NAACP representatives talk Bikefest 2015 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

NAACP representatives talk Bikefest 2015

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The barriers from this past Memorial Day weekend may be ready to be put away, but the discussion about their purpose is far from over. Business owners, neighbors, and city council members have all weighed in, now it's the NAACP's turn.

“A lot of people got confused with it, particularly the local people who got caught up in it,” explained Mickey James with the Myrtle Beach NAACP chapter. 

“The visitors said it was extremely long and they felt it was something they couldn't anticipate. They really wanted to have a little more fun on the boulevard but the loop certainly hindered that.”

For the local NAACP, the traffic loop was just about the only worry from this past weekend.

Myrtle Beach police put in that loop for a specific reason; to keep traffic moving and keep the boulevard safe. The department says it believes the loop did what it was supposed to do.

James, on the other hand, says the behavior could have a lot to do with the increased police presence.

"Their presence certainly opened the eyes of those who came in and realized, hey you're going to obey the law,” said James.

James says the presence could be considered overkill, but it did seem to work.

He says the NAACP received fewer complaints about harassment and skipping out on checks from local restaurants. And for the folks comparing the police presence to Harley week, he says there is no comparison between the events.

"It's not just Black Bike week, it's Memorial Day, a holiday, that people plan for once a year,” He said. “We have no control over who comes here, so they have to deal with it.”

James says the shootings were also disappointing but overall, police, the city, and other organizations made some progress this Memorial Day weekend.

"It's not a perfect world, but we'll see if we can make it better,” he said.

Mickey James says the local NAACP members will meet with the city to talk about next year's Memorial Day weekend.

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