Speed Patrol: Ocean Boulevard bike lanes

By Jennifer Grove - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach is working to make one of the area's most popular roadways more cyclist friendly.

Right now, City Engineer Patrick Sadek says they have completed a stretch of bike lanes from 6th Avenue South to 29th Avenue South on Ocean Boulevard. Sadek says Ocean Boulevard is a great road to transition by adding more bike lanes because it draws so many tourists.

"When [visitors] come in, they bring their bikes with them," Sadek said. "They're looking forward to getting on their bikes and traveling from one attraction to another."

Cyclist Gary Powers came down to Myrtle Beach with his bike and says he has been enjoying the new lanes.

"It does encourage more people to come to Myrtle Beach if you're a bicyclist," Powers said. "Now I know I've got a spot where I can come and it's friendly."

Powers says he cannot help but notice, however, that the lanes disappear in certain spots like right in the heart of Ocean Boulevard.

"It would be nice if they were all the way up and down the oceanfront, but for the most part, everybody's friendly and so far nobody's run me off the road yet," he added with a laugh.

Sadek says he can understand bikers' frustrations. The city is doing what it can with the money it has to create more bike lanes by turning the four lane stretches into two lane bike paths and pedestrian crossings.

"Hopefully in the future it will become continuous from one end to the other for the entire Ocean Boulevard," Sadek said.

At Bicycles-N-Gear in Myrtle Beach, owner Richard Kerner says he is waiting for that day, noting Ocean Boulevard has the potential to be a great riding sport.

"It is slower traffic and it's right there at the beach," Kerner said.

For now though, he says he tries to only ride on the boulevard in the early morning hours of the day to avoid the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic that can make riding dangerous.

Sadek says the next stretch of the road to see bike lanes added will be a small section starting at 52nd Avenue North. Construction on this project is expected to begin in the next week and a half.

A larger stretch from 14th Avenue North to 31st Avenue North is next on the list. The project is waiting on funding to begin construction which Sadek says could be available as early as next budget year.

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