Controversy flares over Southpoint park-and-ride


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — There’s controversy between transit officials and a Durham mall over parking spaces. GoTriangle says a new policy by the Streets at Southpoint is violating a city ordinance. Durham officials discussed the issue at a workshop Thursday.

GoTriangle says the Streets at Southpoint mall in Durham is threatening to tow some park-and-ride customers.

“Transit is an important part of what happens in this community, and it was very concerning to hear that threat yesterday,” said Mike Charbonneau, Director of Communications for GoTriangle.

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GoTriangle officials say they received dozens of calls and emails from people about a flier that was left on their cars.

“We were very concerned to hear from customers that Southpoint management is threatening to tow transit customers who are parked in what should be a dedicated park-and-ride lot for people who are trying to access a bus to get to work, school or a doctor’s appointment,” said Charbonneau.

The flier from Southpoint management says that customers parked in the park-and-ride area before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m. will be towed. Durham city officials looked into it and found out that the mall does have the right to restrict parking to those hours, but in order to do that they must have detailed signage explaining that to customers. Right now they don’t. Some city officials are still concerned about how the restricted hours could affect working families.

“My concern about the 6 a.m.-to-6 p.m. limitation it simply that it tends to puts folks at a disadvantage who work alternative hours, and we know that many of our working families in Durham often have to work at least one job outside of the normal 9-to-5 period. And many of those folks use public transit, and so to get the best use out of our park-and-ride opportunities I think that’s something we should look at,” said Durham City Council member Charlie Reece.

We did reach out to officials with the Streets at Southpoint, but so far we have not heard back.

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