Friday’s first editorial:
How does a tourist destination like Myrtle Beach remain appealing to the millions of visitors who come into town each year, not to mention the thousands of us who call the city home? It does its best to spruce itself up from time to time and keep its image fresh and inviting. That’s what’s a variety of local committees are tackling these days in noteworthy projects throughout the city.
A glance through recent meetings of city-sponsored panels illustrates the attention being given to the city’s appearance. There’s the Kings Highway Vacant Building Re-Use Committee, a group that is tackling the problem of more than 70 buildings that are sitting empty on the thoroughfare, creating unsightly zones of abandoned property that give many driving by a poor impression of the city. Also meeting these days is the group working on improvements to the older part of Seaboard Street, one of the seedier sections of town. And together with the county, the city is holding talks on creating new rules for the U.S. 501 corridor that forms the city’s main entrance, in an effort to improve the unfortunate first impression that many visitors now receive.
These efforts come on the heels of a largely successful effort by the city and business owners to revitalize the city’s downtown area in recent years, as well as a high profile updating of Ocean Boulevard.
Much of the work under way now – and work that has already taken place – is a result of the city’s comprehensive plan, which was approved in 2010 and lays out a vision for a more pedestrian-friendly, walkable city, relieving traffic and reducing pavement. At the time the plan was approved, we were in the midst of a recession and many of the ideas seemed well intentioned but unattainable in that budget environment. It’s refreshing to see, if not a full-fledged rush to implement every plan, at least some work moving forward.
City spokesman Mark Kruea said such a cluster of groups at one time is not necessarily so unusual, saying that you see “these spurts of subcommittee activity every few years.” But even given that fact, the efforts still merit praise. Those working to make the city a more livable, enjoyable and beautiful place for the rest of us often do their work in anonymity and without thanks. They deserve it. In making our area a more beautiful, appealing place, they do work that we can all appreciate.