Pros and cons found to new North Topsail parking fees
NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, Onslow County - Residents of North Topsail beach are saying there are plusses and minuses to the new non-resident beach access parking fees the town instituted earlier this month.
In the days since the new ordinance went into effect, one resident says he already sees a difference.
"I'd say the traffic has decreased. The overall weekend getawayers are not coming because they know they have to pay," North Topsail Beach resident Gilbert Hidaogo said. "So the incidental people that are running in that do not live here that are coming through the island... I guess the vehicle and foot traffic has decreased a lot. I'd say like fifty percent or a third, somewhere in there."
Decreased traffic was one of the goals town officials said they hoped the access pass would accomplish. Residents can still park on the north end of the beach for free as long as they are properly displaying their hurricane re-entry pass.
"The positives are the locals get their beach back from the incidental foot traffic but the negatives are the businesses and things like that they suffer a little bit of a loss 'cause there is less traffic," Hidaogo said.
Town officials plan to use the money from the access passes to pay for maintenance and public safety positions. The cost for a daily pass is $20, whereas a yearlong pass can be purchased online for $100.