Plans for new sign system in Myrtle Beach to include smart phone app

Published: Apr. 7, 2014 at 1:53 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2014 at 2:20 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach is working to change how you get around with new signage. The new system will replace some of the signs you already see, and make it easier to get around Myrtle Beach.

You may say you already know how to get around the Grand Strand, but, this will clear up confusion on our roads, especially as more visitors pile in. The "wayfinding signs," will feature 5 different areas from the point where you are driving.

City planners and engineers think this will help with two things: controlling the traffic in the area, and directing people to businesses throughout the city.  Another goal with the new sign system is to get people to stay in Myrtle Beach a little longer, like long distance tourists.

"These are people who might be coming here for a day trip, coming and enjoying a day on the beach, and then all of a sudden they get engaged with the wayfinding system as they drive through and then they realize hey, they'll stick around for a few more hours and go to this entertainment venue," says City of Myrtle Beach Planning Director Jack Walker.

Plans would include enough signs to cover the more than 140 miles of roads within the city, and will the system will tie in with a regional network that starts in Georgetown and goes all the way to Little River.

The overall goal is to alleviate confusion, so the signs will be uniform. The city says they'll be the same size, same color, and they'll be easily-recognizable.

Putting up the signs around Myrtle Beach is only the first part of the project. Part two includes that technological aspect.  When people see they are near a particular area, they will be able to take out their smart phones and find it on an app. Through the app, they can get all the details about restaurants, including menu specials, and also special events happening there.

City officials insist new signs will not be a distraction for drivers. They have tested the signs based on driving speeds and say it will simplify travel through the area.

This does come at a cost. The city wants to pay a quarter of a million dollars to put up these signs, which they say is relatively cheap. It will come from the general fund, so taxpayer dollars are being used.

The timeline for this project is to begin putting up signs around town in October or November. The goal is to have this new sign system up and running by major holidays like Memorial Day of 2015.

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