MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – Board members with the Murrells Inlet 2020 group have come up with a new strategic plan to add bike paths.
Organizers said the idea behind the plan is to connect the Inlet to the Intracoastal Waterway to provide a better quality of life for both locals and tourists.
MI2020 Executive Director Renee Williamson said the board members have been interested in improving current bike paths since last summer, and now with the responses from an online community survey, the final draft is finally in place.
"The proposed path would go from U.S. Highway 17 Business to Macklen Avenue, cross U.S. Highway 17 Bypass near Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and go to Old Kings Highway," Williamson said. "From there, it would go north to the ball parks and south to Wachesaw Road where the path would continue to the Marina and the Intracoastal Waterway."
During MI2020's annual chowder talk meeting, Dr. Rob Salvino from Coastal Carolina University spoke on the economic impact of bike paths in the community. He said as the area's population continues to grow, people who live there and visit need another way to exercise, enjoy the area and to get around besides driving. Also, with U.S. Highway 17 being a busy spot where people consistently walk or bike in the streets, safer options are needed.
"According to the surveys that Murrells Inlet 2020 did, a lot of people are interested in multi-use paths, which really do nothing more than integrate the community," Dr. Salvino said.
There's no timeline on when the process will start. However, before construction begins, funding will have to be found to cover the $1 million price tag.