Despite its name, Garden City is not actually a city but a part of unincorporated Horry County. It does not have a city council or mayor, and some people who live there say that has helped lead to a dangerous lack of sidewalks.
Traveling up and down Highway 17, the grassy area along the side of the road is basically the only option if you walk or ride a bike.
The county says it is both a state and local issue. Horry County Councilman Gary Loftus said there is a limited amount of county funding and an endless amount of requested projects. He said the county has to prioritize those.
“There’s any number of things we could be doing if we had the funding,” Loftus said. “But we like to run a lean, mean government and that means we have to do without some things.”
But the lack of sidewalks does not just affect walkers and bikers. A woman named Joanne lives in Garden City and relies on a motorized wheelchair as her only form of transportation.
She has been confined to a wheelchair since 2007 after having a stroke. Her chair is how she runs errands, goes to Walmart or the grocery store, all on Hwy 17. “People blow at me, they curse me,” she said.
She often has to drive in the median of Hwy 17, saying that she would prefer to ride on the side of the road in the golf cart paths. Due to the mud and rain water, she said it’s sometimes just not an option.
She told News13 her daughter, who also uses a wheelchair, was hit by a car earlier this month and broke her pelvis and suffered serious cuts and bruises.
State Representative Russell Fry (R – Surfside Beach) said in an email February that he has already helped get funding for sidewalks in Garden City but agreed more are needed.
He said he hopes the state can work with the county to do that.