East Greenwich says there’s a downtown parking shortage; Here’s how they plan to tackle it

West Bay
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EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Those who regularly spend time in downtown East Greenwich know that, more often than not, it can be frustrating searching for a parking spot.

But that frustration will soon be addressed by the East Greenwich Town Council, which plans to conduct a comprehensive study of downtown parking later this year, according to Town Manager Andrew Nota.

A recent review of the area revealed there are 1,398 parking spaces along Main Street, which is lined with restaurants, shops and other local businesses. The review also included parking on select side streets and in both private and municipal lots.

After comparing the current parking situation downtown with what its businesses actually need under current town requirements, they discovered a deficit of 827 parking spaces.

More: 2020 Downtown Parking Overview »

Nota said the last comprehensive parking study was conducted back in 2005. But a lot has changed since then, and town leaders are hoping a fresh look at the downtown parking situation will provide them with the information they need to address that shortage.

“The town council is proceeding in doing their diligence in relooking at the downtown pressures that come with a premier restaurant corridor, mix of retail, active seasonal waterfront and building pressure based on increasing residential investment,” Nota tells Eyewitness News.

Nota said the upcoming study will look at commercial parking needs, daytime/overnight residential needs, short-term commercial parking, pedestrian and ADA accessibility, timed parking restrictions, valet parking, connectivity with the waterfront, seasonal trolley use and the availability of municipal parking.

“All of these areas will add to the conversation and provide for sufficient background of information for the town’s professional staff to make an appropriate recommendation to the council for their consideration in striking a balance of local economic and residential activity, inclusive of a balance in parking convenience for visitors and residents alike,” Nota explained.

It’s unclear at this time when the study will take place.

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