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Cecilia's Scoop: SI beach regulations; riding bikes in Mt. Pleasant

  • 2 min to read
Sullivan's Island beach ordinance

Sullivan’s Island restricts the use of chairs, coolers and umbrellas in response to COVID-19.

Q: “Why is Sullivan’s Island still not allowing people to sit on the beach with a chair and umbrella? They are the only local beach doing this. It puts a burden on Isle of Palms and is not very neighborly to any of Charleston County. Their own residents have to go to another beach if they want to sit. Even the water parks are open.” — Terry Free, Mount Pleasant

A: “The beach on Sullivan's Island is completely open. The chair/umbrella/cooler restriction remains in place due to COVID-19. Latest information from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control indicates that as of late, each day has exceeded the largest confirmed daily positive cases of infection since the pandemic peaked in South Carolina. Dr. Michael Sweat who leads the MUSC Covid-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project and also serves as director for the MUSC Center for Global Health provided the town council with an update on developing trends of the COVID-19 virus in the Charleston area and state at the June meeting of council on June 16. Currently there is an increase in the number of confirmed positive cases. Hence, town council did not reverse the restriction on chairs, coolers and umbrellas at the meeting. The town acknowledges that while those items do not constitute a vector for the spread of the virus, the items do promote large crowds and clustering on the beach. Science tells us that social distancing is the key to flattening the spread. Moreover, the town has limited resources to enforce the governor’s mandated social distancing requirements out on the beach. Typically those without chairs et al. will keep moving and not gather in a tightly compacted area. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause." — Andy Benke, Town Administrator, Town of Sullivan's Island

Q: “Lots of people are out riding their bikes in town! It is a wonderful way to get exercise and it makes me happy to see so many people out enjoying fresh air. Should bikes be ridden on sidewalks or on the right of traffic going down the road? Does it matter if you are riding a mountain or beach cruiser? Are there any other bicycling rules or safety tips people should keep in mind?.” — C.B., Mount Pleasant

A: “There is a town ordinance against riding bicycles on sidewalks in the Town of Mount Pleasant: 95.09 Roller skating and bicycle riding.

No person shall skate on the public streets or sidewalks nor ride bicycles on the sidewalks except where permitted to do so by special notice erected by authority of the municipality.

Riding on the sidewalk seems like it may be a safer option, especially when there are so many cars on the roadway, but it does not remove the threat of crashing into a car. Being on the sidewalk makes it harder for motorists to see bicyclists when they come across driveways or crosswalks. On the roadway, bicyclists are expected to follow the same rules as a car. For younger children who may not have the maturity to make proper decisions on the roadway, the sidewalk is a better option.

Here are a couple of rules to remember: wear a helmet, check your equipment, make sure you can be seen, obey traffic laws, stay alert, watch for road hazards" —  Lt. Chip Googe, MPPD Traffic Bureau

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