Lawsuit filed against North Myrtle Beach over concerns about median parking

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Finding a place to park at the beach is sometimes difficult, so some visitors to North Myrtle Beach have been parking on the median.

Neighbors say it's a safety concern and have filed suit against the city of North Myrtle Beach. The lawsuit was filed April 4, according to the Horry County Public Index. Twenty-four plaintiffs are listed on the court document. 

The documents say the city, which is the defendant, started allowing parking in the grass median along North Ocean Boulevard in 2015.

The lawsuit goes on to say even after residents complained, the city still allowed parking on the median. The document points to a section of South Carolina traffic laws, specifically Section 56-5-2530, which prohibits vehicles from parking in the median of a divided highway.

In this same section of the lawsuit, it goes on to say Section 56-5-30 of the traffic laws said the provisions of this chapter apply statewide, in all political subdivisions and municipalities.

Len Anthony is a plaintiff listed in the lawsuit. He lives along Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach.

"Everybody that's in that median is probably trying to go to the beach, so not only are you looking out for car doors being open, but you're looking for little kids and parents starting to come out from between two cars," said Anthony.

Anthony said the cars that park on the median park just inches away from the road, leaving little room to get out of their cars and safely get to the beach.

"If you're somebody who lives around here and you're aware of the situation, you're going 20 miles an hour because you know that any minute a car door might be thrown open into the road," he said.

According to the lawsuit, North Myrtle Beach has 30 days to respond to the complaint.

South Carolina Highway Patrol said median parking, if inside city limits, is typically enforced by the municipality, wherever it may be.

Doug Ward is not a resident of North Myrtle Beach, but visits the area frequently. He said he was unaware of the fact that parking on the median was prohibited, but now that he knows it is, he won't do it anymore.

"I parked quite a ways from the pavement, but it a safety concern," said Ward, "If it's not legal, we shouldn't be doing it. If there is a statute of some kind, you know, they need to enforce it."

"I'm sympathetic to their desire to provide additional parking, but parking that endangers people and is illegal is not the solution to it. I'm optimistic that they will acknowledge that," said Anthony.

WMBF News reached out to the city of North Myrtle Beach, but officials were unavailable for comment at this time.

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