North Myrtle Beach school working to resolve traffic problems

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's a common problem across Horry County: traffic issues right next to area schools. Many people deal with it every day, but don't know what to do to get a solution.

This is happening in the North Myrtle Beach area, where a request has been put in to the Horry County Transportation Committee to handle the growing traffic problems at Highway 90 and Mt. Zion road, one of the main roads to North Myrtle Beach Elementary.

"It is about the kids," said North Myrtle Beach Elementary School Principal Vicki Underwood. "Safety about the kids and our parents and our staff, just the community. All the stakeholders. It seems to be a safety issue."

But it's not the only spot where there are traffic issues near a school.

There have been reports of similar traffic situations on International Drive, near Ocean Bay Middle School, where morning and afternoon traffic can really get backed up. There are even issues as far south as Garden City, where there have been accidents near Seaside Elementary School.

WMBF News reached out to the Horry County School District, and spokeswoman Teal Britton says the district only handles driveways and turn lanes. All other traffic fixes, like traffic signals, must go to the city, county or the state department of transportation.

The principal of North Myrtle Beach Elementary, who is working on bringing traffic changes near her school, says she believes it's all about people who are willing to act.

"We all put safety first," said Underwood. "So if you're real concerned about a safety issue, then I think you need to voice your opinion and see what can be done."

The only other factor is the cost, as traffic signals can cost around $50,000. You have to put in a request, and then the different agencies will come out and decide if it's truly necessary in an area. George Vereen with the Horry County Transportation Committee says research is underway to determine the need for a light at Mt. Zion road and Highway 90, and also how much the change will cost. Vereen says the amount of money the committee works with varies, but last year it handled around $3 million.

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