To the Editor:
In response to reporter Phillip Cozzolino’s article published in the Narragansett Times on November 22, 2019, it is apparent that there are more questions than answers coming from this reporting.
The demands of a group of surfers seeking convenient parking at public access points located in a Point Judith neighborhood has prompted several town council meetings, workshops, and surveys... all which conclude that the quiet, family neighborhood is simply too small to accommodate the onslaught of cars and vehicles that accompany surfers accessing the public rights-of-way.
After the Narragansett Fire Department completed a survey last month, once again, due to public safety concerns the results clearly support the original no parking ordinance currently in place since the 1970’s. Yet, time and time again town council members Jesse Pugh and Patrick Murray create, draft and propose ways in which the town can accommodate the demands of the surfing community. These proposals completely ignore three well thought out public parking relief solutions located in close proximity to several access points.
Rose Nulman Park along with Camp Cronin both have ample parking and are located 50-60 yards from several access points located at and around the Point Judith lighthouse. In addition, The Bon Vue Inn proposes to allow surfers to utilize a portion of its parking lot during the day free of charge. The Bon Vue Inn is also within yards of another access point. Google maps show the Bon Vue Inn is located .4 of a mile from the Conant Avenue waterfront public access point.
At the most recent town workshop, both Pugh and Murray propose lifting the decades old parking ordinances and at tax payer expense, destroy precious wetlands and natural green spaces that exist in the neighborhood. These green spaces commonly referred to as “paper roads” are home to pristine Eco systems that must be preserved at all costs, not only for the neighborhood but the public at large who enjoy the public rights-of-way located along the Narragansett coastline.
Why would town council members Pugh and Murray adamantly push to carve out and pave these green spaces to appease the surfing community at the expense of the tax payers, public safety and destruction of natural resources? Why are the proposed parking solutions (which cost the town nothing) so quickly dismissed? The only answer provided was given by council member Patrick Murray at last Monday’s workshop. Murray stated that after surfing for two hours , no one including himself, wants to paddle back that far...its just too tiring.
The town of Narragansett must protect our public access points to the coastline so all are able to enjoy our ocean... this alone is a right provided to all citizens and is part of the Rhode Island constitution. The town of Narragansett also must also be supported by all citizens to become stewards of our natural green spaces...protecting and preserving our fragile Eco systems throughout the state of Rhode Island is critical for future generations.
Joseph and Sydney Gozzi