Of all the awful places to put a gas station, Tiverton’s Stone Bridge waterfront must be near the top of the list.
Blessedly, the station that has sat there for decades could soon be gone if a deal backed now by the owners and Tiverton works out.
Under the proposal, Tiverton would buy the station and add this important piece of property to its holdings there that include Grinnell’s Beach, the small park where the World War I ‘Doughboy’ statue stands, and the Stone Bridge abutment that is due for a delayed rebuild.
Funding, as always, remains an issue but for obvious reasons getting this deal done ought to be a top priority for the town and for land preservation groups.
Those reasons include:
• For a town with long shoreline, Tiverton has precious little waterfront available for public enjoyment. Though small, this stretch offers beach, fishing and relaxation right in the middle of town. A gas station stands smack in the middle of it all.
• No other well traveled place in Tiverton has the view that this Main Road curve provides. A gas station diminishes the experience.
• A gas station feet from the water is an environmental accident waiting to happen. Such mishaps can be small and continuous (fuel and oil dripping after fill-ups), or catastrophic (a hurricane could drive station, pumps, fuel and all straight into the river).
Once the state finally finishes transforming that old Stone Bridge abutment into a waterfront park, fishing pier and dock for visiting boaters (they now predict 2015), this place has the potential to become one of the region’s best place for locals and visitors to enjoy the water.
First, though, that gas station needs to go.