Myrtle Beach leaders join research group to talk road conditions, safety

City of Myrtle Beach plans to repave neighborhood roads (Image 1)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A new report from research group, TRIP, states driving on deficient roads costs South Carolinians a total of $5.4 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, congestion-related delays, and traffic crashes. TRIP says it costs Myrtle Beach drivers nearly $1,800 a year.

TRIP is a national non-profit transportation research group based in Washington D.C.

Local business officials joined TRIP on Tuesday, March 21 at 11 a.m. at the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to highlight the report’s findings and discuss possible solutions.

Those officials are Brad Dean, President and CEO, Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, Associate Director of Research and Communication, TRIP.

In response to the recent presentation from TRIP,  Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement:

“The TRIP report confirms what a significant cost burden our deteriorating roads have become for local residents. For too long, South Carolina politicians have failed to make our roads a priority and now we know just how much that is costing taxpayers. This study, which reveals that Myrtle Beach residents are experiencing some of the highest vehicle operating costs in our state, clearly demonstrates the need for our elected leaders to do the right thing and take action now.”

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Drivers in Charleston and Myrtle Beach deal with the highest annual costs as a result of driving on deficient roads, the study says.

Charleston – $1,850
Columbia – $1,716
Florence – $1,283
Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Metro Area – $1,379
Myrtle Beach – $1,789.

In addition to costs, the study also looked at how far drivers are traveling. According to the study, vehicle miles traveled in South Carolina increased by 19 percent from 2000 to 2016, and 10 percent in the last three years.

The fatality rate on South Carolina’s roads is the highest in the nation at 1.89 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. South Carolina’s rural roads are particularly deadly, with a fatality rate that is nearly four times higher than on all other roads in the state.