Area leaders to talk Memorial Day traffic loop and beach tent ban

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When Memorial Day Weekend hits, we see the impact across the Grand Strand, that's why The Coastal Alliance is digging into plans to get drivers around congestion during the busy weekend.

The Coastal Alliance will look at a series of topics important to the Grand Strand at its meeting, Wednesday morning.

Members of the alliance include leaders from Myrtle Beach, Briarcliffe Acres, North Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach, Surfside Beach and Horry County.

A huge part of the discussion is giving their input on the new proposed bike loop, that the Bikefest Task Force, came up with for Memorial Day Weekend.

The idea behind a bike loop is keeping our roads safe.

Initially, the proposal was a 40 mile loop stretching from near North Myrtle Beach to Highway 544 in Surfside, to keep overnight traffic, flowing.

A concern for Surfside Mayor Doug Samples was it would bring extra noise, traffic and safety issues, to Surfside Beach. He said the town doesn't have issues during this weekend, and wants to keep it that way.

The Bikefest task force sized down that original plan to 23 miles, taking North Myrtle and Surfside, out of the mix.

“We were concerned about the feasibility of manning a 40 mile loop and I think that all parties agree that this plan is much better,” said Samples.

The new proposed route has traffic moving south on Ocean Boulevard then turning onto Harrelson Boulevard. From there, drivers can use George Bishop to Waccamaw Boulevard, which will then lead drivers to Highway 31. Then, they can exit onto Grissom Parkway, cut down 29th Avenue North, looping them back to Ocean Boulevard.

Surfside beach Mayor Doug Samples said he thinks Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and the county are on board.

This isn't the only big topic area leaders are preparing to tackle in the Coastal Alliance meeting.

One topic often brought up at these meetings is bringing your tent to the beach.  WMBF News reached out to local leaders to see where they stand on this topic.

They said main reason behind the ban in the first place is safety, and it seems to be working.

As far as beach tents go - the rules remain - with a year-round ban for Horry County, a seasonal ban for Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach and North Myrtle Beach, and no ban for Surfside.

“We don't have the high rise density that some of the other areas along the coast have so that may be part of the reason that we didn't have a problem with the tents,” said Samples.

Since our beaches are what bring waves of people to our area, leaders will also discuss beach renourishment, which is taking care of the upkeep of our beaches.

This is a huge expense - were talking thousands of dollars - but keeping our beaches alive is crucial to the life of our area, so leaders will get the ball rolling on this topic, as well. The federal government usually steps in with some funds for this, but Grand Strand leaders want to have a backup plan ready.

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