Local News

Residents Do Not Want to Give Up Pullen Park Space for Parking Spaces

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RALEIGH — Pullen Park holds special memories for longtime Raleigh residents, such as Shauna Britt. She remembers playing here when she was young. Now she brings her own daughter, 1-year-old Ariel.

"I want to be able to bring her as she gets older," she says. "We come here all the time, every weekend, and ride the swings, the carousel, the train, everything."

The park system wants residents to get on board a $500,000 improvement plan. Park officials want to add more trails and lighting, and create 110 new parking spots on the north end of the park.

Many residents do not want to give up their park space for parking spaces.

"I would like to see a lot more park and a lot less parking," says Sue Barnett. "I understand it can be inconvenient when you have parking off-site, but I think there must be an alternative to paving over the existing park."

Neighborhood activists met with park planners Saturday morning to talk about the renovations. Both groups say they want to strike a balance between protecting Pullen Park and making it more accessible.

"We heard from people who want to protect the environment and minimize the paving," says Dick Bailey of the Parks and Recreation Department. "Those are the kinds of comments we expected."

City officials say they will incorporate residents' ideas into a plan that will help Pullen Park grow, while maintaining its quaint character.