North Myrtle Beach looks to outside sources for parking troubles
North Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WPDE) —
The north end of Ocean Boulevard has become a hot spot for beach goers in recent years, according to city leaders. With a boom in tourism, city leaders are looking to address their lack of parking issues in the area.
"It is kind of dangerous, it really is. I just think the city needs to do something about it," said Milly Tyler who drives to work in North Myrtle Beach.
Many people said, parking in North Myrtle Beach has become nearly impossible, and city leaders are looking for outside help as a result.
"This consultant will come in, look at things from a traffic engineering point of view and also look at things with some experience we hope from having worked for other cities that are oceanfront tourism destinations," said City Spokesman Pat Dowling.
City leaders want to find something fair and practical for everyone.
"Residents, you know, are dying to be able to go back to parking in the median because many residents use that, it's not just tourists," said Dowling.
Within the last week, the city stopped parking in the median off Ocean Boulevard citing safety concerns, and many residents say the limited parking is already impacting beach traffic.
"I can tell the last few weeks I've been down here, especially last week since they have put the cones in, you can tell the beach area is not as full in this area, because there's no parking," said Rodney Stephenson who lives in the area.
The consultant will develop a short term plan for next year, and a long term plan, but city leaders said there just isn't enough parking for everyone.
"We do have a problem, where it came from, why it came from, doesn't matter, you know it matters to some people with political agendas for the future, but what matters to the city right now is how do we solve this," said Dowling.
Residents agree that something has to be done soon so the local economy doesn't suffer.
"We don't want the tourism to stop, you know, we want the people to keep coming. I mean, we love the people, we love having them here," said Tyler.
The next step for the city, aside from finding a consultant, is to find the money to put their plan in place.
The City of North Myrtle Beach plans to have a parking consultant hired by fall.