Greenville City Council may boot new parking plan after complaints

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Greenville could put the brakes on a new parking plan, just days after it went into effect.

“I hope they do away with it, I mean honestly, I just don’t think it’s necessary,” said Votre Boutique manager Maddy Carraway. That wish may be coming true.

Greenville City Council members plan to revisit new uptown parking fees this coming Monday that went into effect on January 1.

“We’re just gonna have a little bit more discussion to make sure we’re all moving in the right direction,” said Councilman Will Bell.

While not on the agenda right now, Bell says he plans to make a motion at the start of the meeting Monday to add it, in response to feedback. On top of complaints about paying more, drivers were being charged to simply use an app where they could then pay for parking time, an issue Bell says has been addressed.

“Initially there was a 25-cent fee for the use of the app, and since then the city has worked to correct that and has now absorbed that,” he explained.

There were also problems with signage – that reflected the old rules of two-hour free parking, which is now one hour free.

“The city has taken down over 300 two-hour free parking signs in the past week or two, so that’s something that’s important for everybody to know because I did see a lot of comments about that on Facebook,” he said.

It’s hard to find a business owner in Greenville’s uptown who’s on board with the changes, Votre Boutique Manager Maddy Carraway feels it deters customers.

“Parking’s already hard to find, and so when you add that other hassle, it’s like, well what’s the point of going downtown?” she said.

Gawlik Violin owner Chris Gawlik said he also hears complaints. “Would be good to, maybe, have a second thought about this,” he said. He added that he doesn’t mind paying for a permit for himself but knows customers don’t like the adjustment.

All the money collected for parking pays the salaries of parking enforcement employees, of which councilman Bell said there are three.

The city council meeting is Monday at 6 pm. There’s a public comment period, so Bell invites business owners and members of the public to bring up concerns about the new parking rules.