NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Just before thousands visit North Myrtle Beach this summer, the city is getting its new, paid parking program ready.
The city has expanded 10 beach access lots to create more space for parking, instead of allowing visitors to park along the medians on Ocean Boulevard.
Longtime property owner, Larry Marciano says beach-goers often park in the public right of ways and the median, but it can be dangerous.
“During the summer months, the parking with the number of people who come to the beach could be a hazard from where they’re parking which is on the center line, and little kids crossing the street in either direction, they’re only looking for an accident to happen,” Marciano said.
While some homeowners worry that having a parking lot next door could impact their property values, others say the new parking is a good thing overall.
“By doing what they’re doing right now, may decrease the property values of some of the houses they’re going up next to, but it needs to be done on the merits of safety before God forbid something happens,” Marciano said.
Starting June 15, visitors who choose to park in the expanded beach access lots will have to pay $2 an hour.
“That’s what’s making people upset because they have to pay. They’re coming on vacation; why do we have to pay to go to the beach,” Lahna Morakis, a North Myrtle Beach homeowner said.
However, other property owners say it’s a small price to keep people out of harm’s way.
“In order to keep the vacationers still coming to North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, you’ve got to act on behalf of safety,” Marciano said.