Parking along the Bayfront:
The Newport City Council Monday night wrestled with the undeniable truth that when you’re outta room, you’re outta room. The Bayfront is a popular place for tourists and locals alike, but there are only so many parking spaces and many visitors camp out in choice locations. There is parking on the hills above the Bayfront but walking downhill is a lot easier than walking back uphill.
Then there’s the other half of the story. The Bayfront is a very significant machine for the Newport area economy. There are a lot of workers down there – both in the processing plants and on fishing vessels. Tourists and fishing industry workers, along with store owners, fill up the place with vehicles pretty fast – especially during the summer. But here’s the deal. Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. You can’t fight physics.
Throughout last night’s meeting there was very little reference to how other “space challenged” tourist towns deal with similar dilemmas. At the least there should be dialog on how those other tourist towns have solved the problem – probably acknowledging that tourists don’t drive cars inside Disneyland.
The City Council decided to strongly consider the use of parking meters along the Bayfront (but not in the downtown or Nye Beach) as a partial fix to the problem. But it boils down to how tourists can access those unique experiences along the Bayfront without driving their own vehicles into the area and ruining the view. Again, bus shuttles were mentioned – but only in passing.
More electric vehicle charging stations:
The council decided to look in to the possibility of adding nine more electric car charging stations, placed strategically around town – helping to pump up tourism. Councilors are thinking about more charge stations at City Hall – others dispersed around town. How revenue would be gleaned from the operations was not made clear – but city officials are studying the issue. They might consider not charging batteries in the cars at all, but simply swapping the batteries out at properly scaled “charging centers.”