Thursday, February 5, 2009

Parking ban at Reedy Creek and Trenton

Raleigh City Council was recently asked to issue a parking ban in the Trenton Woods neighborhood. They opted to undertake a study before taking action. We oppose the additional ban on parking and appreciate the decision to delay action without further study. To recap actions to date, all city council members were contacted 1/17/08 with a link to the petition. Rodger Koopman and Philip Isley were responsive but indicated that it was more of a state government issue. Mayor Meeker was very supportive in our meeting of 6/4/08 (ee 6/7/08 post). Actions needed: Contact city council members with your opinions. While this may not be your preferred point of access, the issue impacts all of us so please take action. Please see below for a sample position statement with the e-mail addresses.

Mayor Charles Meeker (
Mary-Ann Baldwin (
Russ Stephenson (
Nancy McFarlane (
Rodger Koopman (
James West (
Thomas Crowder (
Philip Isley (

In reference to the issue of a parking ban on the streets of Trenton Woods and other neighborhoods surrounding Umstead State Park, I respectively ask you to please consider the numerous petitioners who signed a petition to restore parking at the Reedy Creek Road entrance to Umstead State Park ( I appreciate the action to study the issue rather than approving it without discussion. I request that the city take action to remove the all current signs prohibiting parking on Reedy Creek Road and Trenton and that the city delay any further action prohibiting parking at this area until the city and/or state can restore parking access for park users. I would also appreciate any action the city makes in providing parking at the Reedy Creek Road and Graylyn Drive areas for the numerous park users.


joe said...

Thanks for sending the note, and it's good to hear that they are taking input.

The Trenton entrance ("The Corner", as a lot of people refer to it) is simply the best Umstead access point for people in West Raleigh. Especially during rush-hour when it is not convient to get on I-40 or Glenwood to get to the other entrances, Trenton is ideal. The continued use of this area, despite the No Parking signs that seem to be growing by the day, should be a clear indication to the City that it is a valued entrance.

I feel some deal with the neighborhoods or the city must be struck. Ideally, a dedicated parking lot should be made, even if that means clearing some of the trees or converting a field into a dirt parking lot.

access umstead said...

Thanks for your comment Joe. Trenton, Ebenezer and Graylyn are all ideal in providing access to this invaluable regional resource. We hope the city/county/state can come together to help solve the problem created by restricting access at Trenton and Graylyn--and we are very concerned about what might happen if the access at Old Reedy Creek is also taken by DOT paving plans. We agree that dedicated parking lots are needed.

Jane said...

Thanks for calling attention to this. I think that in addition to the parking issue, the city should focus on safety and reducing speeds and adding cross walks in these areas. The bike access from Trenton onto the new Greenway is an accident waiting to happen. There used to be a stop sign there when it was gravel and now it's just a sharp curve that facilitates vehicle speeds that are much too high and dangerous. I have noticed a number of developments going up around the edges of Umstead and think that it would be not only necessary but just and fair that the City allow curb side parking in all of these areas. If you look at any other public park or attraction in Raleigh (The Rose Garden, nieghborhood parks, etc.) there is curb side parking to facilitate their access. These new Housing developments are no different and the City should not allow parking to be restricted. Land around Umstead is too precious to think that parking lots would be a sustainable solution, especially when there are miles of safe, curb side parking in close proximity.

access umstead said...

Thanks for your comment and support. We agree with your safety concerns. We believe a part of the problem you mention lies with the loss of convenient designated parking near the entrance gates. With the increasing popularity of the park and decreased access, park users are having to chance their safety by parking 1-2 miles away and either crossing major thoroughfares or run/bike along them to get into the park. Another problem that has been created by the loss of access at Reedy Creek/Trenton and Graylyn are the unsafe conditions within the park caused by the confluence of increased vehicular traffic trying to get a coveted parking place, bikers, hikers, runners, etc. We understand last week that the parking lots within the park were full and people were actually turned away. We did not see that but did note the unsafe conditions. Curbside or street parking should still be seriously considered at Graylyn since it is a dead end street thus presenting less safety concerns between cars, bikes, and pedestrians. However, we firmly believe that designated parking is needed at both locations--as well as Old Reedy Creek.

Anonymous said...

If it is a "necessary" point of access - then an off street parking area should be built. Just like for any business - off street parking based on number of seats, occupants, users, whatever. But it needs to be backed up with actual data.... not a lot of people who are just accustomed to parking somewhere and don't want to change a habit.

A lot of the problem was with people accessing the park after hours - that became a real issue - not the people who are there during open park hours.

I just park in the in-park designated areas now anyway to access the horse and bridle trails for biking. There is also plenty of parking off of harrison for walking trail access - which has never been a problem.

again - some data - and the realization that this parking area is problematic due to after hours access to the park (if I lived there I wouldn't want people parking in front of my house, after dark, doing things they're not supposed to be doing).

Access Umstead Committee said...

No disrespect to you but we think that the number signing the petition is pretty persuasive data. What is the incidence data about the after hours problem? Is it more than a scare tactic or hearsay?

Access Umstead said...

We heard from Russ Stephenson, Raleigh City Council Member who serves on the Public Works committee, on 2/16 and Margaret subsequently had a lengthy conversation with him. He had already done quite a bit of investigation into the access issues at Reedy Creek and Graylyn to include talking with residents,talking with a member of the PAC and going to the sites for a personal view of the problems and possible solutions. He is supportive of our position for access with designated parking at these areas and plans to research further by following up with the parties involved. We will touch bases with him in the near future for an update.

Anonymous said...

****Thursday March 26th at 9 am*****
Raleigh City council members will be listening to the public's concerns over many issues, including the proposed parking ban in Trenton Place subdivision off Trenton Rd. Please, anyone who is able should go and voice their opinions regarding this issue. It is unfortunate that these new homeowners have not been able to grasp the importance and value that this Umstead entrance has had for hundreds of people over the decades. As a resident of this area for many years, I have seen it go through many changes, but none as drastic as the ones that occurred with the paving of the gravel roads. With it came the new neighborhoods, much more traffic and 56 No Parking signs in less than half a mile. There has to be a way for people to continue to access Umstead through this entrance. What we can do as a community is try to enforce our right to access public areas like Umstead by attending this meeting and making sure that our elected officials do what is best for the majority of their constituents, not just a few homeowners. In an urban setting, curb side parking is an essential means for allowing a city's residents to function on a day to day basis. Parking lots are great, but when the supply of land is scarce, this is the only sustainable solution. Just look at an area like Five Points and you will see this played out every day. The individuals who signed the petition are asking for the city to completely restrict parking on these new public streets-essentially making it a private street. This would have a huge impact on people not being able to access Umstead, and possible negative implications around all of Raleigh's public areas. Please, if you can make time, go to the meeting and recommend that the City officials not allow this petition to pass.

access umstead said...

Thank you for your comment and this information. I am unable to find this meeting on the City Council's schedule. Can you provide a link or additional information so we can send it out? Thanks!

Lucy Simpson said...

City Council Public Works Committee meeting see item number 07-51 below:


The Public Works Committee will meet on Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 9:00 A.M.

Location: Room 201, City Council Chamber, Raleigh Municipal Building, 222 West Hargett Street, Avery C. Upchurch Municipal Complex, Raleigh, NC. For information call 996-3040 (City Clerk’s Office) or 996-3030 (Public Works Department).

All the following items are pending in Committee; however, only those items that are shown in bold print will be discussed during this meeting:

07-08 Traffic Calming – Birnamwood Road (1/8/08)
07-27 Traffic Concerns – Five Points Area (7/15/08)
I.A 07-29 Trenton Road – Bicycle/Pedestrian Path (8/5/08)
07-32 Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (9/2/08)
07-34 Roanoke Park – Concerns (9/2/08)
07-36 Residential Permit Parking – Visitor Passes (9/2/08)
07-38 TC-8-08 – Increased Stormwater Management Requirement (9/16/08)
07-46 Street Closing – Davie Street/Empire Properties (11/4/08)
07-49 Pedestrian Improvements – Lineberry Drive (1/6/09)
07-50 Park Master Plan Study (1/22/09)
I.B 07-51 No Parking Zone – Trenton Woods Way and Tree Side Court (2/3/09)
07-52 Easement Concerns – 4709 Scollay Court (2/3/09)
07-54 Traffic Concerns – Reaves Drive (3/3/09)

The following items were referred from the March 17, 2009 City Council meeting:

II. 07-55 Solid Waste Services – "Need Assistance" Program (3/17/09)

*** Council Chamber is Assistive Listening System equipped. Deaf and hearing impaired individuals needing interpreter services should provide 48-hour notice by calling 996-3100 (voice) and 996-3107 (TDD). ***

Access Umstead said...

Thank you so much, Lucy!