Beaufort Reflects On Move To Charge For Prime Parking Spots Downtown

For the first time, folks in one town in the east must pay to park.

Those who park on Front Street in downtown Beaufort now have to pay $1 an hour. The policy has been in place for about a month.

WITN's Alize Proisy noticed some confusion and grumpiness about the change. On Tuesday, some people had to figure out the process in the pouring rain.

Residents and visitors can either pay with quarters or by credit card. There are 12 different pay stations along Front Street.

The town of Beaufort says prime parking spots were taken by downtown employees, leaving visitors without enough convenient parking.

"It's funny. Tourists don't even notice. I think they're used to traveling to different places and having to pay," says Beaufort Assistant Town Manager Lauren Hermley. "The locals, it's a little bit of an uphill battle. We're a small community and we're used to having our way so that's been a bit of a challenge, but I think we're making progress."

Hermley says Beaufort expects to break even for the year by the end of July. Anything that exceeds that amount will go into downtown street improvements.

For locals worrying about the change, keep in mind that it's only in place during the busy tourist season. People will not have to pay to park along Front Street beginning October 1.

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