The Isle of Palms seems convinced it needs to charge for parking to access the public beach. While parking fees could provide the town a revenue stream, it is not reasonable to suggest the fees would solve safety issues they say are created by traffic. Here are a few thoughts:
1) Traffic exists at all beaches. I suggest allowing parking on one side of all state roads (or any roads). Cars would be parked, not traveling slowly looking for a parking space. Why does the state allow home owners to block parking on what is state property with bushes, trees, rocks, etc.?
2) Merchants on IOP will suffer if people don’t visit the Isle of Palms because they do not have parking passes. Tourists will suffer when they can’t go to the beach for want of parking passes. Eventually, the area’s reputation will be harmed and tourism in South Carolina would deteriorate.
3) What happens when locals’ guests cannot get passes?
4) A shuttle bus? Look what people — particularly those with children — take to the beach. Now imagine trying to get that in and out of a bus, safely and efficiently.
I hope that more reasonable thought is put into this issue. The beach is public and belongs to all of us. If there is parking available then a charge might be palatable.