Carolina Beach staff again recommends against closing Island Greenway just to appease vocal…

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The Island Greenway is finally open, but some residents who live along it are not happy that it does not close at night (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

CAROLINA BEACH — Despite consistent town staff recommendations against closing the Carolina Beach Island Greenway at night, residents that live near the path continue to ask Town Council to do just that.

Town leaders along with town staff have cited numerous concerns, including difficulties with enforcement, in their recommendation not to close the greenway at dark. But several residents continue to petition the council through letters and public comment sessions during council meetings.

Related: No plans to limit Island Greenway hours after resident voices safety, alligator attack concerns

Concerns from residents run the gamut including safety concerns due to alligators to ‘kids hanging out in the dark smoking stuff’ and possibly setting fires.

During Town Council’s upcoming meeting on May 28, staff will give a presentation discussing updates for the greenway and once again will recommend against placing restrictions on hours.

“Limiting the use of the trail for the masses for one party does not meet the utilitarian intent of the trail,” Town staff

Despite the complaints and fears cited by residents who live on or near the path, the reality is that only three 911 calls to the trail in the past five months, according to town staff.

Staff is also recommending not limiting the hours just because of an approximate 15 homes adjacent to the trail.

“There are approximately 15 homes adjacent to the trail. There have been three 911 calls during the past 5 months of trail usage. Limiting the use of the trail for the masses for one party does not meet the utilitarian intent of the trail,” according to staff’s presentation.

Other reasons not to limit the hours include:

  • Many trail users prefer pre-dawn or after dark hours for runs, rides, etc.
  • One of the major benefits of the trail is it provides bike-ped connection from Mike Chapel Park and our central residential areas with the rapidly developing Wilmington Beach areas. School kids and MC Park users are often attending sports events and other activities that don’t end until after dark, particularly in the winter when it gets dark around 5 pm.
  • Posting dawn to dusk hours places unrealistic enforcement expectations on the Police Department.

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