Some Ocean Boulevard businesses say traffic loop during bikefest is needed

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Some businesses in downtown Myrtle Beach are making preparations before the traffic pattern on Ocean Boulevard changes for the Memorial Day weekend bikefest.

Even though thousands of bikers and tourists will be in Myrtle Beach during Memorial Day weekend, owner of The Bowery, Victor Shamah says business will slow down until bikefest is over. He even cuts down on the number of staff working during the long weekend.

“I had to let some of them take a vacation time now during the week because we only need half the amount of people. We’re in the country music business and that’s not our genre for this weekend coming up,” Shamah said.

The 23-mile traffic loop will return for all three nights of Memorial Day weekend, from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. each night.

On Ocean Boulevard, however, the one-way traffic pattern will be enforced around the clock, starting Friday at 6 a.m. until the end of bikefest, so first responders can use the other lane for emergencies.

Even though The Bowery sits right next to the emergency lane, Shamah says the traffic pattern hasn’t impacted his business in the past and keeps everyone safe.

“It definitely helps the first responders to get around. Like I said the traffic is so much and the people are so much that if something happened on either side it would be difficult for them to get by,” Shamah said.

Myrtle Beach police say the emergency lane on Ocean Boulevard helps them respond to calls faster.

“In previous years we’ve had a difficult time getting to those individuals that needed our services whether it be police, EMS or fire. By having this emergency lane it allows us to get from point a to point b in a timely manner so we can get them the services they need,” Captain Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said.

“For the safety of our tourism, I think at this point we still need it,” Shamah said.

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