Local news

Ocean City’s New Fence Saving Lives Throughout the Summer

Over a five-year period, from 2012 to 2017, the fencing market grew approximately 6.2% annually across the United States. Fences are great for improving residential property values, providing security for commercial businesses, and even saving vacationers’ and Ocean City residents’ lives. 

According to Delmarva Now, a new multimillion-dollar pedestrian safety project proved itself successful throughout a busy summer season. A 2.7-mile long median fence was built, which cuts through Coastal Highway between the Route 90 bridge and Convention Center Drive, in order to keep people safe along the dangerous stretch of highway.

Much more pedestrians have been properly using the highway’s crosswalks, rather than taking the risk and crossing the highway as vehicles speed by.

“Driving up and down Coastal Highway, there’s a noticeable difference in that you don’t see pedestrians trying to cross traffic without a crosswalk,” said Lindsay Richard, public information officer for the Ocean City Police Department. “We at the police department feel that the median fence has been a success. Even if just one pedestrian collision is prevented because of the fence, it is a success.”

In total, the safety project initially cost $4.5 million, but ended up totaling near $8.4 million by completion. In addition to the median fence, improved signage and other infrastructure improvements were complicated as part of the Maryland State Highway Administration’s pedestrian safety campaign.

Though the fence has lead to some complaints and concerns over aesthetics, it has clearly accomplished its goals throughout its first tummy season. Pedestrian collisions in the known troublesome and dangerous areas where the fence was installed were down from last year.

“We have seen a decrease in the area of the fence and have seen virtually no pedestrian collisions at mid-block thanks to the fence,” Richard said. “The goal of the fence was to deter pedestrians from crossing Coastal Highway outside of an intersection and that goal has most definitely been achieved.”

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