CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - There's a push to get people to dine and shop in downtown Conway, but a lot of customers say they're leaving with more than a good meal or a great deal.
Visitors who plan to park along the streets in the heart of downtown Conway, make sure to check your watch or grab an extended parking pass. Officers are making their rounds to make sure you don't violate the two hour parking limit.
Mark Stanley, owner of Trademark Home Exteriors says, "It's causing a big issue because it's only giving a customer a two hour time frame to shop Conway, dine here, have a nice lunch or dinner, go to a couple of the shops. After that you're over a two hour limit."
When you reach that limit, you have the option of moving your car to a different spot or if you decide to leave it in its spot, you're issued a $20 ticket.
"What we see is we have a lot of downtown merchants who tend to take up those two hour parking spaces and we really want those for our visitors, our shoppers." explains Hillary Howard, director of Downtown Alive.
That's why officers started to strictly enforce the rules - marking the tires of the cars using those two hour parking spots and ticketing drivers still parked after their time was up.
Conway police issued more than 300 parking tickets between June and August.
But if you've gotten a ticket, you may be in luck.
Howard says, "We do have occasionally folks that come in for a service or who visit downtown that do get a parking ticket and we're always happy to address that and take care of that so they can enjoy their stay in downtown."
To help customers avoid tickets, the city and Downtown Alive are trying out an extended parking pass for 90 days.
Conway City Administrator Bill Graham says, "The city's objective is to welcome shoppers and diners to downtown. The city doesn't want them to worry about parking for more than two hours. Right now, there is no plan to change the downtown parking because Conway is trying out this pass program."
Bill Graham says the city has had nothing but positive feedback from Downtown Alive about the parking passes. If you plan to visit Conway, the parking passes can be collected at the Conway Visitor's Center or the Chamber of Commerce.