Kris Novello knows that a lack of parking keeps customers from her Carrboro gift shop on Main Street.
Novello doesn’t blame these customers — she doesn’t want to make the five-block trek to the town’s free public parking garage either.
“We’ve had numerous customers say they haven’t bothered to come in,” said Novello, who manages This & That Gift Gallery. “Who wants to park five blocks away?”
The lack of parking has made a notable impact on the business because the majority of traffic comes from visitors to Carrboro just walking by the store. Novello said getting towed isn’t worth the risk.
Novello and other business leaders in Carrboro had the chance to tell town officials about the lack of convenient parking through a survey.
The survey, which concluded on Nov. 30, asked business owners about where they were providing parking for their employees and what needs to be improved.
It is part of a larger study on parking the town instituted in November to address parking issues in Carrboro.
Two parking lots on Roberson Street have recently been closed off to the public, which Sam Sills, the manager at Armadillo Grill at 120 E. Main St., said amounts to the cause of the parking issue.
Since ordering the study, the town has also encouraged visitors and residents to park in its newly opened parking deck.
Margaret Corwin was staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Monday while visiting her son, a UNC student. She said the three public floors of the hotel’s deck were completely empty.
Sills said the parking lot behind his restaurant only provides eight spots, which aren’t reserved for employees — making it hard for them to find parking when they’re working.
Both Sills and Novello said the Carr Mill Mall parking lot, which has strict towing policies, detracts from business. They also said the Hampton parking deck’s distance from Main Street is the reason it’s not being used.
Sills was concerned his employees wouldn’t be safe at night walking from Armadillo Grill to the parking deck.
He said he hopes the survey will convince the town to reopen the lot on Roberson Street and would like to see the town restructure the way parking is set up behind his restaurant.
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