Raleigh, residents compromise on parking near Umstead Park
Posted April 7, 2010
Raleigh, N.C. — City officials have reached a compromise with people who live in a neighborhood near William B. Umstead State Park to limit parking by people headed to the park.
Raleigh has already restricted parking along much of Reedy Creek Road at the southeast end of Umstead Park, which is the closest entrance to park for most local residents.
"It used to be easy. You could just pull up along the side of the road anywhere," said Linda Zier, who often jogs in the park. "(Now,) there are two spots. That's it."
The restrictions have pushed some park-goers onto nearby Manorbrook Road to leave their vehicles while they enjoy the park. Rob Lawson and other residents don't appreciate the cars clogging their street and leaving their trash behind.
"If you can imagine, (It was) one continuous line of cars up and down the street," Lawson said. "We do not feel the street should be an event parking lot. If we had our way, we would have a total ban."
Raleigh parks officials had suggested letting people continue to use the area to park, but they compromised with residents this week to allow parking only on an undeveloped section of the road but not in front of houses.
"If I had paid a lot of money to move here, I understand (residents' frustration), but I think they should share the love a little," Zier said.
City officials plan to meet with state parks officials in the coming weeks to develop a more long-term solution to the parking issue, which also has plagued neighbors who live off Ebeneezer Church Road on the northeast side of Umstead Park.
State parks officials say they consider the Reedy Creek Road entrance to be a "community entrance" for people who live nearby and not an official park entrance. That's why the state has never built a parking lot nearby. The nearest parking lot for the park is off Harrison Avenue.
"If there's an entrance here, it'd be nice if there was parking here," said Crystal Ramm, who likes to ride her bike in the park.