NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Free parking may soon be available less often in Newport, impacting residents, visitors and businesses.
The City Council voted to approve a proposed ordinance that would extend the paid parking season from March 1 to Nov. 30 and change the active meter times from 9 a.m. to midnight.
As it stands, paid parking is enforced May 1 through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The council also endorsed establishing dynamic pricing, with a $4 maximum for metered parking. The dynamic pricing would vary based on traffic in the area.
The ordinance would impact busy areas like Washington Square, Thames Street, Memorial Boulevard and Bellevue Avenue.
“I think it’s going to slow business down, to be honest,” one area business owner told 12 News. “People come off season so they can avoid all that.”
The owner of Chez Shell on Thames Street said March is the slowest month for her store and the free parking gives people a reason to come to the city in the colder weather.
“Honestly, they come down for the perks, and the perks are spaces for free,” she said.
The council’s next meeting is April 12 at 6:30 p.m. They will do a second reading of the ordinance and vote on whether to adopt the proposal.