Up & Coming Weekly

June 25, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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10 UCW JUNE 26-JULY 2, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Fayetteville City Council's plan to charge for on-street parking is still alive despite growing opposition from downtown merchants. e city plans to charge $1 an hour for people parking on the street downtown from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon- day through Saturday. Some council members favor allowing motorists to park free for the first hour. ere are about 600 parking spots on center-city streets, according to traffic engineer Lee Jernigan. He reminded City Council at a meeting June 19 that the plan adopted recently will include paid parking downtown beginning the first of next year. Old-fashioned parking meters will not be re- installed. Instead, several dozen digital kiosks will be built to accept smartphone app and bank card payments as well as coins. e city is already charging $5 to park in city-owned parking lots during Fayetteville Woodpeckers baseball games. Electronic kiosks have become popular across the country in recent years. Many com- munities say they raise tens of thousands of dol- lars in new revenue, which is one of the reasons Fayetteville leaders are moving in that direction. Fayetteville is the only large city in North Carolina not charging for on-street parking. Businessman Hank Parfitt contends Fayetteville's main thoroughfare, including the first block of Person Street and five blocks of Hay Street, is unlike other big cities. City Councilman Dan Culliton agrees. "We have a downtown that has been revital- ized with small boutiques and restaurants," he said. Parfitt, who owns a business and lives down- town, said the city should have waited for the ef- fects of Segra Stadium to settle in before imposing parking fees, which have harmed small-business owners. Both men agreed officials need to pro- mote the use of the underutilized Franklin Street parking garage. "We need to focus more on the parking deck, and we need to protect our business- es," Culliton said. Councilman Jim Arp referred to a study conducted by McLaurin Parking Manage- ment of Raleigh and renewed his insistence that the city concentrate on promoting park- ing turnover. "I think a significant number of your park- ing spaces are being taken up by downtown employees, merchants or other folks," said McLaurin CEO Jeff Wolfe, whose firm manages downtown parking for the city. Mayor Mitch Colvin informed business own- ers and others who attended the special council meeting that no action would be taken and that it was an information-gathering session. "We want to hear everybody's point of view," Colvin said. e council has not yet heard directly from downtown property owners and merchants in any of the meetings it's held since February, when the parking issue first came up. Downtown merchant Bruce Arnold showed Up & Coming Weekly an online petition with more than 2,500 signatures calling for free parking. He and his wife, Molly, have put their Hay Street business, the cof- fee shop Rude Awakening, up for sale. Molly wrote in a lengthy Facebook entry that busi- ness has declined by 25% since parking lot fees were introduced in May. Downtown parking plan unchanged by JEFF THOMPSON ere are about 600 parking spots on center-city streets, according to traf- fic engineer Lee Jernigan. NEWS M A G A Z I N E Inspire. Educate. Empower. Celebrate. facebook.com/pg/WomensViewMagazine • 910-484-6200

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