st Street to 17th Street to rebuildthe road pavement, install new water and sewer mains, replace sidewalks and provide bike lanepavement markings in both directions.Other street reconstruction is underway in the Little Salisbury neighborhood that will alsoreplace storm drains, sidewalks and underground utilities. Each street improvement includesmore than just repaving to upgrade all of the infrastructure located in the public right of waywhenever possible.Ocean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-6

Intercity RoadsRoute 50Route 50 is the main east-west route from the Washington and Baltimore area to the EasternShore and Ocean City. Over the past several decades it has been improved by the construction ofbypasses and new bridges and lane improvements to the point that there are now at least fourlanes for the entire length of the corridor. Turning lane improvements and upgrade to six lanesin selected reaches of the Route 50 corridor have further ameliorated congestion along thecorridor. The completion of the Salisbury bypass in 1999 was among the most significantimprovements to improve traffic flow to Ocean City in the lower Eastern Shore region in recentyears. Average annual traffic volumes on Route 50 entering Ocean City range fromapproximately 2321,000 to 24,500 32,000 depending on the location of the station countover thelast 5 years (see figure 4-1). However, in-season traffic volumes during the summer range from43,000 to 52,000 vehicles daily.The 71-year-old, 1.5-mile-long US 50 Crossing (Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge) includes a140-foot-long draw span. To provide access to and from the commercial center of Ocean City, asafe and efficient crossing of US 50 is essential. The bridge, which is eligible for listing on theNational Register of Historic Places, is in fair condition. SHA completed its most recent repairsin January 2013. Long term maintenance and replacement of the Route 50 Bridge into OceanCity was studied in 2013 with location and design plans approved for a north parallel bridgereplacement (Alt. 5A). Funding for the bridge replacement may not be available for at least 20years, however the potential impact on peak season access during construction is a significantconcern.Substantial development along Route 50 in Worcester County west of Ocean City has causedincreased congestion in recent years and will likely limit the highway capacity for beach accessin the future. Every effort should be made by the State to manage access and highway capacityand by the City and County to monitor and manage growth to address this growing problem.A vital part of the Route 50 access to Ocean City is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. In 2004 anumber of structural problems with bridge components have required repairs prompting periodiccongestion. Improvements and repairs are currently underway. Given growth trends in trafficvolume crossing this span (approximately 3% annually), it is important that the capacity ofcurrent spans to accommodate traffic flows be evaluated to assure continued access to theEastern Shore of Maryland and the Town of Ocean City. In 2015, State funding was approvedby the Governor to complete a 4 year study of a third Chesapeake Bay crossing.Substantial development along Route 50 in Worcester County west of Ocean City has alsocaused increased congestion in recent years. Every effort should be made by the State to manageOcean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-7

access and highway capacity and by the City and County to monitor and manage growth toaddress this growing problem.Route 90Route 90 is a limited access two lane road linking Route 50 to Ocean City at 62nd Street. Thistwelve mile expressway is the primary access to the northern part of Ocean City. As shown infigure 4-1, the average annual daily traffic volume on the Expressway entering Ocean City was17,22516,402 in 2015. Peak volumes during the summer months are lower than those on Route50, since the route provides only 2 lanes, and range from 28,000 to 32,000 daily.The safety of Route 90 has been questioned due to the number of serious accidents over theyears. Various improvements to Route 90 have been studied, and several safety improvementshave been made over the years by the State Highway Administration. Larger scaleimprovements, including dualization and the construction of a new road and bridge enteringOcean City somewhere north of 100th Street, have been considered., but at this time no fundingis available nor anticipated.The City should continuehas placed a priority on pursuing this the Route 90 dualization projectbecause of its many advantages: reducing trafficincreasing capacity on Route 90 and enhancingits safety; creating another entranceimproved emergency access into and out of Ocean City in theevent of an accident, thus reducing traffic congestion at the existing entrancesproviding a viablemeans of access when Route 50 is limited by bridge construction or future development; andproviding an additional expanded hurricane evacuation route.Route 113/13Route 113 links the coastal areas of the Eastern Shore with Route 13, the main north-southinterstate travel route on the Shore. Diverging from Route 13 at Dover, Delaware, it swings eastserving Milford. Georgetown. Selbyville, Berlin, Snow Hill and reconnects to Route 13 atPocomoke City where it continues south through Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunneland Norfolk, VA. In conjunction with Route 13, Route 113 expands Ocean City’s market areafor vacationers within a three hour drive, and improves both emergency and supply thenorth links Ocean City to Pennsylvania and the other Middle Atlantic States. To the south, itlinks Delmarva with Virginia and points south.Like Route 90, Route 113 has experienced many serious accidents over the past several yearsand safety improvements are needed are being completed as the top regional priority for StateSource: Maryland Department of Transportation, State Highway Administration, Traffic Volume Map, Revised 5-21-2004funding. In order to handle the present and future traffic volumes safety, the existing two lanesections of Route 113, Route 90 and Route 589 should be widened to four lanes.Ocean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-8

ParkingAn important component of the transportation system is parking. Parking has been a problem inOcean City for many years, especially in the Downtown area. Use of street parking bydaytrippers and boardwalk-oriented traffic, downtown employees, and the limited off-streetparking provided by early historic development patterns all combine to create difficultconditions. Double parking by delivery trucks using parking area for off-street loading functionsfurther complicates the situation.Public parking has changed over the past several years with removal of street parking fromCoastal Highway and Baltimore Avenue south of 15th Street, and the addition of new publicparking lots. The metering of street parking changes occasionally in location and numbers. Withfew exceptions, metered parking is limited to locations in the downtown area. Table 4-2provides an inventory of public parking lots including over 3,000 spaces which are locatedthroughout the Town. In addition, private vacant properties are often used for temporary parkinglots during peak season periods.Recent Prior study of Downtown Parking conditions indicates that conflicts between parking andtraffic movement are apparent at the Inlet Parking lot. Often the lot is full and unaware driversbecome stuck in traffic seeking access to parking and constrain traffic flow. Advancenotification to drivers by remote sign panel indicating the lot is full or has only a limited numberof spaces hascould improved this condition. Additional real time information for availability ofparking in all public lots has been proposed.It continues to be the practice of the Mayor and City Council to purchase property and developpublic parking lots when the need and opportunity exist. In conjunction with the 100th Street lot,the city’s first residential parking district was created in the Caine Keys II subdivision on thebayside across from high rise row. This district reserves street parking for the residents of theneighborhood, and the 100th Street lot provides the needed visitor parking spaces in the area.The parking district concept and use of existing parking lots for parking decks or garages shouldbe studied to determine their cost-effectiveness for use in Ocean City, particularly in thedowntown area. It is very possible that reductions in the parking requirements of the zoning codecoupled with the establishment of a parking district, fee in lieu of parking, and provision of morepublic parking could improve the parking situation downtown and support ongoingredevelopment.In 2015 Ocean City implemented a trial program for EV charging stations at two public parkinglots (Convention Center and 4th Street). A third location is proposed at Northside Park. Manyspecial events in Ocean City are organized around car shows and clubs including a recentgathering of Tesla electric vehicles which highlighted a demand for this enhanced service.Ocean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-9

Public TransportationInvestments in public transportation services in Ocean City have proved to be among the mosteffective means of improving the overall quality of the transportation system. Suchimprovements have proved an effective means of moving a greater number of people throughoutthe community in spite of limited land for highway system improvements. Such investmentshave permitted connection between the Island and greater use of off-Island lands to meet parkingdemand in satellite locations and have increased system ridership. The primary transit systemsinclude the Municipal Bus System and Boardwalk Tram.Municipal Bus SystemOcean City operates a municipal bus system comprised of fixed routes and a dial-a-ride programfor the elderly and handicapped. From a total of 1358 vehicles in 1996the early 1980’s, thecontinually expanding bus fleet in 201505 will includes 6769 vehicles. The fleet includes 4864forty foot Thomas buses, 8 thirty-five foot buses, 8 new rubber tired trolleys scheduled to beonline in late 2005, 2 sixty foot articulating buses, and 3 para-transit vans. The bus systemoperates year-round, twenty four hours per day. In the height of the summer season the busesoperate on Coastal Highway at 7 minute headways/intervals. During the less congested hours andtimes of year the fleet is smaller and intervals between buses longer; however, there is alwaysservice provided.In 1991, the fare system changed from 75 cents per ride to a 1.00 all day fare. As shown inTable 4-3, ridership more than doubled in the first year (from 1.1million to 2.8 million annually),and with some exceptions continued to increase each year through 2001. The current (201505)all day fare of 32.00 was instituted in 201202 and has not appeared to deter ridership, althoughridership as dropped modestly over the past several years. .Efforts to improve the busexperience, reliability and customer service included increased bus deployment by 24 percent in2015 resulting in a 4% increase in passenger count. On July 4th alone the bus carried 41,000passengers and during the two-day Air Show in June, the numbers reached over 70,000passengers. (Source: article from 7/29/15, E. Chappell)Future opportunities to expand and improve the municipal bus system include Increased cooperation with neighboring transit systems including Shore Transit inWorcester County and the Delaware Area Rapid Transit system in Sussex County Additional service to new hotel and commercial development in West Ocean City toreduce the parking demand of ‘day-trip’ visitors Continued coordination of private shuttle services from expanding campgroundfacilities in the County Evaluate potential relocation of the downtown transit center to reduce trafficcongestion delays south of Route 50, and implementation of a downtown shuttle circuitOcean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-10

routePotential conversion of bus fleet to CNG fuel to improve efficiency and provideenvironmental benefitsBoardwalk TramAn important part of the Ocean City public transportation system is the train (or tram) servicethat traverses the length of the boardwalk. While serving an important transportation systemfunction moving over 400,000 people during the summer season, the tram also providesimportant entertainment value to the Town. The trams are also used during Winterfest atNorthside Park to provide a musical tour of holiday light displays.Recent Ongoing evaluation of the Downtown Area Transportation system indicates that currentTram operations can result in pedestrian/tram conflicts over the entire length of the boardwalk.Since stops are in response to the interest of passengers, the frequency of un-regulated stopsdelays operation and schedule/headways. The Town should consider establishing designatedscheduled stops every two or three blocks, integrated with street intersections that are subject toheavier pedestrian traffic to improve this condition. Future relocation of Tram operationalfacilities may create the need for additional boardwalk improvements to support access andcirculation changes.Additional Transit System ConsiderationsA “Technical Transit Study” was prepared by Craine and Associates in 1996 which provided anumber of recommendations for improvements to transit service. Many of these improvementshave been implemented since that time and others have proved not feasible over time. Thefollowing provides an overview of the ridership profile and those recommended measures in the1996 study which have been implemented since that time. It also identifies currentrecommendations provided as part of the ongoing Downtown Transportation System study beingprepared by Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. as well as recommendations based on discussionwith Transportation Department staff in 2005. These recommendations are provided by specifictransit system topic areas which include: Ridership profileFundingBus operationsMaintenanceService Extensions and CoordinationFares Analysis of the shared bus/bicycle lane ADA Paratransit The potential for automationOcean City, Maryland Comprehensive PlanChapter 4: Transportation4-11

Ridership ProfileBased on the 1996 studyprior studies, the typical Ocean City transit rider: Is a vacationer (67%).Travels either to or from the area between Inlet and 33rd Street (69%)Travels either to the boardwalk (25%) or to return to their hotel, condo, or home (3l%).Makes a single round trip (43%).Has an extremely positive (43%) or somewhat positive (38%) attitude toward the bus.Would use the bus more often if it was: less crowded (51%), had more frequent service(50%), was faster (33%), or had fewer stops (31%). (Multiple responses were permittedto this question.)Would have driven (42%) or walked (32%) if they had not used transit.Transit

improve the flow of traffic on the Rt. 50 corridor gateway into Ocean City. Ocean City’s Transportation System Ocean City’s transportation system has developed locally into a true multi-modal system, made up of highways, streets, and public transportation, and air