New report suggests improvements for Bikefest 2016 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New report suggests improvements for Bikefest 2016

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Overall, the Bikefest Task Force accomplished what it set out to do last year: crack down on violence to create a safe event for the bikers and the community.

"I hope the community feels a little bit better," said Randy Webster, director of Horry County Emergency Management. "I think the first responders will feel a little bit better."

Webster expressed his thoughts about 2015's Bikefest to Coastal Alliance members during a meeting Wednesday morning. He said the Bikefest Task Force helped unify efforts and create a safer atmosphere.

"That probably was the biggest challenge, was each jurisdiction has its own nuances that had to be addressed and worked with, and that was a big part of the success of the task force," he said.

However, Webster said improvements can still be made to strengthen Bikefest 2016.

He compiled reviews from local municipalities and law enforcement agencies on performance during Bikefest 2015 into a 19-page after action report and improvement plan.

That report makes suggestions, such as increasing signage and equipment for the traffic loop.

The report also brings up some difficulties travelers, as well as taxis and shuttles, had while getting in and out of Myrtle Beach International Airport.

"As a result of the loop, shuttles and taxis were in very limited supply, causing passengers to become 'stranded' at the airport," the report states.

One suggestion is to allow commercial vehicles to bypass the loop going in and out of the airport at Harrelson Boulevard.

Also, the report recommends setting specific times for updates between the emergency operations center and the unified command post.

“We need to better communicate with all the command posts and the EOC and maybe part of that is maybe we reduce some numbers, or maybe we add more," Webster said. "It depends upon what the entire group comes up with as an approach to correct on some of these problems.”

Other recommendations include starting training earlier for law enforcement and also adding an anti-theft detail to specifically monitor motorcycle and vehicle theft.

The Bikefest Task Force will start discussions of these suggestions January 14.

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