Ocean City beachgoers are warned to be mindful of pedestrians

The Coastal Highway median fencing, when complete, is designed to mimic fencing commonly used beachside along sand dunes. (Graphic rendering courtesy State Highway Administration)
The Coastal Highway median fencing in Ocean City, when complete, is designed to mimic fencing commonly used beachside along sand dunes. (Graphic rendering courtesy Maryland State Highway Administration) (Graphic rendering courtesy State Highway Administration)
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and Maryland Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Jim Ports pose with Cheswick, the Lifeguard Crab, who counsels pedestrians and bicyclists to https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/walksmart/ "Save Yourself!"
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and Maryland Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Jim Ports pose with Cheswick, the Lifeguard Crab, who counsels pedestrians and bicyclists to “Save Yourself!” (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
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The Coastal Highway median fencing, when complete, is designed to mimic fencing commonly used beachside along sand dunes. (Graphic rendering courtesy State Highway Administration)
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and Maryland Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Jim Ports pose with Cheswick, the Lifeguard Crab, who counsels pedestrians and bicyclists to https://oceancitymd.gov/oc/walksmart/ "Save Yourself!"

STEVENSVILLE, Md. — When getting footloose and carefree at the beach, don’t forget pedestrian road rules, officials warn as they gear up for a busy Memorial Day weekend.

“You need to obey the laws. You need to use crosswalks. You need to use the signaled intersections,” Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said while expressing condolences to the family of a man fatally struck May 21 by a car in the resort town.

The 23-year-old Pennsylvania man who was killed was not in a crosswalk. A 50-year-old Waldorf, Maryland, man is charged with drunken driving in the fatal crash.

Meehan discussed Ocean City’s Walk Smart campaign with WTOP at Tuesday’s safety event, sponsored by AAA Mid-Atlantic and held near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Recognizing that people on vacation can be easily distracted, Meehan suggested that friends can help one another stay cognizant of where they are and what they’re doing.

“Make sure everybody with you is safe,” Meehan said. “It’s the buddy system as it is with a lot of things. You can have fun and be safe at the same time.”

By this time next year, median fencing and improved lighting should be in place between the northbound and southbound lanes for Coastal Highway between 62nd and 26th streets, according to Maryland’s State Highway Administration.

That’s an area of heavy vehicular, bus, pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

“What we’re going to do here is try to get people to cross at appropriate locations where there is safe amenities,” Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman Charlie Gischlar said, “to get people from point A to point B safely.”

There are traffic and pedestrian countdown signals at most Ocean City intersections crossing Coastal Highway.

The dual fencing and lighting project, initially planned for this year, was scrapped because contractor bids were determined to be too expensive, Gischlar said.

Instead, the work will be included in a repaving project set to begin in late September or early October.

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