Ocean City considers changes to prevent a boardwalk truck attack

WASHINGTON — Town leaders are considering beefing up security along Ocean City’s popular boardwalk, now that terrorists who drive cars or trucks into crowds have become a worldwide concern.

“Unauthorized vehicles are prohibited on the boardwalk, as I’m sure everyone knows. However, we do not physically control that access,” City Engineer Terry McGean said at a City Council work session this week.

McGean said the town’s Police Commission asked leaders to look at ways to better restrict vehicle access to the boardwalk.

He suggests new barriers, such as bollards and gates, be added at every vehicle access point.

There are currently 33 of these points; three more will be added during this offseason.

“These barriers, in order to do the job that I think the mayor and council envisions them doing, need to be able to stop a medium-sized truck, such as a U-Haul,” McGean said.

He added that the barriers need to be able to hold back a truck of that size traveling between 30 and 40 mph.

The total cost of the barriers is estimated at more than $1 million.

So far, the council has agreed to spend $80,000 to hire a design firm.

McGean would like to have a combination of temporary and permanent barriers in place at all of the boardwalk’s access points by this coming summer, and finish installing permanent barriers in time for the summer of 2019.

Boardwalk AccessMap by wtopweb onScribd

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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