The completion of the Mingo Creek Greenway has led to a new consideration in Knightdale: Where and how to provide access points for major neighborhoods.
Councilor Dustin Tripp said it’s been one of the town’s long-term goals, but the issue was given an extra push when a resident complained about on-street parking in the Princeton Manor subdivision.
The town hasn’t observed any unusual parking and it’s not clear if cars were parking there to get greenway access, but Tripp said even if that’s not the case, it’s time to start looking at how to connect Princeton Manor and the nearby Mingo Creek and Churchill neighborhoods to the new 3.2-mile trail.
The Planning and Engineering Committee asked staff to look at possible options, which include using space near Duke Progress Energy-owned land under a street light, using space behind the Disabled American Veterans building and finding some way to build around railroad tracks to create new pedestrian pathways.
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“We need a way to get the Mingo Creek and Churchill (residents) in the greenway (and) get them tied in so they won’t have to use parking, they can just walk to them,” Tripp said.
But in an effort to address the citizen complaint – and give Princeton Manor residents a chance to get to the greenway easily – parking and finding a good access point for the area will need to be figured out, too.
“There should be several areas of parking at some point,” Tripp said. “We have to find good spots that are acceptable to the people who live in the area.”
The effort is being floated carefully as funding is considered. The town has been successful getting grants to help with pedestrian paths in the past, and Tripp said looking at more grants is an option the town will explore to help pay for the future projects.
The decision is also being weighed with all affected neighborhoods to avoid having unhappy residents, as the town experienced last month when they pursued an effort to provide safer greenway access in Planter’s Walk.
Residents objected to some of the road restriping plans, which would have created parallel, on-street parking and a bike lane.
At the last town council meeting, Tripp suggested any residents with ideas should come to a meeting or otherwise contact the town before any plans are made. No residents attended Monday night’s committee meeting to offer solutions for the questions council members are asking.
“We’re definitely looking for something,” Tripp said. “We want to give people a place that’s safe ... and everyone can agree with.”