Chapel Hill is determined to give people reasons not to visit and spend money. If you’ve tried, you know parking is a  nightmare around downtown and UNC. There’s also a big problem with panhandlers, who can earn as  much as $25,000 per year tax free by the way. And now it looks as if the town will prohibit cell phone use while driving, which will create nothing but confusion about where you can and can’t use your phone.


The town could enforce a ban on cellphone use while driving on town-owed roads, but the town’s authority is less certain on state-owned roads, Town Attorney Ralph Karpinos said.

“There may be a stronger basis for our having authority to regulate cellphones if we restrict cellphone use only on town streets,” he said. The argument is a little more questionable if the town tries to regulate cellphones on state streets, he said.

The state owns several main roads throughout town, including Franklin Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Manning Drive, Estes Drive and Weaver Dairy Road.

The council didn’t discuss the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, which is state property.