The Hyde County manager’s office will seek islanders’ input on adding the Ocracoke Lighthouse to existing tram service at a meeting from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday (June 17) in the Ocracoke Community Center.
In this proposal, the tram would turn onto Lighthouse Road; pull over and stop at the lighthouse, turn left onto Martha Jane Lane, left onto Loop Road and then rejoin the existing route on Irvin Garrish Highway.
The goals of the addition of this lighthouse tram stop are to:
● Provide quality visitor access to the lighthouse.
● Decrease traffic congestion, the number of carts/cars on Lighthouse Road.
● Minimize the parking conflicts at the lighthouse and provide another option for access.
The public can also submit comments on adding this proposal by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can leave a voice recording to be considered as public comment by dialing 252-926-5288.
The comment period is open until Friday, June 18.
Additional information regarding this proposal:
● The NPS estimates approximately 100 people per hour visit the lighthouse between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 500 to 1,000 people visit per day during the season.
● The NPS estimates that approximately 2.5 people travel per vehicle, amounting to 400 cars/carts coming to the lighthouse each day.
● It is estimated that tram service to the lighthouse could eliminate a substantial number of those vehicles traveling to the lighthouse.
● The pick-up and drop off location will not decrease the number of spaces currently available for parking.
● Staff and volunteers will keep the base of the lighthouse open 7 days a week, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with programs at the open base of the lighthouse for each new group of visitors that arrive.
● NPS staff will ride the passenger ferry each day it is made available and provide a program about Ocracoke Island.