GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Free street parking in Greenville will mostly become a thing of the past starting in 2023, which may lead to confusion and concern for many in the area.
Greenville’s new Uptown parking plan hasn’t even taken effect yet, but it’s already causing confusion.
“I had to get to my appointment in about ten minutes. So, I parked thinking I had parked illegally, ehich I don’t typically do that. So, it was worrisome because I knew nothing about it,” Pam Hoke, a Greenville learning teacher said. “The week before, I had come to get a trim and there were no signs up. It was free parking.”
Starting after January 1st, drivers parked at metered spots between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., all seven days of the week, will need to register their cars in the new Parking Passport app.
Those drivers will get the first hour of street parking free, before needing to pay $1 an hour for the next three hours.
As for parking lots that currently offer two-hour parking, drivers will get the first hour free and then have to pay 75 cents per hour afterward.
The 75 cents will be broken into 15-minute increments so if you don’t stay the whole hour, you don’t pay the entire fee.
The changes won’t only affect people shopping and eating uptown, but also area business owners, some of whom say they are worried about the new plan.
“I’m concerned for my employees. They are hourly wage employees and they are looking at their monthly food and accessories that they need,” Votre Boutique Owner Pam Carraway said. “It can add up out of their check. So, is it worth it to them to come work here?”
Starting on Tuesday, the city is offering annual permits to residents and employees, and those passes can be rotated and exchanged among employees.
Deputy City Manager Michael Cowin says there will be a grace period for the first month so that drivers can learn and adapt to the program.
“We want to make this an educational process with the community. But we also want to put ourselves in a position to be able to anticipate the growth of the city and be able to operationally compensate for those five years from now,” Cowin said.
The City of Greenville is hosting a meeting on December 1st at 1 p.m. on the third floor of City Hall for those that want to ask questions and get more information about the plan and the Passport Parking app.
If you are unable to attend the meeting on December 1, you can also call the city with your questions at (252) 329-4884 or visit its website.