SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The town of Surfside Beach is cracking down on drivers improperly parking their cars, saying it takes revenue from the town and causes safety issues on their roads.
Councilman Randle Stevens said, "We've got 350 paid parking spaces in the town, but we've got people parking all over Ocean Boulevard and parking on people's property."
Stevens says too many people park their cars on the shoulders of the road, near beach access points, or even in the entrances and exits of parking lots. Many of the culprits, he says, are locals who just don't want to pay for parking.
"Public safety is our top priority, but we also want to get our parking revenue."
Stevens says having too many cars parking on the shoulder bottlenecks the roads, and creates dangerous blind spots for pedestrians.
Many people in Surfside say the new restrictions seem reasonable enough and won't be a deterrent to people wanting to visit the beach. But some businesses say it could raise some issues around bike week, when many bikers park on the side of the road.
Zach Baker, owner of Neal and Pam's Pub said, "Bikers attract other bikers. Being able to park there makes it a little easier for them."
But Councilman Stevens points out having to pay for parking hasn't been a nail on the coffin for other cities in the county."It doesn't seem to affect Myrtle Beach one bit."