MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Sgt. Vest with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said one-way traffic has been a successful solution in the past for when law enforcement and EMS can’t get to certain areas of Ocean Boulevard.
“We’ve had a few incidents where there was a lot of people, and it’s very difficult to get additional law enforcement resources or fire or EMS down to that area,” Vest said.
Myrtle Beach police tested those efforts this weekend again downtown.
“We tested it last [Friday] night and it worked very well,” Vest said. “That’s the southbound traffic from 16th Avenue North to 9th Avenue and then the northbound lanes are for emergency vehicle access.”
However, some Myrtle Beach residents don’t have the same opinion.
“People drive up and down this strip here on a regular basis especially in the evenings, and then you got people coming to check in, you got people that are walking, driving — checking things out before they decide to park,” said Myrtle Beach resident April Rachel. “You know I think that would be a problem, and it’s not going to eliminate crime.”
Another resident, who lives and works in the area, echoed Rachel’s concerns.
“It’s inconvenient for the people that work and live here,” said James Saylor, who works across the street from 9th Avenue and Ocean Boulevard. “By closing the road you eliminate the whole feel of what this area is supposed to be.”
Lasandra, who has lived in Myrtle Beach for 35 years and works on Broadway, shared similar concerns.
“If we have to work at 9:00 when it’s shut off like this right here, It’d be a whole lot of traffic and it makes us late for work and I don’t think it’s good at all,” Lasandra said. “To be shut off in a busy tourist town in Myrtle Beach, it’s not good at all.”
Myrtle Beach police tested the road closure again Saturday evening and into Sunday morning. Drivers can see the available routes available via Waze and Google.
Vest said the strategy may change as businesses in the area give their feedback.
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Claire Purnell is a multimedia journalist at News13. Claire is from Louisville, Kentucky. Claire joined the News13 team in January 2023 after graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder in December 2022. Follow Claire on Twitter and read more of her work here.