MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Crews are getting ready to set up the traffic loop that takes place for the Atlantic Beach Bikefest, and orange and silver barricades can already be seen around town.
Every year the loop has been controversial. Some businesses are either closing for the weekend, changing hours because of the loop, or getting ready to lose profit because the loop cuts right in front of their business.
Businesses like the Gay Dolphin understand why the loop is in place. They say it's an event that involves vehicles, so a traffic pattern is expected.
But doors down, the store Wacky T's say before barricades, its store made really good money during Bikefest. Even now that the loop has been in place for a few years, it does affect their business.
Wacky T's manager says where you'd usually have people come out and spend money, the loop frustrates them, so they turn around and go somewhere where they don't have to wait in a traffic pattern.
"If they're up in North Myrtle Beach and want to come down to the strip, it's going to take them like four or five hours just to get down here and then where are they going to park, when they put the barricades up, it kills all the parking lots - nobody can park so therefore we have no business," Wacky T's Manager Keith Smith said.
Every year, the 23-mile traffic loop for Memorial Day weekend is a big concern.
City leaders say if you just know where the loop will be and how to avoid it, traffic will be like any other day just more bikers and congestion.
The traffic loop is identical to last year. So you don't get stranded, if the loop is not where you want to be you'll, see the roads with the heaviest congestion from 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. That's why police chose those hours for the 23-mile loop.
If you want to avoid the loop, it's simple. Stay off Harrelson Boulevard, don't turn onto 29th North, Stay off Ocean Blvd; if you need to park, do so on the West side of Ocean Blvd and take 17 Bypass as often as possible.
Businesses along Ocean Blvd., like the Gay Dolphin, say the loop makes it difficult to run normal day-to-day activities, so they're adjusting their business hours.
"Down here where you're in the middle of the traffic loop, you really have two options: you close right before the loop to get your employees home or you stay open until after the loop is over. For us, we close at 10:30 or 11 that night anyway, so moving it up is what we have to do to get out employees home," Gay Dolphin, Michelle Kerscher said.
For more information about the traffic loop for memorial day visit here.