Myrtle Beach to create master plan to keep bicyclists, walkers safe

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee meets Tuesday morning to discuss plans to make the city more biker and walker friendly. The purpose of the meeting is to come up with a master plan that makes the city safer for pedestrians and cyclists, while boosting business for store owners.

The city is in the beginning stages of this process, and part of the committee’s meeting on Tuesday will be to start creating a master plan for bikers, walkers, and drivers – and determining if there needs to be a separate plan for bikers and walkers, or if one plan would better meet the city’s goals.

The committee will review sample plans from other bicycle and pedestrian committees, like the one in Horry County, in hopes of getting ideas that will not only make Myrtle Beach safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, but will also make the area more accessible to non-vehicle drivers.

“The impression we have from the community, is that there are a lot of people who would like to walk to work on a pretty day or ride their bike after work for exercise, but they don’t feel safe and they’re not sure where to go to be safe, and we have a tremendous opportunity to teach people where and how to do that,” explains City of Myrtle Beach Planner Kelly Mezzapelle.

Mezzapelle says the ultimate goal is to find a way to make everyone happy — and by that she means drivers, walkers, and cyclists. In addition, she says the city has a great opportunity to educate people on the many benefits to having a biker-walker community.

“The bicycle and pedestrian committee feels that there’s a tremendous economic opportunity, that people will get on their bikes and ride to places to shop and to eat and to play miniature golf, and all the things that people come to town to do,” predicts Mezzapelle. “And it would be nice to be able to do that with the nice weather we’ve been having and not have to spend your vacation searching for parking spaces.”

During the process of creating a master plan, the city will be looking for public input on how this plan can benefit the largest number of people. The committee meets Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. at Myrtle Beach City Hall. Meeting dates for public input have not been set.