Ocean City Boardwalk Reopens to Delight of Residents, Visitors

first_imgKelsie Selby, of Ocean City, and her two children, Addison, 4, and 1-year-old Cole, couldn’t be happier about a stroll on the Ocean City Boardwalk. By MADDY VITALEJust one day after Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian gave the green light to beach lovers and opened the city’s beaches, he officially opened the Boardwalk on Monday to strollers, joggers and others who make the resort’s 2.5-mile-long wooden promenade a staple to spring and summer enjoyment.The mayor announced in his community message that, in addition to the beach access for exercise and shared-use path across the Route 52 Causeway being reopened over the weekend, the Boardwalk officially has opened up. They were all closed down beginning in late March.  Restrictions are loosening up as the number of COVID-19 cases decline, but doing things slowly is important, Ocean City officials said.“Allowing limited access to these outdoor areas is the first step in reopening the city. Please strictly adhere to all social distancing guidelines,” Gillian said in a statement. For Kelsie Selby, of Ocean City, and her children, Addison, 4, and 1-year-old son, Cole, the day couldn’t have been any better during a Boardwalk stroll Monday afternoon.“It feels amazing,” Selby said. “It has been a struggle to keep the kids isolated from their friends.”People also took advantage of beach access Monday.Earlier in the day, Selby and her husband, Justin, a Vineland police officer, joined friends and family to walk along the beach.“Today is a blessing,” Selby noted. “Yesterday was the first day the beaches opened back up. Today is the Boardwalk. Now it feels more normal and getting back to the Ocean City we love.”Although the Boardwalk and its bathrooms, and the beaches opened in the resort, the Boardwalk merchants are still closed unless they are considered essential, such as food establishments, according to Gov. Phil Murphy’s orders.“We will continue to work with the governor’s office on plans to safely remove restrictions on retail stores and other businesses, to provide full access to the beach, and to get people back to work,” Gillian said in his statement.Bicyclists, walkers and joggers kept social distance and some wore masks as they made their way up and down the Boardwalk on the partly sunny, near-60 degree day.Police Chief Jay Prettyman said everything was going well and it appeared people were keeping a safe distance from each other and adhering to other guidelines.Prettyman emphasized that people’s safety is paramount to anything else.Crowds enjoy a walk and bike ride on the Boardwalk while maintaining social distancing from strangers.“People have to self-regulate,” Prettyman said. “They have to do what is right.”Maintaining at least 6 feet apart between strangers is the main way to lessen the spread of the coronavirus, the chief reiterated.Prettyman noted that the business owners need to have a chance to work out their plans for handling safe sales operations, which practicing social distancing.He said, however, businesses could possibly reopen in the near future.Two Boardwalk fans, Tom Murphy, of Collings Lakes, N.J., and his daughter, Skylar, 19, decided to travel down for the day to see what was open.They were pleasantly surprised to see the Boardwalk was open, along with the beaches.“It’s nice to spend time with my dad and it’s good that things are open up for a change,” Skylar said. “It feels like we are free again after being in the house so much. It feels more normal now.”Her father agreed, but also noted that they were carrying masks with them and maintained social distancing from strangers while enjoying the Boardwalk.Father-daughter duo, Tom Murphy and Skylar, 19, both of Collings Lakes, N.J., take a walk in the fresh ocean air.last_img

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