Ocean City Making Roads Safer For Pedestrians
Signs were hanging up high and sitting down low.
And there was even a mascot at an Ocean City press conference.
The town of ocean city going all out for the launch of its "Walk Smart" campaign.
"We noticed a couple of years ago we had some pedestrian accidents," said Mayor Richard Meehan. "We knew we had to be very proactive and make some steps forward to improve that."
Over the last six years there have been more than two hundred pedestrian collisions on the streets of Ocean City. Three of them of have been fatal. 33 of those incidents happened in 2014.
So the town is running its "Smart Walk" campaign to educate pedestrians, cyclist and drivers on where they should walk and ride.
Pops Robinson has a good view of Coastal Highway from his porch, where he usually sits and watches people run across the road against oncoming traffic. He believes "Walk Smart" is much needed.
"People are in a rush to go nowhere. They just don't pay attention."
"I don't think they care about the sign," said Anthony Nguyen. They just think about the cars or motorcycle coming."
Gail Mansell says she used to work at an area hospital and would see many pedestrians involved in "needless accidents." She's happy the program is back.
"It's a much needed attention to potential accidents and avoiding those accidents," she said.
Ocean City police say they haven't had any problems this year with pedestrian fatalities. But with 200,000 people coming in and out of ocean city every week, they want people to be safe. So in addition to signage promoting "Walk Safe," the Maryland Department of Transportation has invested more than a million dollars in road improvements. That investment includes new crosswalks, street median lighting, and road signs for pedestrians and cyclist; and new crosswalk handicap ramps.
"The OC Walk Smart campaign is working to save lives and make Ocean City streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists," said Deputy Transportation Secretary Schrader. "With pedestrian-related collisions increasing slightly last year, we must intensify our efforts to keep our roadways safe for everyone."
Ocean City police say they have been educating people on the campaign. But if pedestrian safety becomes a problem they'll definitely begin handing out citations to traffic violators. And if you do the crime, you'll have to pay a fine of $90. Ouch.