Ocean City officials are working with the State Highway Administration to improve pedestrian safety along the resort's main traffic artery: Coastal Highway.
Accidents involving pedestrians have gone up substantially in Ocean City since 2008. That's shifting the city's major traffic concern from easing summertime tourist gridlock to encouraging use of crosswalks when crossing the eight-lane highway.
City officials have singled out a 20-block stretch in midtown Ocean City as the primary need for a major first step that will include a reduced speed limit to 35 miles per hour starting May 1, and a physical barrier along the coastal highway's median.
The barrier could come in the form of a rod iron or aluminum fence, low-level shrubbery or a combination of both. The city hopes what it will move all the pedestrian traffic to the crosswalk. Since 2008, 41 accidents and 1 fatality involving pedestrians and vehicles have occurred in the 20-block zone. Most happened at night, and almost half of them involved alcohol.