The number of scooters, scoot coupes and other vehicles that are available to rent could soon be limited in Newport, like they are in Block Island and other communities.
Four members of Newport City Council will submit a resolution at their City Council meeting on Wednesday, June 28th that would ask the City Solicitor to review current ordinances in regards to vehicle rental licenses and report back to the Council by July 30th. The resolution also asks the City Solicitor to provide Council with what ordinance tools could be used to limit any new vehicle business for tourism rentals.
The proposed resolution is sponsored by Councilor’s Leonard, Florez, Napolitano and Taylor.
Currently, there are two businesses licenses to rent these type of vehicles in Newport – Scooter World and Mansion Rentals. While Mansion Rentals has confirmed with What’sUpNewp that they will not be operating this summer, Scooter World is operating in two locations on Lower Thames Street and at 8 Fair Street (formerly where Mansion Rentals was located).
Besides scooters, scoot coupes and Polaris Slingshots, Scooter World also rents kayaks, bikes, paddleboards, and jet skis.
It’s the rental vehicles that take up space on the road and impede traffic that Council is looking to manage here in The-City-By-The-Sea. Under this current resolution, a company like Scooter World and Mansion Rentals may see no difference to the quantity of vehicles they can rent, but any new businesses or applications for vehicle rentals would be held to new standards.
“We’re really looking to investigate what’s going on. there could be caps for how many rental vehicles a business can have. Looking into it will tell us where there’s an opportunity to help with traffic,” Councilor Leonard told What’sUpnewp.
The City already does limit the number of pedicabs that are allowed on city streets, a maximum of 18 pedicab decals are issued per year and no pedicab company may be issued more than 6 pedicab decals.
The proposed resolution states the following;
WHEREAS, Newport is fortunate to be a tourism destination for people from all over the world; AND
WHEREAS, Newport thus has a very busy summer season with many types of vehicles sharing the streets; AND
WHEREAS, safety is a great concern to all those using public streets for travel; AND
WHEREAS, local residents and tourists are often frustrated with traffic tie-ups; AND
WHEREAS, Newport does not now limit the number of rented vheicles that share our streets, such as scooters and moped that are leased to tourists; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the City Solicitor review the ordinances in regard to vehicle rental licensing and report back to the City Council by July 30, 2017, as to what ordinance tools may be used to limit any new vehicle businesses for tourism rentals during the summer season.
With four City Council members already signed on to the resolution, there’s not much doubt that the resolution will pass and the City Solicitor will move forward with review current ordinances in regard to vehicle rental licensing and possibly propose some new ordinances that will limit the quantity of rentals available in the future.
This story will be updated when more information is available.