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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– Parking in downtown Wilmington is facing major changes. Fee and ticket increases will be just a few of the adjustments made to help make up for an $800,000 shortfall.

Wilmington City Council voted to change the 90 minute grace period of the parking decks on 2nd Street and Market Street to 60 minutes. Then they changed the deck fee for festival and event parking from $5 to $7.

“The point of coming down here is so you can walk up and down and enjoy the people and the places. Nobody is going to come down here if they have to pay for that,” said Wilmington visitor Forrest Drake.

One of the other major changes coming in January of 2012 will be a pay in lane at those decks. That means a ticket machine will begin collecting 24 hours a day, thus closing the loophole that currently allows for free parking when the decks are not manned for over 80 hours a week.

Also voted on and passed was the increase of parking tickets from $15 to $20 and the price of a lost ticket from $5 to $8.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Cecil Drake, another Wilmington visitor. “It’s like everything is going up (in price) and you don’t even have the freedom to come down and park somewhere and visit the city. I think it’s going to drive a lot of people off.”

City Council will visit extending the hours of parking meters downtown in April of next year.

Comment on this Story

  • Lorraine A Corso

    It seems a shame that the city wants to inconvenience people who want to enjoy the downtown area. More people will stay away and it wont help the economy.

  • GuestFaye

    I enjoy going to the Cotton Exchange, Azaela, and the Riverfest. But as to paying for parking, WHY should I pay to park and shop or eat. I can visit other places that do not charge to park. Also, I can visit any eating place in New Hanover County and not pay to park either and can stay and enjoy my meal without worring about my vehicle. Yes it is nice to walk on the river front but who wants to be bother with drunks, bums or people who need Hotel rooms.

  • Wilmington Tax payer

    Here’s how you recover your money. Sue those rocket scientist who thought building another parking deck when you couldn’t even fill up the other two was a wonderful idea. I bet they’re the same ones that thought making Front Street a two way was a great idea. Oh look we can see the abandoned buildings from two directions now!

    Decrease the amount of money the parking Nazi’s make off the citizens and tourist of this town. No one ever really addresses the question of how much Lanier parking is extorting from the parking downtown. Perhaps Lanier parking should pay for the upkeep of all the parking areas they dictate, including all repair work. Let’s change the profit margin for Lanier parking to a minimum amount. So there is no one really patrolling the decks now even with the “Staff” there now, so who will watch over the parking then with the machines in place. If they’re getting the same boot legged machine they have at the Second Street and Market Street lot the traffic will be backed up past Seventeenth Street.

    City Counsel is yet to address why first of all anyone would want to come downtown. Harassment while parking (check), bums asking for money (check), urine filled alleys (check). The constant reminder that you’re either overpaying to park or constantly worrying about getting a parking ticket. Obviously city counsel and the “parking committee” do not own any businesses downtown. The prices at Mayfaire by the way are CHEAPER over all than downtown. Not including parking. At least at Mayfaire you can actually shop or eat without having to worry about getting a ticket.

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