Newport This Week

For Safety, Enforce Sidewalk Ordinances

The summer is in full swing, with all that Newport offers for tourists and those who work and frequent here on a daily basis, like myself. In the last couple of years, there have been many changes to the roads, traffic patterns, signage and sidewalks as you enter Newport from all directions. It’s called “progress and improvements.”

One aspect that has not improved, but worsened, is pedestrian safety on sidewalks. Whether on Broadway, America’s Cup Avenue or lower Thames Street, you constantly see more illegal pedal bikers or motorized scooters, electric bikes and skateboarders riding on the sidewalks or against traffic. Both are violations of local ordinances and state laws.

According to a Newport city ordinance, you must walk your bike on sidewalks if you’re over the age of 13. I have regularly written letters in this paper and letters to the police department and City Council members requesting enforcement of laws and ordinances so that our roads and sidewalks will be safer. You can, too.

It’s also up to the public to slow down as you drive, watch for pedestrians on crosswalks, and be respectful of the biking community.

Be part of the solution and not part of the problem, so we can co-exist safely.

Thomas Stolarz Jamestown

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