NARRAGANSETT—On Monday evening, the Town Council approved unanimously a motion to direct staff to develop recommendations to solve parking problems in Narragansett. Parking has been a complex and sensitive topic among various populations throughout the town, from local businesses wanting to preserve casual, off-the-street customers to residents who feel that their quality of life is consistently infringed upon by the disturbance of summer and college student traffic.
“We have all that parking at the sea wall and in the center of town, and it is all free,” said Acting Town Manager Dean Hoxsie. “[The Council] has adopted permit policies, but we are finding this year, because of the nice weather and everyone looking for a free way, parking has outgrown Scarborough Hills and is pushing further north towards Black Point and Rhode Island Avenue.”
“I am sure everyone has seen the amount of people parking at Sprague Bridge,” he added. “We certainly have an issue with a limited amount of parking and how we manage it.”
Hoxsie detailed to the Town Council a report compiled by John M. Burke, an independent parking and transit consultant based in Massachusetts, which outlines the specific hindrances to a successful parking scheme in town.
“[Former Town Manager Grady Miller] and I had gone up to Plymouth, Massachusetts to visit Burke,” said Hoxsie. “They do a lot of paid parking, meters, and permit parking for residents and businesses, really the whole gamut in Plymouth.”
“Burke came down to Narragansett for a day and looked at parking [in the Pier area],” he added. “He was astounded by how much beach we have and how little parking.”
For the complete story, pick up a copy of Friday's The Narragansett Times.