City officials to discuss “bicycle-friendly” report card

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The city of Myrtle Beach has been on a mission to get more bikes on the road, and now it knows just how much work it’ll take to do that.

The League of American Bicyclists just gave the city a bike-friendly report card, and it didn’t score so well when it comes to roads and infrastructure.“We have a lot of bicycle facilities which is good but they’re somewhat fragmented so we need to figure out how to connect them up so that you can really use the network that we have to get around the city,” says Myrtle Beach City Planner Kelly Mezzapelle. She is hopeful the city will not only reach but surpass its goal of becoming a bronze-level bicycle city.

Mezzapelle isn’t as concerned about funding, noting that “there are a lot of grants out there for us, we have a lot of support from the community, and we have a supportive city council”. Instead, she says public education could be one of the biggest obstacles of making Myrtle Beach more bike friendly. “We would like to see more people who rode their bikes as kids, maybe dust of their bikes, and get them out of the garage. They probably spent the last 10, 20 years thinking it’s not safe to ride around in the community, and things have changed.”

Reaching that bronze-level won’t just impact cyclists. Mezzapelle says it will impact the whole city. “Even if you’re someone who says, ‘Oh, I’ll never get on a bike’. It’s beneficial to you to make the city bicycle friendly so that we’ll have fewer cars on the street and fewer cars fighting for parking.”

The Myrtle Beach Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety will meet on Tuesday to discuss the results of the report card, and what recommendations it will make to City Council. The meeting is scheduled for 9 A.M., at City Hall. It is open to the public.