Taxis and rideshare drivers will have more options to ferry passengers to and from Myrtle Beach International Airport this year during the Memorial Day Bikefest’s closed traffic loop.
Last year, drivers were forced to take a significant detour to enter the airport, which is located off of Harrelson Boulevard. The road is the edge of a 23-mile traffic loop designed to keep vehicles moving as thousands of bikers descend upon Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area for the weekend.
But Lt. Joey Crosby of the Myrtle Beach Police Department said Friday that taxis and rideshare drivers with an Uber or Lyft sticker on their cars will be allowed to enter the airport when moving westbound on Harrelson, while other cars will have to keep moving.
“If a taxi company has a passenger and needs to get to the airport, if they’re on Kings Highway and come up Harrelson Boulevard, they’ll be allowed to get to the airport, this year, from that direction,” he said.
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The traffic loop is in effect from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. from May 26 to 29. However, all traffic on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach from 29th Avenue North to Kings Highway will be southbound for the entire weekend, from May 26 to 30. Northbound lanes will be used for emergency responders and tow trucks.
When the loop is not in effect, drivers traveling southbound on Ocean Boulevard will be able to exit at any point that empties to a traffic light on Kings Highway, Crosby said, with the exception of four roads: 16th Avenue North, 8th Avenue North, 6th Avenue South and 17th Avenue South. These four streets will be used for emergency vehicles only, Crosby said.
Police have also been working with a new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market located at 17th Avenue South to ensure traffic moves smoothly.
“They’re prepared for the weekend, so we can still get traffic in and out of their establishment as well,” Crosby said.
The loop surrounds much of southern Myrtle Beach and neighborhoods off of River Oaks Drive in the Carolina Forest area. While the pattern is in effect, Crosby said, drivers out of the loop are mostly able to navigate freely and will not get stuck in the loop as long as they do not turn onto eastbound 29th Avenue North or westbound Harrelson Boulevard. If they do, the next exit point is at U.S. 501 and U.S. 31.