Town hopes lighting up the alley will make streets safer for residents and visitors
A new pilot program has been launched to curb crime in one area of downtown Ocean City. Washington Lane is one block from the boardwalk, and is an area known for crime in the summer months. A simple solution could help the area reduce its crime and make it a safer area to walk and bike.
That solution is light fixtures.
Through a program developed by the Ocean City Development Corporation, and partnering with the Police Department and Town of Ocean City, they are hoping reimbursements for new light fixtures in downtown alleyways can keep these streets safe during summer time.
In turn, a safer Ocean City can mean more tourism coming in, meaning a larger tax base for the city, and possibly a bump for local real estate.
Ocean City Police identified Washington Lane, from Fourth to Tenth Street, as a problem area for crime during the summer season.
The hope is, with more lighting down these alleys, it will be a preventative measure for wrong-doers.
But the program is not just a way to stop crime, but also to keep pedestrians and those on bikes safe.
"At night right now the alleys, generally, are darker. By adding that light also increases just general safety to those bicyclists," said OCDC executive director Glenn Irwin.
We're told there has already been interest shown from private property owners. Owners who work with the program can get a reimbursement through the program of fifty percent of the costs, up to $500 total.
This is the latest in a string of projects begun by the Ocean City Development Corporation.
By just taking a look around town, you'll see a variety of other projects that they have been a part of, like the white marlin statue, or the art you see on utility boxes.
They also put on special events at Sunset Park, and are involved in the renovation of almost 200 homes in the Town of Ocean City.
They can't do all of it alone. The OCDC is a non-profit that functions through grants and fundraisers.
The OCDC is planning to bring in developers on other select properties in downtown. If you are a home or business owner on Washington Lane between Fourth and Tenth Streets and are interested in their light fixture program, you can call them at 410.289.7739.