By Craig Westcott/November 25, 2021
CBS Councilor-at-large Christine Butler says the Town’s recreation committee is working on a solution to the parking problems caused by some users of the T’Railway near Spruce Hill Road.
The spot where the trail meets Spruce Hill Road is located at the top of a blind hill and near the road’s intersection with busy Buckingham Drive. The spot also marks the start of the CBS portion of the T’Rrailway heading west and the beginning of the Paradise Trail heading east. Some users of the trails have been causing problems by parking along the top of Spruce Hill Road, affecting sightlines for moving traffic.
“The T’Railway has seen increased usage year over year and parking has been a longstanding issue for T’Railway users east of Manuels River,” allowed Butler, who chairs the committee. “Safety concerns related to parking on Spruce Hill Road, close to the intersection (with Buckingham Drive) and on a turn, as well as parking in front of T’Railway gates prohibiting emergency access, need to be mitigated. Parking alongside Buckingham Drive is also not an ideal long-term solution and is not permitted in the winter months.”
Butler said the Town is working on developing a parking area for trail users somewhere between Buckingham Drive and the T’Railway.
“Property owners in the immediate area will be receiving a notice in the mail advising them of our exploration of the proposed concept,” Butler added. “Should anyone have feedback to provide, we ask that residents do so before December 3.”
In related news, Butler informed her colleagues the T’Railway through town received just under 275,000 visits from January 1 to the end of October. “Since July 19, the Gateway Trail (in Kelligrews) has seen 11,770 (visits), Chamberlains Park use is just shy of 23,000 (visits), and the East Coast Trail entry point at Topsail Beach has tracked just over 9,400 (visits).”
Butler reminded hikers and bicyclists to follow proper trail etiquette. “Scoop after your pets, walk to the right, and if you’re on a bicycle, please advise the pedestrians you are approaching on their left by way of your voice or a bicycle bell,” she said.