Letter to the Editor: Parking, signage an issue in Christensen Park in Pigeon Point

in Voices by

 

I am writing on behalf of the Pigeon Point residents whose property faces the Christensen Park.

To the best of my knowledge, the land for the Christensen Park was given by the Christensen family as an open space with the caveat that if it were ever developed it would revert to the Christensen family.  In the last month the city has put eight “No Parking beyond This Sign” signs in Niels Christensen Park. Parks are not parking lots and the new signs de facto turn Christensen Park into one: a place where parking is legal! We residents whose property faces Christensen Park feel that this city action violates the spirit of the Christensen family’s grant. With one exception, we residents feel that there is no parking problem in the park. The public recognizes it as a designated park and do not generally leave their cars there any more than they would park in a cemetery or church yard.

There are currently 35 large old trees, two new trees and three new shrubs that have been planted by the Beaufort Council of Garden Clubs and the city. There is an attractive park bench that has been added, dedicated by the Christensen family.

Over time, the park has become increasingly visually cluttered by signs. The erection of eight “No Parking Beyond this Point” signs is the latest such event. There are currently: three power/telephone poles, two “Stop”signs, four city street signs, three county road signs, one speed limit sign, one abandoned  concrete road sign, three info (Pet Waste, Park ID, Garden Clubs) signs and eight “No Parking.” That’s almost as many signs as old growth trees! Some of the signs are required; most are not.

I also noted on coming home a few minutes ago that there are three cars correctly parked in the park which is a very rare occurrence. People are actually reading the signs and saying: “Oh it’s not a park as I have always thought it was. It’s actually a permissible parking area. I can legally park there. Whoopee!” I predict that the edges of the park will rapidly turn into rutted, polluted area because of this legal parking.

For a short period during the baiting season, baiters do illegally park in Christensen Park. Normally, they leave their trucks and trailers “Nose in” to the park which means that they occupy the width of their trailers along the park frontage and thus the park can accommodate large numbers. What the new signs will do is allow them to park lengthwise along the edge of the park thus greatly lessening its capacity and once again, as in the past when “No Parking” signs were put up, will force the baiters to park their trucks and trailers on the verges of our properties where they plow up our lawns and shrubs. Without the signs the baiters simply “nose in” to the park and after the short season everything goes back to normal.

The noted exception agreed generally with the majority position but pointed out that occasionally some have used the park as residential long-term overflow parking. This is a valid criticism that we residents will address and correct ourselves.

Norman G.G. Kerr