City Council members are expected to receive communication on the proposed Court House Street traffic pattern/Historic Spring Project at their Regular Council Meeting on Wednesday, November 13th.

Update/Clarification: This story was originally published at 2:54 pm on Wednesday, it has since has been updated. What’s Up Newp had previously reported in this story that a final vote would be had during this meeting. We reported that because we had been told that City Council would be voting on it, that vote now appears that it will be just to receive a communication.

After we published this story, the agenda for the City Council meeting was made public and it states that the City Council will receive communication from Church Community Housing Corporation and the Spring Advisory Committee. The two communications are;

  • Communication from Church Community Housing Corp. and Newport Spring Advisory Committee, re: Court House Street Closure- Traffic Analysis
  • Communication from Church Community Housing Corp. and Newport
    Spring Advisory Committee, re: Requesting the City of Newport to endorse the plan for the Historic Newport Town Spring Park

We have received copies of what the Council will receive and those have been included below. We apologize for the error and any confusion.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers at Newport City Hall and is open to the public.

The below is scheduled to be received as a communication from Church Community Housing Corp. and the Spring Advisory Committee.

Court House Street has been closed to vehicular traffic since July 31st as the City tested a proposed traffic pattern at the request of the Historic Spring Leadership Committee, which has been working to construct a new public park around the site of Newport’s historic founding fresh water spring.

The traffic pattern test was intended to simulate the traffic pattern around the proposed new public park. In order to fully simulate the proposed traffic pattern, the City posted new signage, realigned travel lanes and added directional signage at various points on Spring Street and Bellevue Avenue. The pattern has been in place since July 31st.

Some Background On The Project

Through the efforts of the Newport Spring Leadership Committee, Coffey’s gas station was purchased in 2015 with private donations from citizens and local foundations. Church Community Housing Corporation a tax exempt 501(c) (3) charitable organization took title of the property, is the fiscal agent for the project, and is overseeing the environmental cleanup of the site. The Newport Spring Leadership Committee is the group guiding the project through the fundraising, planning and development phases.

According to the Historic Newport Spring Facebook Page, The Newport Spring Advisory Committee, made up of individuals representing abutting organizations and stakeholders in the community, are advising the leadership committee throughout the project.

In consultation with the City of Newport Public Works Department, the group says that Beta Inc. of Woonsocket, a traffic engineering and landscape design firm has completed an analysis of traffic circulation and safety and has provided recommendations for traffic mitigation as well as solutions to pedestrian safety issues.

The four core goals for the redesign of the Newport Town Spring site, according to the organizations website, include:

  1. “Preservation of the unique historical significance of the site: The original town spring, around which our community was founded on the sole premise of religious freedom and tolerance.
  2. Open space guarantee: A space that provides new opportunities for public access and civic enjoyment in perpetuity.
  3. Traffic & pedestrian circulation and safety improvements in this complicated intersection.
  4. -A sustainable, community based design that will foster cultural & economic vitality”.
Image may contain: one or more people, tree, sky, shoes and outdoor
Photo via Historic Newport Spring Project

Historic Newport Spring shared the following two updates this week regarding the project;

Aquidneck Island Planning Commison

The Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community-based organization whose goals is improving the environment, economy & quality of life for all on Aquidneck Island, shared the following regarding the project.

More of our coverage on this topic;

November 7 – State Preservation & Heritage Commission “greatly prefers” Court House Street remains fully functional

October 16, 2019 – Court House traffic pattern to remain in place for Environmental Testing

July 29, 2019 – City to start test of proposed new traffic pattern at Spring Street/Touro Street

June 26, 2019 – City Council will temporarily close Courthouse Street this summer to simulate Newport Spring Project

December 10, 2018 – Letter To The Editor: Council Resolution to endorse plan to close Court House Street

December 20, 2017 – Letter To The Editor: Keep Court House Street closed