Wrightsville Beach attempts to clarify confusion over “new” beach bicycle rules

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A recent Facebook post by the Wrightsville Beach Police Department about beach bike rules is causing frustration. The town says it’s all a big misunderstanding.

“It was brought to our attention that sometime in the 80’s the town had banned all vehicles from the beach,” said Wrightsville Beach Mayor Pro Tem Hank Miller. They specifically excluded bicycles and horses to be included in all vehicles.”

According to Wrightsville Beach Town officials, bicycles technically haven’t been allowed on the beach in decades. But that hasn’t stopped hundreds of people from enjoying a ride down the shore throughout the year. Now, the town is changing the official rules to allow times of the year for “legal” bicycle riding.

“Between April 1st and October 1st, bicycles are prohibited on the beach strand between 9 AM and 6 PM,” said Miller. “That’s basically when the lifeguards are in the stands. So we actually made it better to your point.”

The rule adjustment has been around for over a year, but the recent Facebook post caught many people by surprise. Dozens of people expressed frustration, thinking their beach access was being limited, not improved, including avid bike rider, Michael Bryan.

“You’re also narrowed down to low tide, and when I’m not working, and when the weather’s right,” said Bryan. “If you whittle it down that much, there’s not that much time left over that I can ride my bike on the beach anymore.”

Bryan said he thinks beach access for bicycles should be allowed at any point.

“Most of the people I know who ride on the beach, they’re pretty respectful of people walking on the beach. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of anybody getting hit by a bicycle on the beach,” he continued.

Wrightsville Beach Town officials said they hope residents will come to fine the rule change as a positive thing. Hank Miller says E-bikes powered by a throttle are still banned from the beach all year long.

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