By Paul Gable
The Atlantic Beach Bikefest announced tentative agreement on a 23-mile traffic pattern yesterday achieving its number one goal.
The goal? Sealing off the north end neighborhoods of Myrtle Beach from bikefest traffic as much as possible.
Beyond that goal, there doesn’t seem to be much planning at this point.
The traffic pattern will be in effect from 10 p.m. til 2 a.m. beginning Thursday night through at least Sunday night of the Memorial Day weekend hopefully keeping traffic moving so there are no backups on Ocean Boulevard like experienced this year.
But, keeping traffic moving should be just a first step in an overall plan to reduce violence and lawlessness during Memorial Day weekend and throughout the year.
The problems that put Myrtle Beach on the national news map last Memorial Day, shootings at several hotels on the boulevard, are not really being addressed just by keeping traffic moving.
And it should be pointed out that it wasn’t necessarily visitors who came to the area for Atlantic Beach Bikefest who committed the shootings and other acts of lawlessness.
Shortly after last Memorial Day, hoteliers and other business owners were told it was their responsibility to maintain crowd control on their properties or they could be cited by police.
Additionally, some south end residential neighborhoods experienced spill over in the form of armed robberies, assaults and home invasions.
Does it follow that residential property owners are responsible for what happens on their property also, regardless of what precipitates the act?
Of course, shootings, assaults, armed robberies and home invasions are becoming a year around problem in Myrtle Beach, especially the ignored south end.
But, there doesn’t seem to be any plan, or even urgency, to address these issues.
As long as traffic and other problems are minimized in the north end neighborhoods of Myrtle Beach, everything is okay.