01/22/06 — New rules for Center Street parking considered

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New rules for Center Street parking considered

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 22, 2006 2:07 AM

Motor oil stains line the sidewalks on Center Street. A large moving truck parked Friday across from the Paramount Theater is one of the culprits, its front end covering more than half of the median, well in front of the designated parking space, dripping black oil.

Complaints from city residents that large trucks, vans and SUVs are creating a nuisance downtown have prompted the Goldsboro City Council to look further into parking issues on Center Street.

After discussions with neighbors and business owners, they have scheduled a public hearing for Monday's council meeting to discuss this issue, and might take action to limit or prevent parking on the sidewalks downtown.

Kathleen Harrington manages the City Mission Thrift Store, which owns the truck. She said she is not in favor of parking restrictions outside the store.

"I think it's a bad idea," she said.

She said it is necessary to park the store's truck out front for reasons including safety and advertising, and that the current spaces simply aren't big enough to accommodate it.

"Well, if we park in the back, the truck will get vandalized, broken into three or four times a night," she said. "Back there in that alley, people sleep back there."

Mrs. Harrington added moving the truck would have a negative impact on business.

"It's advertisement out there," she said. "If we can't park out front, people won't see us as well."

Councilmen said many concerned citizens have noted that trucks, vans and other large vehicles routinely park outside the designated parking spaces, often with their two front tires up on the median, creating an eyesore.

Councilman Bob Waller said he understands the concerns of both business owners and residents. He added the main problem he sees is the appearance issue.

"I've had several citizens say that people should not be permitted to park on the sidewalk," Waller said. "I think people downtown have done a great job improving the appearance of the buildings and (parking on the median) does detract from that.