City of MB developing app to help locals, tourists navigate area paths, trails

City of MB developing app to help locals, tourists navigate area paths, trails

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach is developing a new smartphone app to help people who want to get around and get active outside.

Much of Myrtle Beach is chopped up into trails but it's hard to know how far they are, where they go, and the specific types of trails. Soon locals and tourists will be able to download an app that will breakdown every bike path and trail in the city.

For those looking to jog three miles on a paved path and not have to worry about crossing any streets, the app will show those options.

The idea is to help locals explore their backyard and visitors find their way around without having to drive everywhere.  The map will include stops along the city helpful to cyclists like parks,  bicycle friendly businesses, public restrooms, bike shops, bridges, drinking fountains and more.

By tapping on a specific path users will see how far it is and exactly where it is. They will know whether it has to share a road or whether it's dirt, wooden or paved.

If they are worried the terrain may be too tough, there are also videos from a cyclists perspective that show what the ride will look like. It even ties in pieces of history that explain the name of the trail or historical sites along the route.

Plus, if a cyclist or running ends up in a brush with a vehicle, they will be able to report it on the app. It will go only to city officials, it is not a police report. But it will help city officials plan for safety.

"For us to audit and take a look at certain traffic patterns for example, incident patterns that are occurring." According to Lisa Holzberger, the GIS Coordinator with the City of Myrtle Beach who is designing the app. "So that we can make those particular areas a little safer."

The app is still in the early stages of development, but the city is tentatively planning to have the app ready to download by early 2016.

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