The City of Myrtle Beach approved the first reading to an ordinance that allows the city manager more control during extraordinary events like presidential debates, appearances of dignitaries, events of over 10,000 people, and motorcycle events preceding Memorial Weekend.
An extraordinary event is categorized as "one which exceeds the capacity of the city to absorb and manage pedestrian and vehicular traffic, by overwhelming the community and its resources, by distressing residents and businesses through noise and traffic congestion, by causing residents and visitors to fear for their safety while driving or walking and by engendering disorder on the public streets and rights-of-way."
The expanded power given to the city would allow for certain roads to be closed, businesses to be closed after 11pm, or other actions needed to keep congested areas safe if necessary.
After 8 shootings last Memorial Bike Fest Weekend, 3 deaths and several injuries occurred, and local law enforcement agencies want to make sure things like that do not happen again.
While most visitors to the Grand Strand during the bike week do not cause problems and are here to have a good time, the huge influx of visitors means precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of everyone.
The city also has on standby security guards in the event the 400 local law enforcement officials need assistance at some point over the long weekend. If that does not suffice, the city manager may request help from state and federal authorities.
Other rules have been put in place for those in the event zone area and if not followed, bikers could find themselves charged with a misdemeanor, a fine and/or jail time.
Myrtle Beach continues to prepare itself and hopes this will be a successful Bike Fest. By improving security and traffic flow patterns and how information is released to visitors, this hopes to be the smoothest Memorial Weekend to date.