NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — The City of New Bern has taken a significant step forward in managing urban mobility with the introduction of a pay-by-plate parking lot.
The Pollock Street Lot is located at the corner of Craven and Pollock Streets across from City Hall and has been converted from a leased parking lot. Pay-by-plate means a motorist will pay for their parking space based on their license plate number.
The Pollock Street Lot features 50 parking spaces, including 2 handicap-accessible parking spaces. Previously, parking spaces in this lot were reserved by annual lease agreements, meaning the spaces were not available to residents and visitors regardless of whether a vehicle was parked there. This conversion to a paid parking lot adds dozens of spaces to the downtown area in a prime location – close to restaurants, shops, and government and business offices.
Paid parking becomes effective on Friday, October 6th and will cost $1.00 per hour, or you can park all day for $8. A transaction fee of .45 cents will be assessed per transaction. Parking on Sundays is free.
The City partnered with ParkMobile to implement a modern, contactless, user-friendly parking payment solution. It creates a secure option for motorists looking for parking in the heart of the city. Once they’re installed, residents and visitors will notice large, bright green signs at the entrances to the lot to alert and inform motorists, as well as smaller signs staged amongst the parking spaces.
Using the ParkMobile system, customers have four options for initiating the parking payment process:
- Download the ParkMobile app on your Apple or Android phone
- Scan the QR code on the parking lot signs
- Text the word “park” to 77223
- Call (877)727-5301 and pay over the phone
If customers have trouble using the digital platforms to pay for parking, they can call the (877) phone number or visit Support.ParkMobile.io for ParkMobile Support. This parking software system is designed to be easy to use. Customers can select how many hours they’d like to park in the lot and increase the number of hours in the event they want to stay longer.
City Manager Foster Hughes presented the Board of Aldermen with the proposed parking ordinance amendment at the September 26th board meeting. “This ordinance does not affect any on-street parking,” he told the Board. “On-street parking is free to our citizens and there are about 600 parking spaces downtown.” Mr. Hughes also shared with the board that proceeds from the paid parking lot will go back to the Municipal Service District (MSD), which helps fund downtown improvement projects.
“We have discussed downtown parking for years,” said Mayor Jeffrey Odham, “I have always been a proponent of offering options to our residents and visitors. This added feature aligns New Bern with other cities of similar size and facilitates better parking availability and turnover. The parking rate is nominal and is designed to encourage efficient use of parking spaces downtown.”
To ensure the smooth operation of the parking lot and adherence to parking regulations, the New Bern Police Department will actively monitor the area. Paid parking spaces will be verified by license plate number. Parking fines, by city ordinance, are $25 with an increase to $50 if unpaid after 30 days. Parking tickets can be paid online by visiting https://www.tocite.net/newbernpd/Portal or in-person Monday through Friday, from 8 am-5 pm (excluding holidays) at the City’s Customer and Payment Services office located at 606 Ft. Totten Drive.
At their January 24th meeting, the Board of Aldermen discussed converting the Pollock Street lot from leased spaces to a pay-to-park system. That discussion included implementing a parking app that would be used to pay for parking at the lot. Staff moved forward with researching parking payment systems. At the Board’s September 26th meeting, the City’s Off-Street Parking section of Article VI, Chapter 70 ordinance was updated, and passed unanimously, to reflect the new parking structure.
The City maintains three, free, all-day parking lots and at their Tuesday meeting, they added a fourth one to the parking ordinance, identified as the Brown Bear Lot. The free, all-day lots are located at:
- Red Bear Lot – south end of Craven Street
- Gold Bear Lot – at the Farmer’s Market, near S. Front and Hancock streets
- Black Bear Lot – at the corner of New and Hancock streets
- (NEW) Brown Bear Lot – near the intersection of Pollock and Fleet streets
Two-hour on-street parking is available in most of the downtown area from 7:15 am-4:15 pm Monday through Friday. If residents and visitors do not want to pay for parking, they can use two-hour on-street parking downtown, or use one of the four all-day parking lots at no charge.
For more information about parking in the City of New Bern, visit www.newbernnc.gov/parking.