State officials said they won't turn dead-end Graylyn Drive into a third automobile entrance to Umstead State Park.
And the Raleigh City Council prepared to post more No Parking signs on neighborhood streets near an Umstead gate on Reedy Creek Road. [Update 5 p.m. Tuesday: The council delayed action on the No Parking proposal, sending the matter back to committee for more deliberation.]
Lewis Ledford, the state parks director, announced a plan to improve a bumpy gravel road inside the park that provides access from the Glenwood Avenue entrance to the Sycamore Bike and Bridle Trailhead (see map). The road will be paved when funds are available, and the trailhead parking lot will be expanded.
He rejected an option, floated a year ago, to let park patrons drive to the same trailhead on what is now a maintenance road with a locked gate at the end of Graylyn Drive off Ebenezer Church Road.
“Our overriding philosophy must be to minimize the development footprint at Umstead as one way to protect the wild and natural landscape of this state park,” Ledford said in a news release.
The Graylyn entrance proposal had been endorsed by park patrons who were barred two years ago from parking their cars on Graylyn, where they found it convenient to slip inside the maintenance gate to use park trails.
Ledford said the Graylyn option would pose security issues; increase traffic in nearby neighborhoods; invite unauthorized, after-hours entry into the park; and threaten natural areas with further pressure to enlarge the entrance. He said cyclists and pedestrians will still be allowed to enter the park by walking around the Graylyn gate, and he will recommend that the city improve access by building a sidewalk along nearby Ebenezer Church Road.
Also today, the City Council is expected to ban parking on one side of Trenton Woods Way and Tree Side Court, in the Trenton Woods subdivision near a maintenance gate on the east side of the park at the intersection of Trenton and Reedy Creek roads.
Homeowners unhappy with Umstead patrons who park near their houses had petitioned the council for a total on-street parking ban. A council committee concluded that parking should still be permitted on one side of the two streets and on cul de sacs in the neighborhood.
The council also is expected to approve a plan adding a paved two-foot-wide shoulder for 630 feet along Trenton Road, to provide more room for cyclists, joggers, and neighborhood residents pushing baby strollers. [Update: This item was approved today.]