MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Parking changes went into effect in Myrtle Beach from 31st to 82nd Avenues North along Ocean Boulevard. The changes have been coming for a while. The original parking change date was July 1, but city officials changed it to Tuesday, July 5, in observance of the amount of Myrtle Beach visitors for the holiday weekend.
The changes are mostly welcomed by the people who live on the avenues, but complicate things for visitors who do not have a city car decal.
Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea said the city changed the parking rules from 31st to 82nd Avenues North to lessen the amount of people parking on the residential streets, and to decrease over-crowded parking on dangerous roads. He said on any given day, up to 1,000 cars park on the streets along Ocean Boulevard at the street-ends and on the avenues. This became a nuisance to people who live there and many complained about things like trash left in their yards, public urination and people changing in front of homes. This is one way to fix those problems, encouraging some visitors to utilize other beaches in more commercial areas.
Now, you need a Myrtle Beach decal to park on the avenues and Ocean Boulevard. You can get this decal without a fee if you live within city limits and have paid your car's property taxes.
If you're a non-resident of Myrtle Beach, you can buy it for an annual fee of $100. Nobody can park on the west side of Ocean Boulevard for safety and traffic reasons.
WMBF News spoke with one tourist, Patrick Mooney, who thinks the new changes will affect one-day visitors the most. "I think it'll just drive people to other beaches where there's not that ordinance, in my opinion," Mooney said. He and his wife are visiting from Columbia, but had not heard about the new parking laws enacted near where they're staying.
Many residents who live on the avenues are for the new law. "As much as we love tourists and welcome tourists down here, it creates not only just parking issues but issues with crowdedness for the residents here, people changing in their cars, trash, all sorts of stuff, but I think there is some controls for traffic concerns and local concerns that are being addressed," resident Rick Buckner said of the changes.
Other Myrtle Beach area residents said it's not fair to pay the $100 when they contribute to the Myrtle Beach economy throughout the year.
If you don't have a decal, you can no longer park on the avenues from 31st to 82nd North. You can, however, park at the street-ends of those avenues without a decal. This requires payment. The rates are consistent with the rest of the city at $2 an hour and $10 for the entire day. The city encourages beach-goers to pay via the ParkMobile app. If you don't have a smart phone, call 877-727-5714.
The penalty for a violation is a ticket or tow. The new parking laws are in effect from March 1st to October 31st from 9 a.m. to midnight.
For more on the rules, and detailed information on how to apply for a decal click here for a link to the city of Myrtle Beach's web page.