Drivers going into Ocean City from Route 50 will find it involved, to say the least next Wednesday afternoon, when the Maryland State Firemen’s Association holds its annual parade along Baltimore as part of its four-day convention.
This year’s parade will be held at 1 p.m. and beginning at noon traffic entering Ocean City via the Route 50 bridge will be directed to one of two routes. Vehicles crossing the bridge in the left-hand lane will turn left onto Philadelphia Avenue and travel north in a coned-off lane to Ninth Street. Resort officials advise motorists to use this route, as traffic should flow more quickly in the coned-off lane.
Vehicles crossing the bridge in the right-hand lane must turn right at Talbot Street and travel north on St. Louis Avenue. Motorists traveling southbound on Philadelphia Avenue will be directed to the far two right lanes beginning at Ninth Street.
To accommodate the altered traffic patterns, parking will be prohibited from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the day of the parade at the following locations: All of Philadelphia Avenue, from Ninth Street to North Division Street; the west side of St. Louis Avenue, between Second and Third streets; the east side of St. Louis Avenue, between First and Second streets; the south side of Second Street between St. Louis and Philadelphia avenues; and the north and south side of First Street between St. Louis and Philadelphia avenues. Vehicles not removed prior to 10 a.m. will be towed.
The bus route also will be temporarily altered from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the day of the parade. City buses normally traveling south to the downtown area will go no further than North First Street, where they will turn right to St. Louis Avenue. The buses will then return north along St. Louis Avenue to 15th Street to rejoin the normal route to the Delaware line.
There are no bus stands along St. Louis Avenue; those who need to catch a bus must wave to a driver. Those waiting for northbound buses on St. Louis Ave. between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., are asked to wait on the east side of the street. Normal bus service should resume after 6 p.m. The fare costs $3 to ride all day or $1 per boarding.
The parade will begin promptly at 1 p.m. and travel north on Baltimore Avenue, from Wicomico Street to Ninth Street. No traffic will be permitted on Baltimore Avenue. Traffic leaving the inlet parking lot will be allowed to proceed northbound on Philadelphia Avenue, turning west on Somerset Street and north on St. Louis Avenue.
The inlet parking lot will remain open to the public during the event. Employees in the downtown area should use the West Ocean City Park and Ride on Route 50, where parking is free. Shuttle bus service costs $1 ride all day.
Ocean City shuttle buses make regular runs between the Park and Ride and downtown Ocean City, where passengers will be dropped off at St. Louis Avenue and First Street during the parade (the Transit Center on South Division Street in downtown Ocean City is not able to operate during the parade.) From 6 a.m. to 3 a.m., buses will run every 20 minutes.