Downtown Parking Enforcement Begins Wednesday

If you park in Downtown Smithfield this story could impact you.

Beginning Wednesday, Smithfield Police will begin issuing parking tickets to drivers who violate the two hour parking limit and park in No Parking spaces in the Downtown Business District, particularly near the Johnston County Courthouse.

Smithfield Police Captain R. Sheppard told WTSB News the increased enforcement was due to complaints about parking from the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation (DSDC).

DSDC Executive Director Sarah Edwards said a survey of Downtown Smithfield business owners was completed in areas where there are parking limits. Based on their feedback, Edwards said the DSDC Board voted at their October meeting to request the Town of Smithfield enforce the current parking regulations.

Smithfield Police have already notified officials at the courthouse about the increased enforcement beginning Nov. 1st.

In preparation of the parking crackdown beginning Wednesday, officers have been issuing warning tickets to drivers in the past two weeks to bring the two hour parking limit to the attention of the public. Those who frequently visit the courthouse and courthouse employees will likely feel the biggest effects from the enforcement campaign.

Drivers who park in the public courthouse parking lots will not be effected, only drivers who park along the streets.

If you are ticketed for violating the two hour city parking ordinance, the fine is $10.  However if police notice other violations such as parking in a handicapped parking space or in front of a fire hydrant you will be cited on a state citation and could face a large fine and may have to also appear in court.

The enforcement campaign is designed to free up more public parking spaces for customers to be able to patronize downtown businesses near the courthouse.