Peckham Avenue Right of Way

Anglers, Birders, Kayakers, Swimmers Beware!

This Monday night the Middletown Town Council will discuss an alternative proposal to the current motion that calls for the complete closure of all on-street parking in the vicinity of the Peckham Ave Right of Way in Middletown.

Current Motion

Peckham Avenue ROW?

This current motion under consideration by the Council and championed by a particularly vociferous homeowner would leave only the five parking spots on the Right of Way itself available to birders, anglers, kayakers, divers, swimmers and other residents who desire to access this beautiful shore line.

Also, given the fact that the ROW will need to undergo a Coastal Resource Management Council required renovation to address erosion concerns the current motion, if allowed to pass, will eliminate all parking options for residents looking to access this Right of Way. Many of you have chosen Aquidneck Island as a place to live for its natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities both of these benefits of residence under direct threat with current motion. Again surprisingly this motion that currently has the unanimous support of the Town Council.

The Real Issue is Trash

The issue the Council is ultimately trying to address is the trash in the area. There are multiple sources of trash at shoreline access points including marine debris that washes ashore with each tide, the illegal practice of littering by users of the ROW, illegal dumping and other often illegal activities. No one especially the neighbors in the vicinity of the Peckham Ave ROW wants to look at the trash left behind by law breakers.

An Alternative Proposal

Fortunately, an alternative proposal has been crafted by Clean Ocean Access and the Saltwater Edge (COA/SWE) and supported by Save The Bay, Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, Newport County Saltwater Fishing Club and the Aquidneck Island Striper Team.
This proposal revises the current motion to maintain five of the existing parking spots at the northeast corner of Peckham and Indian Avenues. Said another way this proposal eliminates more than 90% of the existing parking as opposed to the 100% elimination requested by the home owner.

The rationale to maintain five off street parking spots is straightforward. The Clean Ocean Access/Saltwater Edge proposal supports appropriate use of the area consistent with the Rhode Island Constitution. It also supports enforcement in a more practical way easing the burden on local law enforcement. It prioritizes stewardship consistent with the mission of Clean Ocean Access and Rhode Island’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. COA actually puts “boots on the ground” monthly to monitor ROW obstruction and complete a monthly clean up. And most importantly the proposal is in line with the Town’s desire to encourage outdoor activities like birding, fishing, kayaking, diving, and swimming. The beautiful shoreline is in many cases why your residents choose to live in Middletown and accessing the shore should remain a benefit of residence in this community.

Please Join Us Monday Night

If you are in support of maintaining appropriate parking to support the recreational use of the Peckham Right of Way you need to be at Town Hall on Monday night. I would ask that you submit a speaker request form and make your voice heard or at minimum raise you hand when you are asked to indicate your support.

A number of residents have attended a number of meetings with little effect. The Town Council needs to see numbers and Monday is the night to be at Town Hall and counted and heard.

Thanks in advance for your consideration,

Peter Jenkins
The Saltwater Edge

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