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Reactions still mixed about new downtown New Bern parking policy

The new downtown New Bern parking policy is getting mixed reviews from business owners, patrons and customers. (Nicole Griffin, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Views continue to be mixed about downtown New Bern's new parking policy.

Some business owners say the two-hour parking limit is affecting their bottom line while others say it's keeping shop employees from clogging up the streets. At Morgan's, store manager Mary-Alice Hooper is for the two-hour parking enforcement, saying they've hired a parking attendant to monitor who is parking in their designated spaces. That creates an easier time for customers to get in and out.

"We had a lot of employees from other companies parking in our spots and other guests parking in here and walking around downtown so now our guests will be able to come in with ease," Hooper said.

Susan Tavaglione, a store clerk at Boutique Juliette's, said they are seeing their regulars rush out.

"And instead of enjoying what they were doing, they stopped, they got very nervous and they had to leave and move their car, and they didn't come back in," Tavaglione said. "So there's a perfect example of sales we probably lost because of this."

Ed McGovers, the owner of Stingray Cafe, said the enforcement is hurting his business as well. That's why he and other business owners started passing out petitions Thursday morning. They are hoping to collect enough signatures to show aldermen people are against the change.

"We're losing sales everyday and my main concern is my fisherman," McGovers said. "You know because that is the main stay of my business is the fresh seafood we sell in the Tryon Palace seafood part of the market and that's what we cook in the restaurant."

The petitions wil be presented to the New Bern aldermen at their next meeting on July 24.

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