(MDOT SHA photo: MDOT SHA Logo)

New Name Selected on Facebook, Twitter Polls

(September 2, 2016) – The Ocean City Walk Smart campaign icon kicked off the Labor Day weekend with a….Name.

The OC Walk Smart Lifeguard Crab now will be known as Cheswick. Ocean City residents and visitors spent the summer voting for his name on Facebook and Twitter, and the name Cheswick was the winner – by a “sandslide!”  With a total of 5,502 votes submitted, Cheswick proved to be the overwhelming favorite with more than 4,000 votes. The Lifeguard Crab’s new name was unveiled this morning during a live “Name Reveal” at Fish Tales in Ocean City.
SHA featured the poll on Twitter and Facebook platforms for several weeks this summer.  The names voted on were among names proposed by Facebook followers last summer and included: Captain Crosswalk, C.W. (Cross Walk) Crab, K.C. Crab and Cheswick.  The name Cheswick honors the life of Matthew Cheswick, who was killed by an impaired driver in 2012, while waiting for a bus along Coastal Highway.  Cecilia Roe and Christopher Cheswick, Matthew’s parents, traveled to Ocean City to help launch the original 2013 “Walk Smart” effort in Ocean City, and were there today.  They said, “We could not be more delighted that Cheswick is the name of the OC Walk Smart Crab.  Our son, Matthew Cheswick, whose life was cut too short, looked after his friends, his little brother and his family just as Cheswick the Crab looks over Coastal Highway keeping families safe.  Our hope is that the OC Walk Smart campaign continues to thrive and protect those traveling Ocean City roadways.”

Cheswick and his team of safety ambassadors successfully educated the public and made Ocean City streets safer for everyone,” said Maryland Department of Transportation SHA District 1 Engineer Donnie Drewer.  “We appreciate the Ocean City Police Department’s commitment to keeping people safe every day.  The business and tourism communities’ support makes a tremendous difference in keeping safety at the forefront as new vacationers arrive each week.”

“The OC Walk Smart Lifeguard Crab – now Cheswick, worked hard this summer to spread the word about walking smart, driving smart, and biking smart,” said Ocean City Mayor Richard (Rick) Meehan.  “We can now put a name with a shell and look forward to seeing Cheswick all over town in 2017 as he continues to educate our visitors and residents alike.”

Cheswick was everywhere in Ocean City this summer spreading his important Walk Smart messages. From bay-side to ocean-front there is only one way to travel: Coastal Highway.  As a major eight-lane highway that connects drivers, bikers, and pedestrians from point to point in this busy coastal town, Coastal Highway must be navigated carefully by everyone.  Pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers all need to be extra vigilant to prevent tragic crashes, so Cheswick encourages visitors and residents to travel safely around OC whether by foot, car, or bike.

“During the summer months, nearly 55,000 vehicles travel Coastal Highway each day, sharing the roads with thousands of pedestrians and hundreds of bicyclists,” said Ocean City Patrol Division Commander Captain Kevin M. Kirstein.  “When traveling this very busy corridor, Coastal Highway, even on vacation, we cannot let our guard down and that is why the Walk Smart message is so important.  The success of the OC Walk Smart campaign is a credit to the unparalleled support of our partners.”

The Ocean City Walk Smart Campaign, sponsored by a task force that includes businesses, law enforcement and traffic safety experts, continues to expand pedestrian and bicycle safety messaging.  Cheswick will continue to remind pedestrians to use crosswalks, follow signals and exercise general street smarts with messaging to reach drivers and bicyclists.  Pedestrians are urged to use crosswalks and wait for “walk” signals, while bicyclists are reminded to ride in the direction of traffic, avoid distractions and follow all traffic signs and signals.  Drivers should stop for pedestrians, watch for bicyclists and share the road.

Helpful tips for a safe vacation are available at ocwalksmart.com or by clicking here: Walk Smart. Drive Smart. Bike Smart.