Myrtle Beach business reacts to Memorial Day traffic changes

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Along Ocean Blvd, there will only be one lane of traffic moving south bound during Memorial Day weekend. The other lane will be used for emergency vehicles only. The change is all in an effort to regain control of the streets.

One-way traffic and an emergency lane along Ocean Blvd is nothing new to local shops.

The city had one-way traffic years ago but discontinued it.

"I thought that it was a pretty good tactic in order to control the crowd. I think your police presence is more felt when you have an empty lane of traffic," explains Briggs Dickerson, owner of Peaches Corner.

The goal behind this plan is to smooth traffic flow during peak hours of 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The only way traffic will be able to access Ocean Blvd is from 29th Avenue North. An avenue residents say is already too congested.

"You just can't get out, I stayed one year and it's just terrible," said Dorthy McDonald who lives on 29th Avenue.

Another issue was the amount of litter on the streets.

Dickerson says, "I usually come an hour-and-a-half early on those three days just to clean up trash."

To fix that problem, the city plans to call for trash pickup twice a day.

During that weekend, about 17 tons of trash were collected. During Harley Bike Week, around 8 tons were collected.

The city is also asking Myrtle Beach business owners to step up and be a part of the safety plan for Memorial Day weekend.

The city says property owners were not properly managing crowds at their businesses.

The owner of 2nd Avenue Pier, Teak Collins tells WMBF News that Memorial Day weekend cost him thousands of dollars in revenue. The commotion from the triple homicide at the Bermuda Sands hotel spilled into his parking lot. With already suffering a loss from what should be a profitable weekend, Collins would rather close his doors entirely than hire more staff to control crowds.

He and other business owners say his tax dollars should already cover that kind of management.

Dickerson said,"I think the business owners personally should know if they need to up their security during that weekend, either to protect their guest you know if these guys are hoteliers or protect your patrons who are coming in to visit an establishment like we have, a restaurant."

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