Project Benefits - Historic Legacy & Quality of Life
There are a number of other ways that the Historic Newport Spring Project will positively affect quality of life in our City for residents and visitors, including:
- Fostering a culture of shared streets: There are several key priorities of Newport’s Comprehensive Land Use and Tree, Park, and Open Space plans that relate providing safe multi-modal roadways. This is important not only from the standpoints of public safety and historic preservation, but it will also allow the City to better meet the needs of its residents. As noted in the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, “With a greater proportion of residents who use means other than personal vehicle to commute to work, Newport has a heightened responsibility and opportunity to design pedestrian friendly streets to both support pedestrians and encourage more people to walk to work.”
- Reducing traffic in residential neighborhoods: By helping the City meet its goals of promoting pedestrian and bicycle traffic instead of automobiles, the Historic Newport Spring Project also will help to reduce the number of cars traveling through residential neighborhoods downtown. This traffic reduction will positively impact property values, a benefit to the City and property owners, and help create a better sense of place for residents and visitors.
- Combatting traffic problems caused by mapping software: GPS and mapping software providers are unwilling to adjust algorithms at the request of municipalities. Thus, the only way to reduce the flow of traffic directed by these programs is through physical roadway changes. It is likely that the changes to this intersection will reduce the volume of drivers being directed through this residential area.
- Creation of perpetual open space: As noted in the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, “open spaces contribute greatly to improving the quality of life, enhancing property values and promoting general well-being among the city’s residents.” The Historic Newport Spring Park will help provide additional recreational space downtown, and the site will be protected by an open-space easement, and the park will be donated to the City of Newport once complete.
- Honoring Newport’s colonial history and impact on religious freedom: The Historic Newport Spring park has a truly unique history as the site around which Newport was founded and a landmark to Newport’s role in securing religious freedom in this country. Historical interpretation within the park will promote this history, which is important on locally, nationally, and internationally. The site plan also incorporates the preservation of the archaeological site discovered underground, ensuring that it is protected for study and appreciation by future generations.
- Restoring historic visual linkages: The park’s design will restore visual connections within Newport’s colonial core and between a number of its landmark religious sites. The City’s Comprehensive Land Use Planspecifically noted that, “The City shall maintain design standards to protect historic structures, maintain the heritage of the community and maintain views and access to the harbor and waterfront areas.”