Friday, May 23, 2008


editor: Newport just hired a new parking enforcement officer this week... Take heed this could save you $$$$.

Parking in Newport is often hard to find, and with the summer months approaching, it may be even more difficult. The following are a few reminders to help make the most of the space that’s available.

Yellow Curbs indicate no parking. One area where this has been a problem is around Sam Case School, after school has let out and sometimes when school is beginning. Yellow curbs prevent vehicles from parking, stopping or standing in areas that obstruct visibility, such as corners and crosswalks. This is always an important safety issue, but around an elementary school where small kids are eagerly running around and darting across the street to waiting parents, this becomes even more critical.

Red Curbs are designated fire lanes where parking is also not allowed. The entire curb in front of the Newport Recreation Center is a designated fire lane. This is frequently misused to pick up and drop off those visiting the Recreation Center. A common misunderstanding is that just stopping to let someone out is not parking. Red curbs, yellow curbs and all other areas where parking is prohibited do not permit stopping, standing, dropping off or picking up, unless required to do so to comply with other traffic laws. This is especially important in the area in front of the Recreation Center. This street is already very narrow. A vehicle stopped in the fire lane restricts traffic down to just one lane. Additionally this street is an exit for police vehicles, which may be responding to emergencies.

Green curbs indicate appropriate places for “active” loading and unloading. The key word here being “active.” Stopping to let someone in or out would be active. Stopping because someone should be coming out anytime now would not. Leaving a vehicle stopped in a green zone and then arranging a room where you just took the items you unloaded is not permitted. These areas are usually located next to a business to allow easy access to persons actually loading and unloading either persons or items. When people use them as short term waiting areas, they are no longer available to those who need to use them for what they’re intended.

The city may restrict parking in other areas as well, such as the Senior Center Only parking located across from the entrance to the Recreation Center. Persons parking in the area, but visiting the Recreation Center, would be in violation and may be cited. There are a couple reasons for this, first is to allow those using the senior center to have parking in close proximity as many of the Senior Center patrons may be elderly and less mobile than other persons. In addition to this, as mentioned earlier, this street is very narrow and used by police cars responding to emergencies. Persons parking in the senior center space and going to the Recreation Center creates a lot of back and forth pedestrian traffic. Someone stepping out from beside a car can suddenly be standing in a lane of traffic with no warning and with so many of the Recreation Center patrons being young kids, this adds to the hazards.

It has been asked if the Senior Center parking is restricted all the time or is it o.k. to park there in the evenings when it’s closed. Restricted parking is always restricted, unless otherwise indicated. Signs may say, “No Parking Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm.” This clearly indicates when it’s o.k. to park and when it is not. In the case of the Senior Center, there are many activities and groups that meet at this location at all hours and days of the week,ot simply from 9-5.

Backing into angled parking spaces, parking cars marked for sale on public streets, storing boats and trailers on public streets or city right of way, and parking facing traffic are all prohibited. While it seems like a long list of “don’ts”, all of these things are either for safety reasons or to use available parking spaces as efficiently as possible. With the limited number of parking spaces in Newport, we must all share, and, by following the rules, everyone who wishes to may have an opportunity to use our shops, services and other businesses.

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