MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – You can no longer park for free in several areas in the northern half of Myrtle Beach.
The new parking plan for 31st Avenue North to 82nd Avenue North started on Tuesday. Now, city residents will have to register for a decal to park in designated spaces along the Ocean Blvd., and visitors will have to pay $2 per hour or $10 per day to park at public beach access points.
City leaders say the four lane road becomes two lanes during the summer months because people park on both sides for free to walk to the beach, and that’s why they had to come up with a new plan.
Tuesday, the new signs were unveiled to let people know the new parking rules. “No Parking” signs were placed along the avenues on one side of the street, and signs that read “City Resident Decal Parking Only” were placed on the other.
The public beach access points also have signs at the entrance telling people they have to pay to park.
“I would hope that people would understand with the number of signs that exist and even with this temporary signage, it is really about trying to gain proper compliance and to inform folks who have not or are not aware of the new rules,” said Myrtle Beach City Council Member Wayne Gray.
Evan Childers and his family have been visiting from West Virginia and parking in the public beach access spots for years now. He says he didn’t see the signs that told him to pay for parking.
“We pulled in, and there were a lot of vacant spots which is unusual for this area, especially this time of year, so we were wondering why the vacancy was all through here,” said Childers.
Childers says after parking there for years, it’s unfair that he has to pay now.
“I don’t understand the requirement for the payment here. I feel like they enough money through revenue and other tourist attractions through a variety of methods,” said Childers.
City Council leaders say it’s for the safety of pedestrians walking to and from the beach and for the homeowners who live along “The Golden Mile” and other residential areas.
Gray says there will be a two week “grace period” where they will issue warnings for people parked along the boulevard without a decal or in a public beach access spot without paying.
“They will be issued a ticket if they’re violating a parking rule and it will say voluntary compliance or this is not a ticket, but it will look like what one would look like if you are charged with a parking violation.,” said Gray.
There are no meters at these parking spaces. Instead, you use an app on your cell phone to pay for parking.
That app is called Parkmobile and you can download it through your app store or at http://us.parkmobile.com/.
If you don’t have a smartphone, you can pay with your credit card by calling 877-727-5714.