Voices From The Readers
Don't Relocate Terminal
Relocating the Greyhound Bus terminal from 2nd Street in Ocean City to the Park and Ride in West Ocean City is a very bad idea. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I suspect that those in charge of this decision are people who drive cars and didn't really think things through as a person who actually uses Greyhound would.
Allow me to address this proposal from the perspective of someone who does not drive. It's all well and good to proclaim that moving the Greyhound terminal to West Ocean City is a good thing, but the reasons being given to justify the move are awkward at best.
First of all, it will not be a seamless connection at the Park and Ride and it will not improve service for all parties. I generally use the Greyhound bus for travel during the off season when the Park and Ride buses are NOT running. Right now, when the Greyhound pulls into the 2nd Street station, I have a seamless connection to an Ocean City bus stop a block away, either coming or going. Move the station to West Ocean City and from mid-October to early-May when there is no connecting Park and Ride bus, and I'm up a creek without a bus, so to speak.
Greyhound will pay to have an employee at the Park and Ride for Greyhound ticketing, at no cost to the taxpayer, so there will be a presence at the station. Is this going to be year •€˜round? Because during the off season there is no ticketing agent at 2nd street. You pay for your ticket when you get to Salisbury. It's worked that way for years. It's really not a big deal. And at no cost to the taxpayer.
The Park and Ride has restrooms and outdoor lighting, making it 'less scary in the middle of the night' for the international students that, for some reason, are perceived to be the majority of Greyhound bus passengers. Which leads to 'Though they will now have to catch a connecting Ocean City bus or walk to get into town•€¦ the move will be a positive one overall.' Really? Suggesting that walking into or out of town across the Route 50 in the middle of the night is less scary than the 2nd Street Greyhound station is•€¦ preposterous. Have you seen the amount of luggage a long distance Greyhound passenger has? My goodness. I take the 3:30 Ocean City bus home every day from work and I see the people who have just come in on the 3 p.m. Greyhound. Suitcases, lots of them, and heavy. And this is in April. And I see it in March and February etc. 'Welcome to Ocean City. It's over there. Across the bridge. Start walking. Have a good day.' That's not very hospitable.
Remember when the Route 50 bridge was closed for repairs? The Greyhound did a simple detour and came into town via the Route 90 bridge. With the station out in West Ocean City, the next time there are bridge issues, walking will not be an option. Even if one tried to hike it to the Route 90 bridge, it is closed to pedestrian traffic. I think the taxi cab companies are the ones who are going to love this move. Really I do. Is there a pay phone at the Park and Ride facility? Because we're going to need to call for a cab if they are not already lined up and waiting. Not everyone has a cell phone and even if we do, sometimes the battery dies.
Apparently all of this has been very hush hush, behind the scenes and all that, since the only previous reference to the move that I can find is from the Ocean City Council closed work session on March 10, 2009. Perhaps there is something else going on? If it's because many in town consider the 2nd Street Greyhound station to be an eyesore, somebody get me a couple of buckets of paint. I'll volunteer my time to spruce that building up. I'll even weed, plant some flowers, anything to keep the Greyhound bus coming into Ocean City proper.
If the choice is between having Greyhound come no closer than Salisbury or having it stop in West OC, I will take West OC. But if there is a way to keep it coming across the bridge and into town so it remains truly convenient, I would love to see more options discussed. Perhaps the Greyhound could come into the downtown city bus terminal at South Division Street. There are restrooms there too and shoot, catching an Ocean City bus from that point couldn't be easier. I would love it.
Public transpiration is good, it's needed and it's green. The powers that be should make it easier for the public to access and use such public transportation, not just in this instance but everywhere. 'Relax. Leave the driving to us.'
Restrict All Car Usage
The Ocean City Council and the City Manager are attempting to reduce spending in the 09-10 fiscal year budget. One source of savings is to have city-owned vehicles remain in Ocean City. A great idea. I am opposed to city-owned vehicles being taken home for these reasons: 1. Some city owned vehicles are permitted to be taken home as a perk for employment. Why is a perk needed? 2. Take-home vehicles are costly in terms of gas consumption and mileage accrued especially since the city has 70 city owned vehicles. Some employees live 20 or more miles from Ocean City. 3. It is reasonable to expect employees to drive their own vehicle to work. Most employees do. 4. If a vehicle is used for emergencies, the employee can pick it up at the city lot.As a source of savings in the 09-10 budget, let's keep our city-owned vehicles in Ocean City.
Governor Has All
The Power In State
With all the hype going on around balancing the state budget no one saw the easiest solution.
One of the easiest ways would be to disband the state legislature and just let Gov O'Malley run the whole state. Think about the money we would save.
Some may read this and say that is ridiculous, absurd, crazy. Well what is happening in Annapolis now is not far from this.
How many times during the last session have we seen the governor come out big time behind some bill, one of the houses vote against it then all of a sudden after some tirades by the governor, the vote be taken the next day and all of a sudden the bill passes.
With the so-called leadership in the House and State Senate acting as O'Malley lapdogs quivering at the thought of disappointing him why do we need them.
This has gotten to the point of the president of the Senate actually dusting off some 100-year-old rule to get a bill to the floor after the committee voted it down. Why because the governor wanted the bill?
Miller and Busch, once both independent strong voices, have now been hushed and their leadership a joke.
So let's save the money and let the governor just run the state. Welcome to 'O'malleyland.'
No To Electronic Sign
We recently learned that Director Marty Clarke has suggested that the Board consider the erection of an electronic billboard on Route 589 to promote events occurring within Ocean Pines. While we recognize the need to boost revenue at our venues through better publicity, we reject the notion that the best way is through yet another distracting, tacky, electronic message board. Has any other residential community resorted to such classless self-promotion? We don't think so.
We feel that the electronic message boards which have been popping up all over for various commercial ventures lessen the attractiveness of the areas they "decorate." We are not Ocean City. We are not the Boardwalk. We are not Vegas. We are Ocean Pines, a residential community which, throughout its 40-plus year history, has fought commercial development within our boundaries. Hasn't at least part of this opposition been based on the desire to keep our community free of gaudy advertising?
If the Board believes that advertising on Route 589 is essential to promote our Yacht Club and Golf Course to the general public, then let it be by way of a sign similar to, but larger than, those which appear along Ocean Parkway to publicize so many events. Please do not resort to a multi-colored, computerized, blinking annoyance that does not appropriately or accurately reflect the nature of our community.
Jeanne and Fred Stiehl
Bridge Plans Questioned
The plan for another bridge for Ocean City would remove commercial and residential properties on both sides of the bay. Where will the tourist go to stay and do their shopping of T-shirts and even finding a restaurant or parking?
Back in 1983 when I made Ocean City my home, one George Feehley approached me and asked me to register as a voter. I did. He also was a member of the City Council and suggested that another bridge like the Route 50 one be built. Of course, this never materialized and he was not re-elected to the City Council to continue his efforts.
Now the property needed for such would be triple the cost of back then. Right-a-way on the west side was available then but now businesses and residents have sprouted up. The older residents on the east side, where would they go? Yes and also the rental properties. They would never get another property for the prices of today with what the government would give them. Then again where would the displaced people go. Yes, Ms. Louise Gulyas, your view on the subject concerns the old timers. Those who helped make Ocean City what it is today.
The country is growing today as far as the population goes, but Ocean City only has so much land and at the rate the ocean is growing there is much uncertainty. You can't put two pounds of sugar in a one-pound bag.
There are at present four ways to get into Ocean City via automobile - Routes 50, 90, 54 and 1. The tourists will find a way.
Arthur 'Otts' Trabert