Ventnor Considers Updated Bike Rules for Boardwalk

Ventnor Police Chief Biagi
Ventnor PD Chief Biagi Enjoying Boardwalk

Bikes on the Ventnor boardwalk. Fast growth of 2 wheeled fun. Weaving in and out of pedestrians taking a stroll. Biking in Ventnor is welcomed and encouraged. How do we keep it safe and orderly?

Margate residents are hoping to rebuild their boardwalk. That would certainly help ease boardwalk congestion. With a walking width of just 14 ft, a boardwalk bike lane Ventnor doesn’t make sense. What to do?

Ventnor boardwalk is 20’ wide. Effective clear width of approximately 14’ due to benches, light poles & railings. Boardwalk has lighting at night.

This must be a ‘pedestrian first’ boardwalk, says a summer visitor to Ventnor. We agree. Pedestrians come first. Bikes should always give right of way to walkers.

Ventnor loves bikes. But biking must be leisurely. The boardwalk is not a race track. Contrary to popular opinion, yelling ‘on your left’ is not acceptable as you race by. Barely better than ‘get out of the way’.

Accidents are caused by a small handful of disrespectful bikers. Some are speeding. Others are texting on their smart phones. High level of boardwalk activity in a limited space results in conflicts between pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly during the busy summer months.

How to Make Ventnor Boardwalk Safer for Bikers, Walkers & Runners.

  • Pedestrians first. Walking is primary function of boardwalk
  • Bike speed must be leisurely, not a race.
  • Special permits for pedal-assist/motorized bikes? Too speedy.
  • Clear, high profile signage about Boardwalk rules.
  • Warning to 1st time offenders. Fine or ban, for repeat offenders.

Number of boardwalk crashes could be twice what Plan4Safety report indicated.

Crash data. Boardwalk crashes do not appear to be captured in the Plan4Safety data, which was used to generate the crash mapping. The boardwalk may not be considered a “route” and thus is not included in Plan4Safety. Other bike/ped crashes may not make it into the system for various reasons, while non-injury crashes are often not reported.

Odd: summer weekends feature a 12 noon cut off for bikes on the boardwalk. Not exactly sure why. Most people are on the beach at that time. Boardwalk is fairly open between noon & 3pm.

No bike riding on the boardwalk after dark? Doesn’t make sense to force bikers onto the Atlantic Ave bike lane. Especially after dark.

Boardwalk is wide open and safe after dark. Atlantic Ave is substantially more dangerous to bike after dark.

Bike speed isn’t always the only issue. Pedestrians also need to exercise caution. It’s risky to suddenly change direction or shift your walk on the boards. Sometimes you’ll find yourself directly in the path of an oncoming biker.

Roller skates on Ventnor’s boardwalk are cool. Skateboards are not.

Who to cater to? We think boardwalk pedestrians must come first.

Bike lanes on Atlantic Ave. are good. We agree, up to a point.

The 35 mph speed limit on Atlantic Ave makes that bike route much less appealing. More dangerous than it needs to be. Cars often exceed the 35 mph speed limit. Too many drivers easily do 40+ mph. Not easy watching young families with kids in tow, trying to get across 4 lanes of traffic doing 40+ mph. City Hall is aware of this safety concern.

Even the Margate Ventnor Pedestrian & Bike Final Report recommends a speed reduction on Atlantic Ave. Ventnor is now the only Absecon Island town with a 35 mph speed limit on Atlantic Ave.

Summer 2018: Pedestrians walking to and from the beach will see a nice, safety improvement: installation of thermo-plastic crosswalks on Atlantic Ave.

Why did Margate lower speed to 25 on Atlantic Ave? ‘Safety’ says Mayor Becker of Margate.

Ventnor and Margate will each be receiving 25 new bicycle racks.

The amazing Diane Birkbeck of Ventnor’s Green Team [discovered leaking ACUA pipe at Bader Field last year], was instrumental in moving the bike rack project forward. Diane helped pick site-specific designs. ex: bike rack in front of city hall that will feature a large “V”. Look for construction and installation to begin this summer.


The Cities of Ventnor and Margate collaborated on a plan to improve bicycling and walking conditions. The study evaluated ways to create a safer environment, enhance pedestrian and bicycle facilities in the business districts, and increase safety and mobility for non-motorized traffic.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

7 thoughts on “Ventnor Considers Updated Bike Rules for Boardwalk”

  1. Isaac Brumer: Crossing Atlantic in the off-season can be a challenge, even for people with good vision and reflexes. As Margate’s population ages, a great way to maintain their quality of life (and for Margate to be an viable place for them to continue living), it would be good to consider year-round traffic lights…and to complete the work laid out in the 2016 Ventnor-Margate Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan.

    1. Sharon Pachler

      I am in complete agreement with Mr. Brumer. I don’t understand why it’s ok for traffic to be controlled through Longport and Ventnor, but a free for all through Margate. Crossing Atlantic Avenue in the off-season is very difficult, even for the able-bodied. Add in advancing age or crossing with children and it becomes a dangerous trip. Please consider keeping traffic lights on year-round. You’d be surprised how many residents would appreciate that gesture.

  2. Wish Ventnor would adopt the same boardwalk bike rules that Atlantic City presently has in effect between JACKSON and ALBANY AVENUES .

  3. it is great that “walker” come first before bikes BUT must they walk 6 across the boardwalk making it impossiable for bikes to get by

  4. Isaac Brumer: Those of us who live in Margate year-round and who choose to walk around have to deal with a crossing a treacherous Atlantic Avenue in the off season. Drivers go faster than the posted 25 MPH (and then get ticketed for it) because Atlantic “looks” like it’s meant for going faster (and it is). And they rarely stop for people in the crosswalks, even given enough time. Crossing Atlantic in the off-season can be a challenge, even for people with good vision and reflexes.

    The Margate business community should be concerned about the “bad vibe” that potential customers feel from being ticketed. At the same time – as smart towns realize – it’s more important for a town to be a good place to visit (i.e., get out, walk, shop and eat) than to make it easy to drive through quickly.

    As Margate’s population ages, a smart way to maintain their quality of life (and for Margate to be an viable, attractive place for them to continue living and shopping), it would be good to consider year-round traffic lights…and to complete the work laid out in the 2016 Ventnor-Margate Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan. That plan proposed that the city stripe Atlantic Avenue similar to how Longport did, “calming” the road, cueing drivers that it’s meant for 25 and reducing the number of lanes people crossing (on foot or in cars) need to contend with. An added benefit of making Atlantic less of a high-speed bypass is the likelihood of more drivers choosing Ventnor…and visiting a store or restaurant.

  5. Ellen Rothschild

    What about the people walking dogs or pushing baby strollers in the bike lane? The idea of the bike lane was to keep them off the sidewalk to make it safer for pedestrians. Now they force the bikers into the traffic lanes to avoid the dogs and strollers. Pedestrians should not come first in the bike lane on the street. Warn them and fine them so they stay on the sidewalk

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