By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(July 5, 2018) For those concerned about parking at the White Horse Park Boat Launch, the Ocean Pines Board has issued a call for volunteers to help collect data to determine the extent of the problem.
Director Colette Horn, during a June 23 public meeting, discussed a marine advisory committee effort to oversee data collection “regarding the number of vehicles accessing the white horse boat launch during the current boating season.”
She said the board would use the information to evaluate use of the amenity.
According to Horn, association members complained about insufficient parking and excessive wait times to use the launches during spring and summer.
The six-person marine advisory committee was asked to help collect information, but the task of counting cars each weekend through Labor Day was deemed too large for them to handle alone.
“This is the challenge that we’re going to have – getting data that is useful and accurately reflects usage and congestion problems,” Horn said.
Association President Doug Parks said it was a “reasonable pushback from the marine advisory committee.”
“You don’t want three or four people spending their entire weekend writing down license plates, or doing whatever is required for data collection,” he said. “It’s almost a call to arms for the rest of the community.
“If we can band together and … and collect this data so that we can make an informed decision on the use of the boat ramp going forward, I think we do that. But, right now, we’re kind of in a little bit of a quandary,” Parks added.
He suggested a website post and possibly starting a campaign to “get folks to help us out with that collection.”
“I’m open to any and all ideas,” he said.
Association Vice President Cheryl Jacobs said the issue was brought up because “there was a belief that outsiders were taking up all the spots” at the boat launch.
“While we appreciate that the marine advisory committee cannot do it themselves, I do think that an appropriate thing to do at this point would be to … put out that call to the community, in particular to those members who feel that it’s being abused, to volunteer to help out with the data collection so we can decide, once and for all, if their belief is well founded,” Jacobs said. “And then we can make some decisions as a board”
She disputed the notion the directors were “doing this because we want to charge people”
“To the contrary, we’re doing this because, if anybody gets charged, it’s somebody who doesn’t belong here,” she said. “The intention is that the amenities we all pay for are available for us to use, without outside people taking up all of the spaces.”
She asked volunteers to email or call board members and express their interest.
For a list of board member emails and phone numbers, visit www.oceanpines.org/administration/board-of-directors.
“If we have the appropriate response by the July [board] meeting … we will know whether or not we have sufficient volunteers to go forward with this,” Jacobs said.