First signs of new parking meters show in Surfside Beach

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- The days of free parking on Ocean Boulevard in Surfside Beach are just about over.  If you drive along the road, you can see dozens of poles sticking out of the ground.  Those poles are the first visible sign of the town's new parking system.

"This pole showed up just a couple of days ago and I saw some men measuring today," said Sandra Robinson, who manages a property on Ocean Boulevard.  "I looked over my balcony and asked them what was going on and they said they were putting asphalt parking strips in on the property."

Surfside Mayor Tempore Mary Beth Mabry said the town owns property within 75 feet of the middle of the road, so the town is going to pave parking spots where the parking poles are now.  This means, depending on the landscaping, some property owners might have to rearrange their landscaping in front of their properties.

"Including your landscaping, your shrubberies, and anything on that side of the pole has to be moved," Robinson said work crews told her.

The project is going to cost more than $300,000 to complete and is expected to be ready to go by March 1, according to town officials.

Mabry said beach-goers used to be able to avoid paying to park in pay for parking lots by driving to Ocean Boulevard to park for free.  They said that caused safety problems because too many drivers would try and park in too small a space for parking.

The new meters will also allow the town to make up some of the revenue it lost when people parked for free instead of paying, added Mabry.

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