When the school district closes a street, there is NO confusion. They really close a street. In this case it’s between NE 3rd and 4th, between Newport High and Newport Prep. School officials say the barriers go up every school day morning at 8am and they come down every school day afternoon at 4pm.
The reason is pretty plain. Hundreds of crosswalk crossings occur everyday between the school campuses and school officials contend there is a danger to the students, staff and faculty who walk between the building complexes. Officials say there haven’t been any major injuries in recent memory caused by errant drivers or kids not paying attention to what’s going on around them, but they say it’s just a matter of time that someone will get hurt (or worse) by someone fiddling with a cellphone, adjusting an iPod, daydreaming, talking to the person next to them or concentrating on lunch; all distractions engaged in great abundance by those driving AND walking. It’s a deadly combination.
Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda and the Newport City Council gave their blessing recently to the barriers. At first they were proposed to go up earlier and come down after 5pm, but a compromise was reach to make it 8am to 4pm. Parents who provide transportation for their kids have been informed as to where and how that maneuver can be successfully performed.
Again, only on school days. Alternate routes include NE Harney to the east and NE Douglas and Coos to the west.