By Paul Gable
A fourth traffic loop option for Atlantic Beach Bikefest traffic has been proposed by Horry County Council member Marion Foxworth.
The fourth option is on the agenda to be considered by the Atlantic Beach Bikefest Task Force at its meeting this afternoon.
Foxworth, who represents Horry County Council District Three, said his district is the most impacted district by Bikefest crowds and he believes, as a primary stakeholder, his input is required.
“The brunt of the ‘festival area’ is within District Three,” Foxworth said. “I am very concerned about this event and the planning that is evolving.”
The fourth option plan includes elements of the previous three traffic loops that have been proposed by City of Myrtle Beach officials, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus and the S.C. Highway Patrol, respectively.
“This 4th alternative uses elements of the other plans, but I believe this one offers advantages the others lack and provides a concern for areas outside of the festival area while meeting the public policy objectives identified,” Foxworth said in an email to Task Force chairman Randy Webster. “It also is careful to not propose a route that is blatantly racist in design and avoids a plan that obviously leaves less affluent areas vulnerable while carefully protecting select areas. I believe this aspect of the original MB plan leaves the government open to charges of class warfare, charges that quite frankly would be hard to defend against.”
Foxworth said the proposed Option #4 would spread out traffic without allowing the loop to provide an “expanded festival area.”
Option #4 takes traffic south on Ocean Boulevard to the light at U.S. 17 Business. A right turn carries traffic to Harrelson Boulevard where participants would make a left turn proceeding across the Fantasy Harbor Bridge to George Bishop Parkway. Traffic proceeds on George Bishop Parkway to the north frontage road beside U.S. 501 to the S.C. 31 north ramp. Traffic proceeds north on S.C. 31 to S.C. 22 where it would exit south onto U.S. 17 Business to the intersection with 82nd Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. A left turn onto 82n Avenue North carries traffic back to Ocean Boulevard completing the loop.
“While this plan would add congestion to the northern reach of Ocean Blvd, it would be much easier for public safety officials to lock down and would leave Highway 17 Bypass, Grisssom Parkway, Oak Street and most of Kings Highway free for public safety, normal business activity, local citizens and other travelers. It also is a much more defensible route,” Foxworth said.
Link to Option #4 map Bike Week 2 (1) (1)