Bikefest Task Force meets for first time to talk Bikefest 2016

Bikefest Task Force meets for first time to talk Bikefest 2016

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Preparations are starting for Bikefest 2016, but the Bikefest Task Force doesn't have as much to do in the coming months due to the major changes that were made last year.

This first meeting lasted 20 minutes, which Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster said is similar to the length of last year's meetings at the end of the planning stages. He said the first few task force meetings in 2014 and early 2015 were closer to 40 minutes.

However, at Thursday's meeting, local government leaders and law enforcement chiefs said they're not going to use last year's success as an excuse to not plan sufficiently this year, so there will still be task force meetings every month.

"How do we continue to build upon our success from last year as well as not running into the wall of complacency amongst ourselves and amongst the community?" Webster asked the audience.

Each division, such as law enforcement or fire, will have its own planning meetings separately to work out the details.

Webster went through some of the highlights of the after-action report at the task force meeting.

The main suggestions from that report involve improving communications, especially when it comes to the traffic loop.

"Getting the word out even more to the public to let them know what to expect, and to just make the whole process flow a lot smoother," MBPD Captain John Bertang said.

The report also recommends more communication with Myrtle Beach International Airport.

The review said people were stranded at the airport because taxis and shuttles were in such limited supply.

"A lot of people were left on the curb, but it wasn't by choice," said Abbe Bolduc, a taxi driver with King's Taxi. "We'd love to be moving fast and have the business coming in and out, but when it meant going 20 miles out of your way to get them to their destination, sometimes it's just not worth it."

A proposed solution from the report is to allow airport traffic to travel in both directions on Harrelson Boulevard.

The next Bikefest Task Force meeting is scheduled for February 17.

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