2016-05-26 / Opinion

EDITORIAL

To Stripe or Not to Stripe?

Workers from Cardi Corporation lay a herringbone pattern of bricks, 34-deep, as new parking spaces along Broadway. The tree boxes and other previous pavers will be along, but don't be deterred by the remaining yellow flags as you think about dining or shopping along Broadway. Progress continues steadily with a July finish in sight. (Photo Lynne Tungett) Workers from Cardi Corporation lay a herringbone pattern of bricks, 34-deep, as new parking spaces along Broadway. The tree boxes and other previous pavers will be along, but don't be deterred by the remaining yellow flags as you think about dining or shopping along Broadway. Progress continues steadily with a July finish in sight. (Photo Lynne Tungett) A s the Broadway “Streetscape” project ambles on toward summer, we have to admit that we like having a “box seat” in our newsroom perch as workers install tri-colored gray paving bricks in a 17-foot-wide area at the rate of 10 feet an hour along the bustling street’s west sidewalk.

All the parking pavers and finished sidewalks say, “Welcome to Broadway, come on down and visit us!”

While installing them may be tedious, and now even a bit too warm for comfort, we strongly believe that these pavers add a spark along Broadway that has long been lacking.

At the same time, though, we lament that the streetscape plans seem to require that these workers eventually apply permanent striping over the eye-pleasing pavers to guide Broadway motorists in their parking.

Talk about 10 steps forward and eight steps back!

Meanwhile, not too far north from our front door, drivers have begun parking their vehicles on the already-installed pavers. On the several occasions we walked the street and looked, cars seem to be parking reasonably, leaving the appropriate amount of space between vehicles— without the necessity of painting stripes or lines on the handsome pavers.

As far as we’re concerned, Newport drivers are already exhibiting a considerable amount of good judgment in parking on the pavers without stripes.

We cast a vote of confidence for no stripes to City Manager Joseph J. Nicholson, members of the City Council, and whomever else’s stature gives them a say in this. We hope they find a way to avoid painting permanent parking stripes on this very welcome aesthetic addition to the Broadway scene.

If that takes a city ordinance revision, then let’s get it done. If it takes a change of plans from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, it would be well worth it.

Strike a blow for good taste on Broadway. If ever less was more, this is the time.

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