To the editor:
I am incredulous that Horry County leaders are now “worried” about traffic on International Drive. Horry County Council has put the cart before the horse for as long as I have lived in this county (12 years).
This governing body has exhibited no vision or reasonable planning. We voted for a Ride II tax with the mistaken idea that the projects initially prioritized for the voters would be constructed accordingly.
Instead, after the voters accepted the tax, Horry County Council reshuffled the priority of the projects for political expediency, with Carolina Forest Boulevard never widened and International Drive never completed; yet council opted to build a $20 million dollar overpass in Aynor, which many residents of that community did not even want at the time.
Obviously the International Drive project met legal opposition from environmentalists. But why could not the road have been completed up to the end of Ocean Bay middle and elementary schools and AAST years ago, instead of waiting until now?
No, Horry County Council has allowed uncontrolled development throughout Carolina Forest with no provision for infrastructure prior to the building of massive housing projects, hospitals, restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and banks. It has been like the Oklahoma land rush: just allow everybody to rush in and stake out a claim to every available piece of property and start building - without adequate highways or sidewalks or any entrance or exiting lanes to major housing developments.
Builders should have been required to put these lanes in as a prerequisite for building. People can not even exit or enter their residential neighborhoods. Individuals have been killed. Sidewalks should have been built 10 years ago. Instead, no builder, to my knowledge, has been required to do much of anything. If this is a state legislative issue, our state representatives should have addressed it years ago. Horry County Council is concerned about the aesthetics of the facades of buildings.
Wow. It seems that should be secondary to concerns about people’s safety and what will now be almost impassable roads because of the lack of planning and vision by Horry County Council.
I will add: the economic development corporation is equally culpable, being all about money and business and tourism for Myrtle Beach, the citizens be damned.
I have never seen such a chaotic, sprawling development as Carolina Forest with such poor oversight by a governing body. They congratulate themselves on installing a traffic light for the new school on Carolina Forest Boulevard. What an accomplishment!
More than traffic issues, Horry County Council and Myrtle Beach City Council should be extremely concerned about the inevitable flooding that will occur when a hurricane or tropical storm dumps 20 inches of rain on this over-developed area at high tide.
Mark my words. This disaster will come, hopefully later rather than sooner.