CARTERET COUNTY - Bogue Banks has a lot of different areas to park to access the beach. NewsChannel 12 checked with officials at Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, and Atlantic Beach to see what changes are coming to parking this summer.
The town of Indian beach near Salter Path is the only area along the Bogue Banks that has free public parking for beach access. The town has one main lot along with several other parking areas. There are fewer than 15 spots at each location.
Atlantic Beach has four large parking lots for beach access. Three lots are located on Atlantic Blvd., near East Drive and West Drive. Another lot is located near New Bern St., in Atlantic Beach. Parking costs $10 per vehicle on holidays and weekends. After 2 p.m. on holidays and weekends parking costs $5.
Emerald Isle has two main parking areas that charge $10 for parking on holidays and weekends from 9 to 4 in the afternoon. The lots are located on the east, and west side of town. Each of the lots have a 165 parking spaces.
Pine Knoll Shores has 11 different public beach access parking locations. There are two main parking areas that charge $10 for parking on weekends and holidays. One of the lots is located at 341 Salter Path. The other lot is located at 203 Salter Path near Memorial Park in Pine Knoll Shores.
All paid parking locations use attendants to monitor their lots. However, the town manger for Pine Knoll Shores Brian Kramer said they may be changing the way they run things there.
Kramer said the town is looking into switching to using phones to pay for parking at the beach. Instead of paying an attendant, people would pay for parking by using a smart phone app or calling a 1-800 number.
"I think we will be able to work it out, but some folks wont be happy no question about it. My biggest concern are the kids not having this summer employment opportunity," Kramer said.
The new parking system would only require having one parking attendant to monitor both lots. Kramer said it would save $6000 a year, money that would go towards paying for their annual beach access lease which costs about $10,000. Pine Knoll Shores is the only town that has to pay for their beach access, according Kramer. Kramer said they will most likely start a trial run of the system after Labor Day.