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Raleigh, residents compromise on parking near Umstead Park

Posted April 7, 2010

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— 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.

No parking near Umstead Park Parking limited near state park

"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.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • LocalYokel Apr 8, 2010

    "...leaving their trash behind", Lets think about this...what about all the pesticides and runoff that those nice green lawns leave behind - that's disgusting.

  • LocalYokel Apr 8, 2010

    if its a wide city street therefore you can expect it to have cars on it. Did the city just do what the few, rich people demanded? Which corrupt city official(s) are responsible for this? Is the city going to put no parking signs every 30' in the richies front yards?

  • runumstead Apr 8, 2010

    Why is this issue so hard to understand? The people that access Umstead Park from the neighborhood entrances do so because they want to be on the MULTI-USE TRAIL. The Park does have several hundred parking spaces, but none that are safe and convenient to the MULTI-USE TRAIL. If you want to picnic in the park, there are parking spaces convenient to the picnic facilities. If you want to go the the Visitor's Center, there are parking spaces right in front of the Visitor's Center.

    Why can't the Parks and Recreation Dept. add parking spaces near the MULTI-USE TRAIL? I feel they are completely responsible for this on-going fiasco.

  • cary1969 Apr 8, 2010

    let me try and get this straight...you go to this park to walk but are complaining about having to walk further from your car? child please.

  • vthom40luv Apr 7, 2010

    I don't feel like I'm being lazy by not wanting to drive down hwy-70 through tons of traffic and lots of traffic lights to go for a walk in the park. It's not lazy to want to enter the park on my side of town, which I have done for years until the mega mansions were built. I hate not being able to enter the park at the Reedy Creek Rd. side. Take down those signs on the road and let people enjoy the park.

  • YouNeverKnow Apr 7, 2010

    If the street is maintained by tax dollars then I should be able to park where ever I want. If I am not blocking your driveway, mailbox or a fire hydrant then I am going to park their. The parking situation is ridiculous at the park. Such a beautiful place should be shared by all, not just a select few.

  • mpheels Apr 7, 2010

    As long as the roads are paid for with tax money and on-street parking isn't causing a hazard or blocking the road for other vehicles, the public should be allowed to park there. People park on the street in front of houses in downtown Raleigh to get to clubs/bars all the time, it shouldn't be any different for those going to the park.

  • lilloan Apr 7, 2010

    No parking at a park entrance is ridiculous! I used to go to Umstead and loved it because I didn't have to get onto I-40. Now the residents that have since occupied the new development somehow were able to get no parking signs up and down the street within 2000 yards of the entrance in either direction. Why not allow parking on Reedy Creek? There was never trash left out there. Just another example of the almighty dollar affecting the enjoyment of all....but I'm starting to get used to the cities of Cary and Raleigh restricting access to many to protect the interests of the wealthy....why don't they make this a ballot agenda item....it's not their property!

  • rebelde80 Apr 7, 2010

    I lived in University Park for years and the city let everyone park in front of my house. I want to know who allowed the change. I would be more than happy to start a lawsuit. City roads are paid for by the citizens and should be available for anyone to use. Lets find the information and start making heads roll. Elections are only a few years away ;)

  • gecko Apr 7, 2010

    "how would you like long lines of people parking in front of your house"--RB

    Ever live downtown or in a neighborhood? Geez, what a lame argument you have there. It's a State park maintained by mine and your taxes. It is a public park and as such the public has a right to it.

    I have zero care in the world about the folks who bought and built homes in that area who are now complaining. They chose to live there. Cry me a river and go live in a gated community.

    My family have owned a home on the beach for years and years and it sickens me how the majority of the residents there seem so hell bent on keeping the public out. I often feel like a lone voice when encouraging more public entrances and defending the rights of the citizens who pay taxes to nourish those beaches and are then not allowed to utilize them. It's just disgusting to me.