North Kingstown state legislators are speaking out against the potential loss of one of NK’s Park and Ride lots.
According to press releases from Rep. Doreen Costa, Rep. Robert Craven and Sen. James Sheehan, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is looking to sell the Park and Ride property located at the corner of Route 2 and 102.
For some time, there has been a proposal before the DOT to sell the property to CVS and move the parking area a quarter-mile up the road to another plot of land on Route 2. The sale between the two parties is currently pending. According to information relayed to both Sen. Sheehan and Rep. Craven, that land is no longer considered feasible as an alternate location for the Park and Ride.
“I really believe it is incumbent on the DOT to provide a new, free parking area in or near North Kingstown if the current free lot is taken away from our community’s commuters,” said Craven in a press release. “That would clearly be the fairest way to handle this. It does not seem at all fair that commuters have a free parking lot replaced with a pay lot.”
According to press releases from the legistlators, the DOT is now looking to send commuters to park at the MBTA parking garage at Wickford Junction – which charges $4 a day for parking.
“I have been working with the DOT and looking at every option available to ensure that free parking continues to be available to my constituents,” said Costa. “It is my goal to have DOT establish a new, free lot for commuters should the current property be sold.”
Additionally, Sen. Sheehan has written a letter to DOT Director Michael Lewis in hopes of finding an alternative site. According to Sheehan, for many of his constituents, the issue is not having to drive to another Park and Ride location (there’s another Park and Ride located farther up Route 2 over the East Greenwich line), but rather that the DOT would be forcing motorists to pay for parking, which is now free of charge at the current location.