NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — Complaints about parking on four town streets – Nichols, Conant, Pilgrim and Louise Avenues — led to two hours of testimony from homeowners and coastal access advocates at Tuesday’s Narragansett Town Council meeting before the council voted on several changes.
On Nichols Avenue, an amendment passed unanimously by the council prohibits parking on the roadway from Ocean Road to Calef Avenue. Chief of Narragansett Police Sean Corrigan said the town has received complaints along that stretch of the road.
Some residents, including Dina DiRuzzo, said signage has existed for more than 40 years on the affected streets that prohibits parking, in order to let emergency vehicles pass through.
“The Town Council cannot dismiss the signage, since it was put there for safety purposes,” she said, while adding that residents have photos of littering and indecent exposure by visitors to the right-of-ways in the Point Judith area.
DiRuzzo said she’s also asked surfers to move their vehicles off her property.
“Parking on Ocean Road and adding sidewalks would benefit all,” she said.
South Kingstown resident Nate Merrill supports the numerous changes.
“It’s not the surfers that instigated this,” he said. “It was in fact restrictions being put on and locals calling the police and putting up signs where we used to park for generations.”
He called the ordinance changes reasonable and that they would make parking “legal and orderly.”
Still others such as Ann Marie Waters noted that surfers had ample parking at several lots including Aunt Carrie’s the Bon Vue, the lighthouse and the fishermen’s memorial, in addition to along Ocean Road.
“We need to preserve the beauty of Narragansett and not make every ocean access point an ugly parking lot filled with trucks and vans that adulterate the serene settings that all of us treasure,” she said. “The surfers here don’t want or need parking access. They want concierge parking or VIP parking.”
A second change the council passed permits parking on the south side of Conant Avenue, from Ocean Road to the end of the access point, between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The third and fourth changes do likewise — with a 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. limit — on the north side of Pilgrim Avenue from Ocean Road to the end of the access point and the south side of Louise Avenue, from Ocean Road to Calef Avenue.
Council members called the moves a good compromise.
“This is a year and a half in the making,” Council President Jesse Pugh said. “We’ve heard that public safety is a concern for the residents. What we’ve done is make it so that people will park on one side of the road than on both sides.”