New parking rules from the Golden Mile to the city’s northern limits went into effect Tuesday and with mixed emotions beach-goers greeted the changes that stripped the last free beachfront spaces from Myrtle Beach’s shoreline.
Spaces in beach access lots along Ocean Boulevard north of 31st Avenue North now require motorists to pay with a pay-by-phone mobile application or with a credit card by phone to reserve time in the lots.
“We didn’t have any problems at all,” Danielle Dorsaneo, of Conway, said about using the new pay-by-phone system, required of motorists who do not have current city parking decals.
“We used to come and there wasn’t anything (charging us) at all, but it’s easy” to use the new system, she said.
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Several other families said they didn’t know about the changes or that they would take effect so soon and admitted they were confused about the signs staked in the middle of avenues that simply told them to “please observe new parking rules.” The signs were unveiled Tuesday.
“This is disturbing,” said Janine Muscolino while sitting on the beach Tuesday afternoon. “We had heard about the parking, but I didn’t think it was the side streets. I thought it was just the lots.”
The Muscolinos, of West Chester County, N.Y., always used to park in the lots until they returned to their car one day to find one of its windows smashed and Janine Muscolino’s purse stolen, she said.
I hope they don’t lose any revenue for the city. If people start going other places, that’ll be sad for Myrtle Beach.
Janine Muscolino, vacationing from New York
“My checkbook and everything was in there. We had to close everything. It was a nightmare,” she said. “So from that day on I said, ‘We will never park in the lot again.’ I want to park where people can see the car.”
The Muscolinos have parked on one of the side streets ever since. Under the new parking rules, the side streets and avenues between Kings Highway and Ocean Boulevard from 31st Avenue North to 82nd Avenue North are reserved for city residents with parking decals and for properties in that area, which will be granted parking passes for residents and guests.
The Muscolinos come down to vacation in Myrtle Beach every year and stay at a condo at Myrtlewood Golf Club — a more-than-two-mile walk to the beach on 48th Avenue North that lies outside of the area in which passes will be granted for avenue or side street parking.
“You can’t walk from there with all of your stuff so I don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said.
“I hope they don’t lose any revenue for the city. If people start going other places, that’ll be sad for Myrtle Beach,” she added as she looked out on a sparsely populated section of the shore near 48th Avenue North. “Is that why the beach is so dead today? I mean, it’s July 5th. I’m looking around it feels like we were here in March.”
Spaces in the street-end beach access lots were not hard to find on Tuesday afternoon. Several tickets graced windshields along Ocean Boulevard.
Parallel parking along Ocean Boulevard is limited to the east side of the street and open only to city residents with current parking decals under the new rules.
City Manager John Pedersen said that warning tickets would be written during the first two weeks of enforcement.