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'No Parking' sign near Umstead Park irks some users

Posted December 16, 2007
Updated September 20, 2008

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— Runner Gary Baum used to park his car on a gravel path to enter Umstead State Park through a maintenance road. Department of officials say people weren't supposed to park there anyway, and they're shutting it down.

Umstead State Park now opens an hour earlier every day to accommodate people who previously used the road to get into the park, but they have to get used to going a different way.

The Department of Transportation has put up no-parking signs on both sides of Graylyn Drive off Ebeneezer Church Road.

“Coming in and finding ... the no-parking sign was really just a shock,” Baum said.

DOT officials said they plan to pave the road, but not for runners to park around.

“In order to do the construction, we had to put up the no-parking signs to give the contractor room to work in that area with his equipment,” said DOT Division Engineer Wally Bowman.

Crews also plan to do seeding and drainage improvements. When that's done, DOT officials still plan to make the no-parking permanent, however. They and park officials have gotten complaints from residents who live nearby.

“Usually during the week, there could be about between 10 to 20 cars parked here, just on an average nice day. On the weekends, the most we counted at one time is 54,” said Umstead Superintendent Scott Letchworth.

Park officials said they want trail users to drive inside the park and use designated parking areas. It’s an extra 10 minutes from Graylyn Drive to go to the park’s main entrance off Highway 70 and drive in 3 miles.

The gravel road at Graylyn Drive never was an official park entrance.

“That is not a public parking area. That is a state-maintained road,” Bowman said.

It might be a hard habit to break for some park users, but it’s one they’ll have to get used to in the long run.

Letchworth said he plans to meet with city and county leaders to discuss ways to improve existing parking areas.


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  • ezLikeSundayMorning Dec 18, 2007

    "Why don't you people just quit whining and follow the rules!??!?" -NCchick

    I suspect that someday there will be a rule you don't like and that you want think of yourself as a whiner if you choose to speak out about it.

    Our system of goverment depends on ideas and opinions from all our citizens.

  • They call me CATMAN Dec 18, 2007

    lbroyal I know what you are saying as well. I hate how fast the growth has been going on around here. All the area's around here are becoming less and less green and concrete has become the norm. That is why I live where I do. Also have you tried Hemlock bluffs park in Cary it is beautiful there and parking is OK not great. I have been out there and walked the trails. Try it it is beautiful.

  • Lissa13082 Dec 18, 2007

    whatusay - DOT is not involved in the planning for the park!
    zoocrew1 - none of Graylyn is a private road
    luvtheoutdoors - Graylyn is state maintained and all state maintained roads in the county will eventually be paved, that's why it's being paved, it has NOTHING to do with the wealth of the people living on the road. Know the facts before making accusations!
    NC_interest - If you don't want to "pay for it" then quit buying gas! Apparently you're an outdoor enthusiast since you're complaining about the park, so ride a bike or walk, that way you will NOT be "paying for" the state maintained roads in the area.

    Why don't you people just quit whining and follow the rules!??!?

  • CnB Cat Dec 17, 2007

    my bad, I meant the "parking garage", not the "parking lot" across from the courthouse. either way, you would park there before you just pulled off to the side of the road-

  • whatusay Dec 17, 2007

    Just make another parking area...duh...seems there is plenty of room for another entrance to the park with additional parking space. Sorry...I forgot the DOT was involved in the planning.

  • zoocrew1 Dec 17, 2007

    should NOT have to pay for it

  • lbroyal Dec 17, 2007

    "Why such strong resentment of people parking on a dirt side road? I'm fine with not parking there anymore, I just don't understand the anger and hate I'm feeling from some posters."


  • zoocrew1 Dec 17, 2007

    NC_interest there is more to the story than this. they were not only parking along the roads after the entrance. (state property)they were parking in peoples yards (private property)the portion of the private rd is paved the part that starts at the entrance is not. So NO the homeowners should have to pay for it

  • luvtheoutdoors Dec 17, 2007

    NC Chick either 1 ) works for thr DOT and is feeling picked on today or 2) has some axe to grind against open and pleasant spaces and the people that want to USE them

    Why are you so pro-DOT ? Can't you see this is just done to cater to the wealthy and that to close off this entrance and force people to the main parking entrance which is buried 3 miles INTO the park on narrow poorly marked roads lacks common sense ? Isn't it possible there is a BETTER solution than either the apparently "unacceptable to the filthy rich" long standing situation or the new solution ??

    People go here to run and bike b/c it is the laregst open tree covered area in Raleigh that I am aware of - runners can run longer than a mile without having to double back - cyclists go there (and you all have road bikers all over the place) because the greenway system here is joke.

  • NO_COMMENT11235813 Dec 17, 2007

    "Okay, Why is these people irked? First of all it is a residential street. NOT AN OFFICIAL ENTRANCE INTO UMSTEAD."

    Nope !!Dead end for cars State Road leading to a state park. If it is a private residential road, then they should pay for it's paving. I would have no whining about not being able to park here.

    However on the same caveat, access to Crabtree, and Umstead on Ready Creek, (at both ends), should be illegal as well.
    See how well that goes over with the running mayor of raleigh.