By Abbie Bennett
Thursday, September 26, 2013
As of Tuesday, nonresidents parking in the university area could pay the price.
Beginning in August, Greenville Police and code enforcement started an educational campaign near East Carolina University to let people know about new neighborhood parking rules approved by the city council in June.
The ordinance requires drivers to obtain a $5 permit to park in the residential area between Reade and Elm streets from 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The area is bordered on the south by Fifth Street and extends north to the Tar River.
Only residents are eligible for the permits, meaning students, visitors and employees who have been parking on neighborhood streets will have to park elsewhere or risk getting a ticket, or even towed.
Towing will not begin until Oct. 14, but parking citations of about $20 will be issued to cars parked without a proper “A” or “C” decal permit.
After two weeks of ticket-only enforcement, code enforcement will begin towing violators of the ordinance.
If a vehicle is towed, Code Enforcement Commander Lt. Richard Allsbrook said people typically call the police department and report the vehicle as stolen.
“The police department can put that information into a computer database and they would have a record of the tow,” Allsbrook said.
People also can call code enforcement at 329-4317 if they believe their vehicle has been towed.
The city rotates towing companies downtown, but non-collision towing by the city is set at a $105 standard across companies with an additional $25 fee for the use of special equipment for front-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles or other circumstances.
James Carraway of Tony’s Auto, 821 Dickinson Avenue, said he does not like to shock people when they are towed.
“The tow rate is a basic fee of $75, then the city has a $30 administrative fee, which means you’re at a $105 minimum,” Carraway said. “Then front-wheel drive, after-hours pickup or other things bump the price up even more.”
After-hours pick up, which means after 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. on weekdays, is an additional $25. If the car is left overnight or on the weekend, that accrues an additional $25 per day, Carraway said.
“I just want people to know ahead of time,” Carraway said. “I don’t like surprising people with how much this is going to cost them.”
Two new reserve code enforcement officers started training on Monday, with two more still to be hired for a total of four parking reserve officers and two full time officers. Allsbrook said he’s hoping to fill the other two spots in the “very near future.”
Allsbrook said residents he has spoken to have provided positive feedback.
“People were receptive to it,” Allsbrook said. “I won’t say there was no negative feedback, but none was communicated to me. Everything went well from the media to face-to-face interaction. But people definitely need to go get permits, please.”
Vehicles that have been parking in the neighborhoods are being displaced, said Code Enforcement Officer Corey Barrett, and many are ending up on Reade Circle, Fifth Street and other downtown lots close to campus.
Allsbrook said residents already are seeing the results.
“Residents are saying there’s a lot less congestion,” he said. “There’s been a noticeable desired effect.”
Contact Abbie Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9579.
via The Daily Reflector.