Over the past twenty-four hours, the City of Newport’s staff have presented the Council with parking ordinances and a final draft of the Master Transit Plan designed to help improve parking and mobility in the City. As the Council and community consider these proposals, it is important to note the common sense approach the Council is taking to ensure changes benefit residents.
The City’s multi-space parking meters have technological capabilities the administration is seeking permission to utilize. City staff proposed using dynamic pricing whereby metered parking rates are adjusted to meet demand and incentivize increased turnover. Importantly, the Council amended the parking meter ordinance to utilize this same technology to provide two hours of free parking to residents.
At Easton’s Beach, the administration has proposed extending the beach parking season while also extending the period during which residents can park at the beach for free without a beach parking permit. Previously, residents had to purchase a beach pass in order to park at the beach from May 1st October 31st. Under the proposal, residents with a regular resident parking permit would be able to park at the beach until the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, and after Labor Day. The extended period adds nearly three months of additional free beach access for residents.
Last night was the first of two required readings for the ordinances. In order to be effectuated the ordinance revisions will need to pass at a second reading, which is expected for consideration at the Council’s April meeting. Councilors and City staff will be working to consider if additional resident-friendly changes should be made prior to the second reading.
City staff also released a final draft of the Master Transit Plan. The Council has scheduled a workshop for Wednesday, March 29th at 5:30 PM at City Hall to review the plan so it can fully understand and vet its respective components. The workshop is open to the public.
“As the City adapts to its growing popularity as a destination, we are working to convert that rising tide into a benefit for residents through things like expanding free beach parking for residents by almost ninety days, and providing residents with two hours of free parking at City meters.”