Make Gypsy Hill Park More Pedestrian & Bicycle Friendly

  • By: Lindsay Curren
  • Target: Staunton City Council, Staunton City Manager, and the Staunton Bicycle Advisory Committee

Please do not sign this petition unless you live in Staunton, Virginia.

We are looking for the City of Staunton to enforce its own code which designates Gypsy Hill Park as a designated playstreet, a designation which seriously restricts the flow of ordinary vehicular traffic, cruising, and scenic driving.

Visitors to Gypsy Hill Park often voice concerns that the level of motor vehicle traffic through the park's main loop makes their visit both dangerous and unpleasant. 

"Cruisers" use the park as if it were a shortcut, throughway or place to people-watch from the comfort of a car, van or truck, causing discomfort in particular to women using the park alone who can feel vulnerable and unsafe.

And on nice days, excessively busy motor vehicle traffic creates an atmosphere more like a parkway than a park, posing a special safety risk to children, seniors and the differently abled as well as to bicylists. 

The heightened vigilance required from parents of small children facing distracted drivers, cars backing out of parking spaces, and motor vehicle noise detracts from families' enjoyment of this otherwise appealing recreational resource and historic Staunton treasure.

In an effort to balance the legitimate needs of motor vehicles to provide transportation in and out of Gypsy Hill Park with the safety and enjoyment of those who want to enjoy the park outside of their cars, we propose the following initial change to motor vehicle access on the main loop of Gypsy Hill Park until true enforcement is achieved:

  • Close the main loop of the park to motor vehicles from opening time until Noon, Monday-Friday and all day Sundays except for special events. 
  • During these times, vehicles can park on the Constitution Drive side and exit by the front gate, but not drive the loop, nor enter by the west end of the park unless new parking is established not requiring loop traffic.
  • Most importantly, encourage the City to enforce its code on the play street designation. Also to study alterations to traffic flow, parking and park amenities to provide more separation between motor vehicles on the one hand and pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-vehicular users of the park on the other. 
Update #12 years ago
We made sure to add that Staunton is not currently enforcing its own code on the park's designation as a dedicated play street. This is an update notification.
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