Parking tickets irk Raleigh delivery drivers
Posted May 16, 2008 4:20 p.m. EDT
Updated May 17, 2008 6:47 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Tight parking in downtown Raleigh has long been a bane to people with appointments at offices in the central business district or those seeking a night on the town. Add delivery drivers to the list of people upset with the lack of space to park their trucks.
"I promise you, it's a problem," said Montgomery Jackson, a driver for UPS, who was cited Friday for parking illegally. "I pulled into the same spot that I've always been pulling in and had a ticket 20 minutes later in the same place I've been parking for years."
According to city records, UPS drivers received at least 147 parking tickets in Raleigh last year, more than double the 66 issued in 2001. FedEx drivers were ticketed at least 66 times in 2007, compared with 38 six years earlier.
UPS spokesman Dan McMackin said the city is using more stringent enforcement than in years past.
"We're trying to move commerce and make service on our deliveries. There aren't enough parking spaces (or) loading zones," McMackin said. "(The drivers are) trying to find ways (to make deliveries) without having to double park."
The company has raised its concerns with Raleigh officials, but City Council members indicated they are leery of taking any action, such as adding loading zones downtown.
"It seems to me that some of their concerns are a little bit hollow," Councilman Philip Isley said. "It is a challenge, but given what we saw, there do appear to be ample commercial loading zones."
A city report noted that delivery drivers often choose not to park in loading zones if they are not close to their destinations.
"It's making it dangerous," Jackson said of parking far from a delivery. "Crossing streets, it's a problem."
"Unfortunately, he's going to have to park in that area, take out his dolly and make the delivery," Isley said.
A comprehensive study on downtown parking would include the loading-zone issue, officials said.