04/25/11 — Pickle parking rules change

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Pickle parking rules change

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 25, 2011 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- People attending this weekend's 25th annual North Carolina Pickle Festival who don't want to end up in a pickle are being reminded of new parking restrictions.

With more limited parking than in the past, people are being encouraged to park at Mount Olive College and ride the free shuttles to and from the festival.

The shuttles run about every 20 minutes. There are two drop-off points this year -- at the fire station on North Center Street and at the former Waller Hardware store at the corner of West Pollock and South Center streets.

Traditionally, local churches and businesses may also make their parking lots available for fundraising projects so that people would have to pay to park there.

Last year, a crowd estimated at nearly 30,000 packed into the downtown area, clogging side streets with parked vehicles. In some cases vehicles were parked on both sides of the streets making it impossible for emergency vehicles to travel.

This year parking will be allowed on one side only and people who ignore the signs will be towed, said interim Chief of Police Brian Rhodes.

Police expect to begin erecting the no-parking signs later this on streets running between Breazeale Avenue and Church Street that include Station, College, John, James, Main and Pollock streets.

The signs also will be on Chestnut Street from Henderson Street to Pollock Street. The pony and camel rides normally located on Chestnut Street have been moved to the area behind the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce office as well, in order to keep the street clear.

"We highly encourage people to use the Mount Olive College parking area and utilize the shuttle buses to downtown," he said.

Tickets will not be issued for vehicles parked in no-parking areas, but the town will use the regular rotation wrecker service to tow vehicles to a designated areas, Rhodes said.

"It is very important that people understand that we need to keep the streets open," he said. "There have been problems in the past when people were parking on both sides of the streets."