It may soon be easier for locals and tourists alike to find a place to park along Newport’s Bayfront. And a lot of those new parking spaces will be accessible to everybody, including commercial fishermen and those who work on the waterfront.
Under a new Bayfront parking district plan, business license surcharges for businesses along Bay Boulevard will go into an account that will amass up to twenty thousand dollars a year. Those funds will help create more parking through better signage, striping, and leasing of private and commercial properties to hold more vehicles during the summer months especially.
Port of Newport General Manager Don Mann told the council the port will chip in $6,000 a year on behalf of commercial fishermen who sometimes have to park their vehicles a long away because there isn’t any parking close to the docks.
A number of fishermen have told the Newport City Council in the past that commercial fishing contributes many times the money to the local economy than Bayfront tourism, and yet fishermen have to fight tooth and nail for a place to park while they’re out at sea. Councilors are hoping that the Bayfront parking district will reduce those tensions by providing more parking. Newport Community Development Director Derrick Tokos said once an interagency agreement is inked between the port and the city, the district could be enacted within sixty days.