New parking enforcement in Beaufort

BEAUFORT, N.C. (WITN) – Parking enforcement in Beaufort’s downtown and waterfront lots started Wednesday for tourism season.

New changes for this year include electronic payment, new parking enforcers, and an increase in fees.

Pay-to-park runs from May 15th to October 31st in downtown Beaufort between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Town officials say the revenue from fees is used to pay for the cost of managing the parking program, beautification, and infrastructure projects in the waterfront business district.

Beaufort mayor Sharon Harker says that paid parking is not unusual as seen from the past and other coastal communities saying, “And paid parking is helping as well as our residents and our visitors to have the ability to have access to their favorite shops and restaurants.”

People who work downtown and in the waterfront business district feel differently about paying to park.

“We work here which means we have to park farther away from our store which we normally do before it [pay-to-park] started. Which means we have to pay to work here and that messes up a lot of us [employees] because we have to walk all the way down and it’s not that great, said Beaufort retail service worker Allie Nebre.

This year’s changes include a 50-cent increase for downtown hourly parking, which is now $1.50 an hour, and East and West parking lots are now $3.00 an hour. Paid parking can be made through text messages but is not required. To do so you would contact Pivot Parking, Beaufort’s new parking enforcement. A fine of $50.00 will also be issued for overtime parking.

The town says the first week of parking enforcement will be more educational than enforcing as new changes are being adjusted.

Mayor Harker also says there are plenty of free parking spots located throughout Beaufort and that paid parking will only be within the downtown and waterfront area.

Parking passes are available and for more information on parking in Beaufort you can click here.