Paid parking will begin along the Beaufort waterfront on Monday, May 20. (Dylan Ray photo)

Paid parking to launch in Carteret County, N.C.

BOGUE BANKS, BEAUFORT — The summer tourism season is almost here, and several towns in Carteret County are preparing their paid parking programs.

During the summer, several municipalities in the county supplement their revenue through the influx of vacationers with paid parking. In Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Emerald Isle there will be designated parking areas with various rates, hours and days of operation.

In Emerald Isle, paid parking at the two major beach access facilities will begin Friday and will cost motorists $10 per day, regardless of how long they stay. The town usually starts charging the fee on Fridays, weekends and holidays around Easter, but delayed it this year because of a beach nourishment project.

The Western Ocean Regional Access is 0.4 miles from the B. Cameron Langston Bridge, off Islander Drive and beside Queen’s Court condominiums. The Eastern Ocean Regional Access is 6.4 miles from the bridge, between Pier Point and Ocean Reef condominiums. Both accesses have spaces for about 160 vehicles.

Both have restrooms, picnic pavilions, showers and decks, in addition to long walkways. The fees pay for lifeguard service and maintenance of the facilities.

Town taxpayers are eligible to receive two annual free parking permits for the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access lots. Those permits are granted only for vehicles registered in the name of the taxpayer and are not transferable.

The required sticker cannot be obtained at the regional beach access facilities, and must be obtained prior to visiting them. To obtain a parking permit, taxpayers should visit the parks and recreation department beside and just north of the old town hall/police department. A current driver’s license and vehicle registration are required.

There is also a large parking lot at the privately owned Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, at the end of Bogue Inlet Drive in the western end of town. Parking is free there Monday through Friday, but costs $10 per day on weekends.

In Pine Knoll Shores, parking at the Iron Steamer and Memorial Park public beach accesses will cost $10 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays throughout the summer. Beach access parking hours are from dawn to dusk; after-hours violators will be towed and fined.

The Iron Steamer access is at 345 Salter Path Road in Pine Knoll Shores. The Memorial Park access is located at 201 Salter Path Road.

In Atlantic Beach, paid parking is handled a bit differently. There are paid parking areas at the New Bern Avenue public beach access, the West Boardwalk Coastal Area Management Act lot, the Henderson Boulevard public beach access and at three lots around the Circle, a district that consists of the property directly south of the Fort Macon Road/Atlantic Beach Causeway intersection and the surrounding neighborhoods.

There’s also paid parking spaces along several town-maintained streets: West Drive, Atlantic Boulevard, East Drive, West Bogue Boulevard, East Terminal Boulevard and East Bogue Boulevard.

Atlantic Beach’s paid parking program began Saturday and runs through Sunday, Aug. 25. Paid parking will operate daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. with digital pay stations that accept debit and credit cards. Parking rates are $2 per hour.

Parking along West and Atlantic Drives will be one-hour parking only. Vehicles found in paid lots or spaces at the beginning of parking day hours will be ticketed. Refunds for rain-outs aren’t available.

Free parking is available for anyone with valid handicap or disabled veteran tags or license plates. Atlantic Beach property owners may also get free parking by displaying their town hurricane re-entry passes on their vehicle dashboards.

Atlantic Beach resident renters may get one free season parking pass with proof of residence, such as a utility bill or driver’s license. These passes may be obtained from town hall at 125 West Fort Macon Road during normal business hours. The pass sticker must be adhered to the renter’s vehicle’s windshield.

Non-resident season passes are available from town hall for $65 each.

Last but not least, Beaufort has paid parking spaces along various streets for various periods of time. Paid parking will be in place in Beaufort from Monday, May 20 to Monday, Sept. 2.

Paid parking will be in place in the following locations with the following time limits:

•    On-street spaces on Front Street from Live Oak to Queen Street, all day.

•    Front Street parking lots (east and west), all day with escalating rate.

•    Queen Street parking lot, all day.

•    Craven Street parking lot, all day.

•    100 block of Turner Street, four-hour limit.

•    100 block of Craven Street to Middle Lane, four-hour limit

•    Pollock Street in front of town hall (six spaces), four-hour limit.

Parking at the east and west Front Street lots will have an escalating fee, starting at $1 per hour. All other spaces throughout town will be $1 per hour without escalating.

Overtime or improper parking violators will receive a $20 fine. Handicap parking violations will carry a $100 fine, and violation fee late payments (after 30 days) will carry an additional $30 fine.

Parking passes are also available online at the website Weekly, monthly and seasonal passes are available for $25, $100 and $200 respectively. Waterfront business district residents may also purchase a premium parking pass for $800.

Beaufort’s paid parking program uses digital pay stations which accept U.S. coins, debit and credit cards. Payments may also be made with the PayByPhone app. Registration and more information on the app are available at the website

See Carteret County News - Times article . . .