Newport City Councilors have agreed to close Eads Street on school days between 3rd and 4th streets, the block between the high school and the prep academy across the way. Newport High Principal Jon Zagel, with the support of Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda, recommended the closure for safety reasons. Zagel told the council there are numerous near misses all the time between students and cars as students try to get back and forth across the crosswalk that connects the two campuses. Zagel said kids have been struck, but luckily none have been seriously hurt. “But it’s just a matter of time when one will be, if we don’t do something,” Zagel warned the council.
The council agreed that the concerns are real but questioned the long closure time requested; 7am-5pm. Zagel said they could be flexible with a later start in the morning and an earlier close in the afternoon. He suggested perhaps a closure of 8am to 4pm to accommodate parents who drop their kids off in front of the school and the fact that most students have left the campus by 4pm. Tim Gross of public works said he would help them develop a traffic plan and report back to council at their next meeting.
School starts September 6th.