Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Wrightsville Beach looks to DOT to end parking on west side of drawbridge

The Town of Wrightsville Beach will vote to approve or deny the request to the NCDOT to install landscaping on the right-of-way where boaters have made an impromptu overflow parking lot during busy days (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
The Town of Wrightsville Beach will vote to approve or deny the request to the NCDOT to install landscaping on the right-of-way where boaters have made an impromptu overflow parking lot during busy days (Port City Daily photo / MICHAEL PRAATS)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — The Town of Wrightsville Beach is looking to end the parking of trucks and boat trailers on the west side of the Wrightsville Beach Drawbridge, on property that is located in Wilmington.

The Town of Wrightsville Beach is requesting that the North Carolina Department of Transportation install landscaping on the west side of the drawbridge to, “protect the Cross City Trail and eliminate parking in the right-of-way.”

Town Manager Tim Owens said the town is working with Wilmington to address the concern of parking in the right-of-way. Parking on the right-of-way is not always a problem, “but any given good weekend, when it’s really nice, there could be anywhere from 12-15 trucks and trailers parking there,” Owens said.

 “… it is first come first serve and it’s like anything else in life, if you’re not there on time then you’re sometimes left out.”

Owens also said there are also plans to improve the Cross City Trail and bring it under the bridge, the landscape proposal would help protect the trail and its use.

“It’s not very sightly to have all those trucks and trailers parked there, it’s also not advantageous for people who are walking the trail or the structural integrity of that trail,” Owens said.

While it might look like a nice place to park if there are no available spots at the boat launch, it is already considered a misdemeanor to park on the state-owned property, Owens said.

Unfortunately, the enforcement of people parking where they are not allowed to park is more difficult than a simple civil citation. Civil citations can be left under a windshield wiper and ticketed, when it comes to a misdemeanor, enforcement must be done in person, Owens said.

The Wrightsville Beach Board of Alderman will meet Thursday to consider approving the landscaping plan and request the NCDOT install the projects in the fall.

The issue of limited parking and people parking on the west side of the bridge is a somewhat new phenomenon Owens said; he expects the town to address the overall issue of parking early next year.

Owens suggests arriving early if boaters are hoping to find parking at the boat launch.

“That whole boat ramp is a state facility, it is first come first serve and it’s like anything else in life, if you’re not there on time then you’re sometimes left out,” Owens said.


Michael Praats can be reached at Michael.p@localvoicemedia.com.

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