Photo Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel |This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

With an eye toward making Newport a safe and inviting place for all people to travel, whether on foot, by bike, by bus, or by vehicle, the City of Newport on Wednesday released the latest draft of its comprehensive 2022 Transportation Master Plan.

Entitled Keep Newport Moving, the draft plan is the culmination of roughly 18 months worth of public outreach, community engagement, and collaboration with the Rhode Island Division of Statewide Planning.

In addition to examining the City’s current transportation network, the plan offers suggestions for improving traffic circulation, enhancing the City’s parking infrastructure, and investing in additional pedestrian and multimodal transit infrastructure to make getting around Newport safer and easier for residents and visitors alike.

Among the ideas are the following:

·       The continued pursuit of multimodal street design programs that facilitate better traffic flow, reduce travel stress, and make walking connections safer.

·       An expanded sidewalk network with street calming and pedestrian safety improvements targeted at some of Newport’s busiest streets.

·       The adoption of dynamic parking designs and technologies to guide motorists to available and convenient parking facilities.

·       Improving bus service and facilities on Broadway, Bellevue Avenue, and America’s Cup Avenue to encourage wider use of public transit.

·       And developing greater connectivity between the downtown area and North End neighborhoods.

The full draft Plan can be reviewed through the City’s dedicated project website, until Wednesday, Dec. 7th with additional feedback being sought before a final plan is presented to the City Council in January.

First launched in the summer of 2021, The Transportation Master Plan aims to establish a collective vision to make it safer and easier for residents and visitors navigate Newport streets and sidewalks.

Last year, the City of Newport collected public comments about transportation conditions and issues from over 200 people and received over 500 responses through an interactive mapping activity.

A report on the existing conditions was released earlier this year. It outlined the history of Newport transportation and the transportation conditions in Newport today. From this background, the project team developed draft walking, biking, public transit, driving, and parking policy recommendations and asked the public for feedback.  This spring, the City collected nearly 200 surveys on the proposed parking policies and over 300 responses for the interactive map of the projects.

The results of that work are included in the latest draft and the public is once again encouraged to provide feedback now through Dec. 7th.

Keep Newport Moving is funded through a partnership between the Rhode Island Division of Statewide Planning and the City of Newport.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and 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...