SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Some major changes are coming to Surfside Beach when it comes to parking along Ocean Boulevard. Town council has opted to remove all parking meters from both sides of the road.
Mayor Doug Samples said parking along the beach side of the boulevard will not be allowed, but drivers will be allowed to park on the inland side.
The decision to remove the meters comes just weeks after the town's Parking Committee recommended council removes the meters due to safety concerns. The committee said the meters created safety issues by their proximity to sidewalks and driveways on the beach side, while also blocking your field of view for any rivers pulling out onto the boulevard.
More than 100 parking meters are being pulled from Ocean Boulevard, but back in February 2013, as the meters were being installed, town officials said they needed the meters to improve safety because beach goers would avoid paying to park in designated lots by parking along the boulevard for free.
Looking ahead, safety may be improved to some degree by cutting the spaces in half by only allowing parking on the inland side. The change may also encourage more people to come to Surfside Beach.
Some of the meters are setup right in front of rental properties.
Charity Price from Seaside Rentals said the meters affect more than half of the company's properties by limiting the number of free spaces visitors had to park.
"We'll be taking care of our visitors because this is the family beach and it's important that they come back and they don't have those extra charges - those unnecessary charges," added Price.
The town also voted to raise the parking rate in the lot near the pier from $1.25/hour to $1.50/hour.