SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -Surfside Beach town leaders are working to ease parking in the area by getting access to some property that could make room for new parking lots. Town officials confirm at least one of the lots will be located at 4th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard.
Not only will these lots help solve the tough task of parking near the beach, they will also give the town a place to add meters it ripped from the boulevard.
To understand why this year kicks off a new era for parking on the south strand, remember it was just two years ago when the town went in and installed parking meters on both sides of Ocean Boulevard.
That project, estimated at more than $300,000 according to one town official, lasted just two summers following safety concerns brought to town council.
"It's a thousand wonders that no one got hurt during the past two summers because of where the cars were parked on the street," said Surfside Beach resident Ron Marrs.
Most of the concerns centered on crowded spaces between the boulevard, parked cars, and sidewalks. The town decided to pull most of the meters down, then banned parking on the beach side of the boulevard while allowing limited parking on the inland side.
For now, the old meters are in storage but the town said they can be used again in new parking lots. Surfside Beach got a hold of an empty lot at 4th Avenue North which is a spot to add new parking spaces that can be metered.
"That's not in any way interfering with residents even though there is an easement and right of way there that the city is using to park cars," added Marrs. "The lots will make it a lot nicer a lot easier a lot safer for the people coming to the beach."
It is not clear when the town will release details on where the additional two new lots will go but the lot at 4th Avenue North could be up and running soon. Public works crews said they are ironing out the final details with engineers to get the lot ready to go as early as one month from now.