Local News

No More 'Bus Jams' on Hay Street, Cars Park For Free

Posted Updated
Switch to classic wral.com

FAYETTEVILLE — It is much easier to visit downtownFayetteville, because the buses that used to jam up Hay Street are gone. Now, cars can park there for free.

Business owners and people who live downtown say they could not be happier.

Cars have not been allowed to park on Hay Street since the early 1980s. Now, as the hustle and bustle returns to a once-deserted street, there are spaces to park and a renewed spirit for downtown development.

The Antique and Gift Center is in the center of Hay Street. The owner says he gets at least two calls a week from people wanting to know where to park for his store. Now he can tell them "right out front."

Since 1985, Hay Street was used as a bus transfer station. Public parking was only available on side streets.

After several business owners and downtown residents complained, the city buses moved to a temporary transfer station a couple of blocks away, making storefront parking a reality.

Cristine Mercer says better parking will make shopping downtown easier.

"If you get in there and get back out, its easier to make those quick stops," said Mercer.

Although there is a one hour limit beginning Friday, business owners believe free, visible parking will bring people back to downtown.

Eric Lindstrom lives downtown and says getting the constant stream of buses moved will restore some peace.

"There's been a tremendous difference in terms of people walking on the street and it just being a quiet main street for a change," said Lindstrom.

Plans are in the works to build a permanent transfer station on Person Street. It will include restrooms and an enclosed waiting area.