Now that the Zoning Board of Review has approved a cell phone parking lot for Green Airport, Rhode Island Airport Corporation President Kevin Dillon hopes to have it up and running within 60 days.
Located on airport property at 2282 Post Road, the lot is designed to accommodate motorists looking to pick up arriving passengers and alleviate congestion at the arrival area and the circling of vehicles in front of the terminal.
There would be no charge to park in the lot and, depending on its success, Dillon is thinking it might also include a concession area and a display board indicating whether scheduled flights have arrived.
Stopping at the arrival area is prohibited unless you are actively loading an arrival. To avoid the cost of the short term lot, many motorists set a pattern of rotating around the front of the terminal, or park on one of the access roads while waiting for a cell phone call.
Airport police keep traffic moving and ticket people who stop.
“We want to encourage use of the airport and the last thing we want is for someone to get an $85 ticket,” Dillon said.
In order to gain city approval of the lot, RIAC needed a variance for less than the required driveway opening width and a sign that would be larger and with less setback than the code allowed.
The site, once used for car rental, parking and storage and leasing and sales, is on the corner of Strawberry Field Road and Post Road, at the former site of the Redwood Lodge Motel.
The lot will accommodate 50 parking spaces. There are no plans at this time to use or demolish the vacant building, according to the RIAC petition.
The City Planning Department recommended approval of the variance on grounds that it “would provide a valuable service to all passengers, would be a less intensive use of the property than all previous uses and would not result in an adverse impact on the surrounding properties.”
As conditions, the department requested that the existing wrought iron decorative fence be repaired and maintained, that lot lighting be shielded and that the property is cleaned of litter on a daily basis.
Dillon said RIAC police would patrol the lot to ensure it is not being used for long-term parking. He said the lot would be advertised on the RIAC website.
@C_Cutline:KEEPS THEM MOVING: An airport police officer keeps traffic flowing at the terminal arrival area. Motorists are only allowed to stop provided they are actively loading an arriving passenger. (Warwick Beacon photo)