Newport’s Ultimate Tourist Trap

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Make sure you don’t fall victim.

Like most resort towns, Newport has its share of traditional tourist traps. Some approach their business model with some pretty blunt honesty. You know what you’re going to get, some mildly overpriced souvenirs that everyone know that at some point in your life, you came to Newport, RI.tourist-trap-ex

We’re not writing about that kind of tourist trap, however. This is about something that’s, let’s be honest, actually a bit dangerous.

We’re not sure how often it happens, but we do know that it does happen and that is has been happening for years…and that it can be very expensive when it does.

We’re talking about tourists driving down Washington Square and heading straight into the Long Wharf Mall, nailing the curb at 25mph, blowing tires and ripping open oil pans.

We were reminding of this semi-regular occurrence around 2am this morning when we were walking along Thames and heard a massive “BAM!” We turned around, expecting to see a car had crashed into something…but instead we saw a car rolling into the Long Wharf mall, turning around, driving back onto Thames Street and parking…so that the driver could change a newly flat tire and his wife/gf could have an opportunity to scream at him for a few minutes while he looked for his spare tire.

Lincoln Flat Tire

Actually it was more than a few minutes. Initially, there was a lot of arguing about whose car it was, who was a cosigner…and whether the female had a job. We walked down to the post office by Memorial then decided to go take the feature photo of Long Wharf from Washington Square. Sure enough, she was still yelling at him and he was still trying to figure out how to change the spare tire.

We head over to Washington Square, take the photo, and head back, all while we’re listening to a soundtrack that sounds like this:

If you can’t make out what she’s saying, it’s “MY MONEY!!!” being repeated over and over.

To quote Han Solo, “No reward is worth this.”

But regardless of the wisdom of certain life decisions made by our friends from Massachusetts, we’re sure they spent a nice chunk of money in town and all we did to try to stop them from breaking their car was put up a whole bunch of arrows, including the ones in the stoplights, pointing to the left. Evidence suggests that this isn’t enough.

There’s a certain irony that the only time this happens is after midnight, partly because of limited visibility…but in good part due to being the only time the roads are clear enough to get up to a speed where hitting the curb head on will do this much damage.

There has to be a solution to this issue, be it a permanent “Do Not Enter” sign or a more temporary arrangement that’s only put up at night, saving the spot’s aesthetics while shops are open during the day.

Alternatively, we can keep subsidizing local tire shops.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Tire Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?