It is gratifying that Hunting Island State Park will now employ a lifeguard to ameliorate a demonstrated precarious situation.
Now let's consider the entrance to the state park. This Memorial Day weekend we were backed up on U.S. 21 before the turning lane into the park. Through traffic heading to points beyond (including Fripp Island) was delayed in the lineup and some maneuvered dangerously to bypass the line.
It took 25 minutes to arrive at one of the two kiosks (the second built specifically to correct these delays). Complicated pricing calculations (dollars and cents and age cutoffs) result in an inordinate amount of time spent for a vehicle to clear the kiosk. The folks in front of us were even handed a clipboard to complete a credit card transaction for a season's pass.
Solution(s) to correct these backups could be to charge a flat fee per car, e.g. $15, and limit season passes and credit card transactions to online, weekdays, or the office.
These measures would have additional positive impacts by encouraging folks to carpool, thus reducing numerous cars wastefully idling for nearly half an hour. It would increase parking capacity within the park and hopefully even reduce the need to pave more of the maritime forest for future parking needs.
The "crown jewel" of the Lowcountry, Hunting Island, can be made a safer, more efficient and environmentally sensitive operation. The beach has additional capacity; the vehicular management is at issue.