Newport This Week

Cliff Walk Danger Signs Often Ignored

To the Editor:

Perhaps once a week I forgo my usual route and run instead on the Cliff Walk. On numerous occasions I encounter couples and individuals ignoring the warning signs and exploring the treacherous rocky slopes.

One day it was a young couple and I overhead, “Do you wanna?” I stopped dead in my tracks, turned around and told them about the young married couple on their honeymoon several years ago and the ensuing tragedy when the groom fell, was paralyzed and then, I believe, sued the city. “I wouldn’t, if I were you,” I warned them, and they fortunately walked away.

But that is only one example. I have stopped others. Just today I saw a mother encouraging her young son to back up toward the cliffs in order to get a photo. The younger brother admonished his own mother and blurted out, “Don’t you see the signs?” Further on, I called out to an older man who was following the trail past the warning sign. He laughed and dismissively told me he didn’t plan on falling. No, of course not. No one does.

I write this letter, then, to call attention to the multitude of times tourists and residents alike ignore the posted warning signs, jeopardizing their own lives and potentially costing our city considerable tax dollars in rescue services and civil suits.

I am not sure what the solution is, save installing a fence along the entire Cliff Walk coastline. Or at the very least, make the warnings more severe, as in, “Danger! DO NOT ENTER! Falls are deadly! Proceed at your own personal and financial peril.” Those access routes are simply constant challenges for the logic-impaired and accidents waiting to happen. If you don’t believe me, take a walk there on a nice day and see for yourself.

Toni W. Ciany Newport

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