MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Decisions and discussions lead plans forward in regard to planning for Memorial Day weekend.
As city leaders expect hundreds of thousands of visitors during the holiday weekend, they also worry about the violence present during the 2014 bikefest.
During a Coastal Alliance meeting on Wednesday, local mayors were presented a finalized traffic management plan by the Bikefest Task Force dedicated to making Memorial Day weekend safer.
It reduces the initial plan of a 40-mile loop to around 23 miles and will bring traffic south on the boulevard, up Robert Grissom, and redirect it to Highway 31.
Now that the task force has the green light from city leaders, it can move forward with other issues.
“We still have to work to manage how police and fire rescue are going to set up- how we're going to coordinate all the command posts and emergency center in Conway,” explained Randy Webster with Horry County Emergency Management.
In addition, the City of North Myrtle Beach plans to hand out pamphlets to guests during the holiday weekend. It welcomes visitors, but also warns of the fines for speeding, burnouts, and for holding up traffic in intersections.
The city hopes to get the contact information for guests checking in and having that contact work directly with the watch commanders. As a starting point, the city already has 15,000 pamphlets printed out.
The mayor of Atlantic Beach is also making changes. Mayor Jake Evans is working to reduce the curfew time for the event.
“Last year we let vendors stay out and didn't shut down until 4 a.m. Hoping to get my council members to cut back on that,” said Mayor Evans.
The task force plans to take the rest of the year to work through details. After the first of the year, the group wants to start a community outreach program. This would produce information for the public to understand what plans are in place for the event and what to expect going into the holiday weekend.
“We started early on purpose in planning this. We do need to engage the public. The City of Myrtle Beach started last night with a meeting. At some point, we need an overall community roll out of information you can give out,” said Horry County Chairman Mark Lazarus during the Coastal Alliance meeting.
Lazarus expressed an understanding for withholding certain details dealing with police enforcement.
“However, many elements of this plan we can roll out to the public,” he said, adding his support for the task force and mentioning the need to be proactive in planning.