2016-08-04 / Opinion


Clear Curb Markings Needed

This time of year, Newporters compete with out-of-town tourists and day trippers for parking spaces on many residential streets. For some residents, especially those whose apartments or houses do not include driveways or other off-street parking, an evening hunt for a legal overnight parking space may easily take them several blocks from home.

This is especially true for those who live downtown near busy Thames Street.

Most residents whose overnight parking experiences mirror this description understand that first-come, first-served is one of the facts of life living so close to the action of downtown Newport.

However, the city could help the situation immeasurably by staying on top of its curbs.

Portions of residential curbs in Newport are typically painted yellow to indicate spaces that cannot be occupied by parked motor vehicles. The yellow curb markings, for example, help to ensure that parked cars and trucks do not impede the ability of motorists to turn their vehicles into a given street or driveway because the parked vehicles are too close to a corner.

They also help those with driveways to back out of those spaces by, theoretically at least, keeping parked vehicles away from the edge of those driveways.

But the problem is this: On many streets, the yellow paint has become so worn out that it’s difficult, if not impossible, for a motorist to determine whether the space is currently a no-parking space, or simply was such a space in the past. This is especially true after dark when, unless a would-be legal parking space lies beneath a street light, it becomes difficult-to-impossible to determine on some streets where you can park so as to avoid a parking ticket.

In front of 516 (Lower) Thames Street, a painted white rectangular box indicative of legal parking co-exists with about 20 feet of still-yellow, albeit well-chipped, paint.

In some instances, newer yellow paint near the corner of a driveway, with older chipped paint thereafter, may seem to suggest that motorists may park up to the brighter corner paint.

Or maybe not. Who’s to know?

In any case, we think the city ought to be capable of doing a better job of repainting all those faded or chipped yellow curbs.

And, besides the fresh yellow paint, the rectangular white street markings that are used to designate legal parking spaces on commercial roadways such as Lower Thames Street should be extended to the residential streets that connect lower Thames to Spring Street.

That would eliminate once and for all any confusion about legal parking spaces that may exist among motorists, be they year-round residents, summer residents, or day trippers. It’s also worth noting that non-residents may obtain an overnight parking pass at City Hall.

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