Wilmington seeking input on downtown parking

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The so-called 'smart' parking meter, pictured beside a traditional coin-based meter, features slots for both coins and credit/debit cards. Photo by Jonathan Spiers.
The so-called ‘smart’ parking meter, pictured beside a traditional coin-based meter, features slots for both coins and credit/debit cards. Photo by Jonathan Spiers.

The city of Wilmington is looking to get input from citizens on downtown parking.

As part of an effort to continue improving services and facilities, the city is asking residents to fill out a 13-question survey to see how well Park Wilmington is serving customers. This is the second year the survey, which will be open until Nov. 8, has been used.

“We started doing the survey last year to make sure the parking vendor was meeting the benchmarks we set in their contract,” said city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert, saying they include several things in the survey but were looking at one category in particular. “We wanted to gauge the satisfaction levels of customer service.”

Last year’s survey results, which indicated customer service was rated favorably overall, also showed that people were concerned with lighting around parking areas. Talbert said that additional money was put into last year’s budget for lighting in the 2nd Street parking deck as a direct result of the survey.

This year, Talbert said officials will use the survey to once again evaluate overall customer satisfaction but also to see how people feel about smart meters, which were rated highly in last year’s survey.

Smart meters, which take credit cards and also utilize a pay-by-phone smartphone app, were first introduced in downtown Wilmington during a test run in 2013. In March of this year, 460 smart meters funded by parking fees were installed throughout downtown. Talbert said the results of the survey will help determine if people still the smart meters and if so, how quickly the city should replace the old meters with the new ones.

Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to visit www.wilmingtonnc.gov/parkingsurvey to take the survey and make suggestions as to how parking downtown can be improved.