Ocracoke Observer: More parking opens along Lighthouse Road

A new parking area along Lighthouse Road is close to the Ocracoke Life Saving Church. Donations to use it will benefit the Ocracoke Interfaith Relief & Recovery Team. [Ocracoke Observer photo]

Visitors to the Ocracoke lighthouse and Springer’s Point have two new parking areas along Lighthouse Road.

In July, a new parking area opened at Martha Jane Road. Those using it are asked to make a donation to benefit the Ocracoke Interfaith Relief & Recovery Team, a nonprofit that is managing the state-funded rebuilding from Hurricane Dorian.

The property is owned by John Conner, who said he and his wife Rauna purchased the lot simply to do what they could to help the island.

In September, the Ocracoke Township Tourism Development Authority (OTTDA) funded a second parking lot at 314 Lighthouse Rd., near Creek Road. Visitors can park their cars there daily in the 20 free spots from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. from May to September and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all remaining months.

“We’ve heard continual complaints about traffic congestion on Lighthouse Road,” said Amy Howard, OTTDA chair. “We felt that it was a community project that could help visitors and island residents.”

Boats/RVs and trailers are not allowed, and festival and special event parking are not permitted. Picnic tables also are available.

The lot will be maintained and monitored by Jesse Spencer.

Howard said that the TDA, by law, can only commit to projects on a year-to-year basis.