representative carson
Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport)

Following yet another pedestrian-automobile collision on Newport’s Memorial Boulevard this morning, Rep. Lauren H. Carson is calling upon the Department of Transportation (DOT) to get to work on the planned redesign of the roadway immediately.

“The intersection of Memorial Boulevard and Bellevue Avenue is one of the busiest in the state, and tourists as well as the hundreds of senior citizens who live at Donovan Manor are put in danger every day when they need to cross the street,” said Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport). “DOT has a plan, and they’re well aware of the problems here. But this plan has been in the works for two years, and here we are with no improvement and another person hurt. This can’t wait. Memorial Boulevard needs to be a top priority because so many people are at serious risk every single day, and there will be more victims unless this is fixed.”

For about two years, the section of Memorial Boulevard between Bellevue Avenue and First Beach has been slated for reconstruction by the DOT to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. The area is home to Donovan Manor, a high-rise residence for seniors and disabled individuals. Residents there must cross busy Memorial Boulevard to access shopping at a large supermarket and a pharmacy. It can be so dangerous that one resident there recently told Representative Carson that she actually takes a cab just to cross the street because she feels so unsafe. It is also part of the downtown area frequented by tourists, both as pedestrians and drivers.

There have been numerous pedestrian and bicyclists hit along the stretch, including a fatal bicycle accident in 2012 and a senior citizen who was struck this morning.

Representative Carson has met with DOT officials about the plans at least four times in the last two years. She understands that the project is in the pipeline, but the repeated collisions and injuries and the vulnerability of both seniors and visitors who aren’t familiar with the traffic patterns should make this reconstruction a priority for the state, she said.

“I am urging DOT to move Memorial Boulevard to the top of its list. This job needs to be done now, not months or years from now, because the longer it waits, the more people get hurt,” she said.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.