MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Changes could be on the way to Myrtle Beach, thanks to a walkability study done over the summer, and soon. City leaders said the walkability study in July opened their eyes to different ways of helping people get around on foot or by bicycle in Myrtle Beach- ways that won't cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, just the price of some paint.
Leaders expect to see some near immediate changes after the report is presented to city council on November 9 by the group that made the audit possible, the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors.
Improving Kings Highway by adding sidewalks or altering the road is a long-term plan, but within the next 100 days, they'll try to make improvements that will not require space in the budget or a grant.
They're going to see where they can add bike lanes in paint or a "sharrow," which is painted on the road to let drivers know that bicyclists have a right to use the road too.
"If there are improvements that can be made to parallel roads with a little less traffic," explained Kelly Mezzapelle, a city planner who is also on the bicycle pedestrian committee. "Either on the ocean side or West of Kings Highway, we would like to know where people would like to ride their bikes if they are trying to get off at Kings Highway, but don't really have any place else to go. Where would they like to see improvements made?"
The bicycle pedestrian committee is also focusing on finding an alternate for people to use to get north or south without taking Kings Highway- like Oak Street, or Chester Street.
"If we put some walk lanes out there, we can get an idea of how many people are using them and where we can wisely invest some money in high traffic areas where eventually we can put sidewalk and gutter," Mezzapelle said. "But in the meantime, we don't have to wait for all that. There are some simple things we can do to get things moving."
The public is invited to attend the reveal of the walkability audit findings. Contact the City of Myrtle Beach for that information at 843-918-1000.