Ocean City Inlet Parking Rates Increase for July 4th

A quiet Inlet parking lot at Ocean City before July 4th (Photo: WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md.- It's the beginning of meter season in Ocean City, which means people who visit the resort town will soon have to search high and low for parking once beach season picks up.

"It's a sign that not only is the weather heating up, which we're all excited for, but we're going to start seeing those crowds that we expect here in Ocean City," said Jessica Waters, communications director for the Town of Ocean City.

This year's start to meter season is arriving alongside Ocean City's recently developed Parking Task Force.

The town says parking is at the forefront of their responsibilities. They're exploring everything from expanding paid parking, encouraging people to use parking apps, and even developing a parking authority to help with large crowds during peak season. 

The town says there have also been talks of a possible parking garage as well, though the town says at its last meeting, it was decided that a parking garage may not be feasible. 

Nonetheless, some say they'd still like to see solutions.

Wendy Dibuo said, "Parking can be crazy during the beach season. Lots of times it depends on the weather. If it's raining, more people are riding around, but you have to be very creative sometimes to find a place to park in Ocean City."

Anna Dolle Bushnell, the president of Dolle's Candyland in Ocean City, says, "I think that if they promoted the Park and Ride, it might actually help, because it's really a really nice walk to come over the bridge, it only takes about 20 minutes."

She says this may help with overcrowding during peak season. 

The town says no changes are set to be implemented this season, and there may be no changes made in the future that stems from their Parking Task Force--but this meter season gives them a chance to evaluate parking, and present possible solutions if is assessed there are parking problems. 

The town says they will be considering "are we doing the right thing, should we expand, are our rates competitive, all of those things are being looked at," Waters said.

In addition to potential parking solutions that the Ocean City Task Force is exploring--other changes that are happening this season regardless are changes to parking rates in the Inlet during the Fourth of July holiday.

The rate will increase from $3 to $5 to help increase turnover. 

 

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