NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) — If you ever do any shopping in Riverside Village or catch a baseball game at SRP Park, you may want to bring extra change with you. There are parking meters now in the area.
“The City is investing a ton of money down here and I think paying for parking during certain peak events is certainly a great idea and a necessary idea to start recouping some of the revenue,” Brian Gallogly told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.”You really haven’t hit the critical mass that you need down here, though, to support people wanting to pay for parking down here 24/7,” he added.
Parking meters were installed in Riverside Village in late June.
“It took a little bit of time for deployment so initially they weren’t turned on,” North Augusta Assistant City Administrator Rachelle Moody said. “It’s probably been a couple of weeks since we turned the meters on. Right now it’s voluntary compliance. We are monitoring the parking situation, our public safety is,” she added.
Moody says that while heavy parking enforcement isn’t happening right now, officials are watching closely and working to get businesses and the general public acclimated to them.
“We have marked all of the spaces. We are allowing people to get comfortable with the certain areas designated for golf carts, for example, as well as some of the traffic flow that we have during our baseball game nights and it allows public safety and other city employees to monitor the time in which the parking is heavier whether it’s during the day, during the evening, or that sort of thing,” Moody added.
The price to park is $1 per hour, with a two-hour maximum.
“Parking on the street, of course, is a premium, when you go to the retail stores or when you go out to eat,” Moody added. “If someone is interested in parking for longer than an hour, they can park in one of the parking garages that we have available.”
“I do think that the amount of paid parking spaces or the limited number of free spaces is really a disadvantage,” Brian Gallogly added.
Gallogly is a visitor to the area, staying at the Crown Plaza Hotel for several weeks. He says that what should be done is have paid parking but only during peak times — like during games.
“Which is perfectly acceptable but once the games aren’t here, with the exception of a few visitors and the apartments here, a couple of hotel guests, and people going to the one or two restaurants here, why do I want to pay . I’ll go across the River to Broad Street where parking is free and the selection of restaurants are better, the selection of stores and there’s a better crowd,” he added
You really haven’t hit the critical mass that you need down here to support people wanting to pay for parking down here 24/7.
Officials say businesses understand the goal behind the new feature. Which is another way to make sure everyone has a chance to enjoy what riverside village has to offer.
You can pay at the kiosk with coins or your credit or debit card. Soon an app will be available so you can pay for your parking, straight from your phone.
In the next few weeks, officials will be adding more signage to the areas now with the new meters.