Traffic jams and the loop irritate locals, bikers at Bikefest
With just two weeks until the start of Atlantic Beach Bike Week the fate of Myrtle Beach's 2018 version of a 23-mile traffic loop remains undecided.
The NAACP asked a federal judge for a court order to prevent Myrtle Beach from implementing the loop during Memorial Day weekend. The request was part of an ongoing lawsuit against the city and its police department. The loop is used during Atlantic Beach Bike Week, commonly referred to as "Black Bike Week."
The 23-mile loop started in 2015 after the 2014 weekend was marred with violence and shootings.
NAACP leaders called the loop discriminatory and said it takes away from visitors’ enjoyment. The city contends the detour is needed for public safety and to allow emergency responders navigate traffic.
Each side presented its case about the loop to a federal judge in a Greenville court earlier this week.
After the hearing, Judge Marvin Quattlebaum told lawyers that he knows Memorial Day weekend was fast approaching, but didn't offer a timetable for his ruling. By the close of business on Friday, a decision was not posted on the federal court electronic records system.
Earlier this week, Quattlebaum filed a scheduling order as the sides now prepare for a February 2019 trial. They will need to complete mediation by July 31. The NAACP will have to identify its expert witnesses by Aug. 24 and the city will identify its experts by Sept. 24.