“And it makes it equally harder for other drivers who also to have to go around,” Hall said. “It gets really congested.”
The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is hosting a forum on April 29 for business owners to discuss their thoughts and concerns about loading zones in downtown. Meg McGurk, the executive director for the partnership, said loading zones have not been an issue for Chapel Hill yet. But as commercial development continues and the town grows, it could become a big problem since trucks have to park in the streets to unload their supplies.
“This meeting is to hear from the people to see what is working and what is not working,” she said. “We don’t have any potential solutions in mind. That is why we are reaching out. Let’s take this opportunity to see what is going on.”
McGurk said the biggest issue from trucks stopping in the street to unload is that the trucks block traffic flow and can put pedestrians in danger as other drivers go around the parked truck. On the two-lane Rosemary Street, this is an especially prevalent problem.
Freshman James Hunt said the loading zones also cause problems for buses to navigate, in addition to problems for other drivers.
“I’ve been driving with my sister, and cars are parked on either side of the street. We can’t really get around because it is basically a one-way street.”
For businesses, loading zones are necessary components to run their business.
“Loading zones are very important for businesses,” said Parker Emmerson, the catering manager for Mediterranean Deli. “Given proper usage, they can genuinely help.”