Letter: Using parking to attack Westport Harbor residents uncalled for

Posted 6/12/19

To the editor:

I am writing in reference to an article I read in the Shorelines (Thursday, June 6, 2019) regarding roadside parking in Westport Harbor.

At no time has there ever been roadside …

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Letter: Using parking to attack Westport Harbor residents uncalled for

Posted

To the editor:

I am writing in reference to an article I read in the Shorelines (Thursday, June 6, 2019) regarding roadside parking in Westport Harbor.

At no time has there ever been roadside parking in Westport Harbor. Beach Avenue was always considered a tow zone. Surrounding roads are narrow and do not accommodate roadside parking.

A gate was erected across Beach Ave. in 2011 due to the poor condition of the road and multiple cars getting stuck and having to be towed. After extensive evaluations and feedback from the Police Department, Fire Department and then selectman Tony Vieira, the gate was erected on a temporary basis.

Brian Corey had multiple keys to open the gate to accommodate his family and friends access to his property.

There was never a “parking ban” that was “arbitrarily” voted. It was voted that parking would be allowed for town residents only with a beach pass to access town-owned land in the Harbor, which, by the way, is a very small portion of land (103-ft. frontage) that has no signage to direct beachgoers to the designated area.

There is parking on Beach Avenue for town residents who have a beach pass.

Due to the very small town-owned property, along with Land Trust property, and limited parking spaces to accommodate town residents with beach passes, I don’t think it would be in the best interest of the area to create a permit that is not vehicle specific. Mr. Corey is not the only one who owns beach front property on Beach Avenue. Most of the beach in that area is privately owned. I think there is a need for residents to educate themselves on property rights of beach front owners.

Now I would like to address Mr. Valcourt’s comment, “You can’t pull over and park and go for a walk on a single road down at the Harbor … unlike everywhere else in town. Why is the Harbor special?” I don’t believe there are many locations in town that have roadside parking other than developments.

Mr. Valcourt should not be singling out the Harbor to push his agenda. There has been a lot of animosity in town toward the residents who live in the Harbor. The statement from Mr. Valcourt just adds fuel to a simmering fire from people who have an attitude to the Harbor residents. Residents have endured nasty comments, trash and bottles being thrown in their yards, and a disregard for their privately owned property. This is very intimidating to a property owner.

Mr. Valcourt bringing negative attention again to the Harbor will just stir up more animosity toward the residents. I think his words were unnecessary, unprofessional and inappropriate for a selectman.

Janice Peixoto

Westport

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Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.