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      Myrtle Beach looks to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians

      The city of Myrtle Beach is a step closer to becoming more bicycle-friendly.

      City Council took an ad hoc bike committee that had been meeting for awhile and decided to take steps Tuesday to make it into a more permanent, standing committee.

      city officials hope it could lead to things like attracting more cyclists and walkers to the Grand Strand.

      It could also lead to adding more bike lanes or expanding existing lanes in the city to make riding safer for cyclists.

      Council member Susan Grissom Means said she hopes the new Bike and Pedestrian Committee will come up with more actions the city can take to help Myrtle Beach meet national biking standards.

      "So we're looking to that committee to go forward with helping us to be able to develop these issues so that we can be certified is a good word, by these national organizations," she said.

      Grissom Means says the city is looking to encourage people in the community to be more active and promote a healthy lifestyle.

      Bike committee members say making the city friendlier for cyclists could not only help tourism, but also reduce traffic congestion on clogged city streets.

      Another goal for the committee is educating cyclists to make sure they know the rules of the road.

      The ad hoc bike committee has been meeting for about nine months. It made a formal presentation of an action plan to city council a couple of weeks ago.

      The committee has identified some infrastructure gaps that need to be filled.

      That includes a section of Ocean Boulevard where the street is too narrow to add bike lanes.

      A cyclist was hit and killed there last summer.