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New parking management plan for downtown New Bern concerns resident

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NEW BERN, Craven County - A recommendation by New Bern's parking committee would place new kiosks for paid parking in parts of the downtown area.

However, one resident who lives in the impacted area does not agree with the plan. Jonathan Miller and his wife are the only residents in the impacted area of Broad Street. With only one parking space in front of his home, he doesn't want to complicate things further.

"If I have family and friends come its pretty awkward to ask them to pay to park in front of my house," Miller said. "Or if they don't go with paid parking, its two hours enforced, so they would have to move their car every couple hours and that to me just isn't very palatable."

The committee recommends all streets in downtown New Bern become two hours with enforced spaces except for at Broad Street between Front and Miller Streets. That area would be $1 per hour paid parking. Kiosks would be put into place and users can pay with an app on their phones. Four kiosks, ranging in price from $6,000 to $8,000 dolars would be purchased if the city moves forward with the plan.

Dallas Blackiston, a New Bern alderman who is part of the committee, said it's time to make a change no matter what the plan is.

"Let's try some things that will improve and make all of our parking spaces downtown work for us," Blackiston said. "We are going to make decisions about this and move forward. We're not going to kick this can down the road any longer."

Miller said if people don't want to pay to park where he lives, the nearest spots would be along Front Street. But those are also residential and he worries they will always be full.

Officials say the recommendation is just that and no action has been taken yet. The city held an open forum earlier this week where Miller and other people voiced their opinions.

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