Beach bike restrictions during summer cause concern for North Myrtle Beach business owner

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:15 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:56 PM EST
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A proposed ordinance could restrict bikes from being on the beach during the summer in one part of the Grand Strand.

If passed, the ordinance would restrict normal and electric bicycles from the beach during daytime hours (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) from May 15 through Labor Day. It cites bikes and riders who aren’t paying attention as a possible danger to other beachgoers, including families with small children.

The ordinance also specifically cites an incident in which a child was allegedly hit by “a battery-assisted, motorized bicycle, causing injury to the child.”

North Myrtle Beach City Council first discussed the proposal late last year before delaying a vote to 2023 in order to look further into it.

Leaders held a workshop earlier this month to answer questions and concerns from the community.

Some of those concerns have come from business owners such as Kelly Dennis, who owns Bike Doctor of the Carolinas in Cherry Grove.

Dennis said her customers have never discussed incidents involving her bikes with others.

“I would like to be contacted through the city or somebody instead of the voters coming to me with all these questions that I am unaware of,” she told WMBF News on Sunday.

After finding out about the proposal, Dennis said it could make businesses harder as she notices not as many people ride bikes as they used to.

In fact, she said she may have to consider raising the prices of her bike rentals and repairs to stay afloat.

“It’s hard to keep a business nowadays,” said Dennis. “It might be more on people’s repairs to get bicycles repaired and to keep citizens bike pedaling on the streets. It’s a loss of my revenue when keeping bikes repaired for the community. I’ve been getting hit left and right.”

The next scheduled city council meeting isn’t until Feb. 20, but it’s unclear if the proposal will be brought before city leaders again.