Letter: Here’s how to pay it forward in construction-weary Warren

EastBayRI.com ·

To the editor:
It's time for some REAL TALK about the construction on Water Street. First of all, did you know that Warren is construction-free on most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays?! The workers tidy up their projects and get outta dodge for long weekends, meaning patrons of the arts, shops, restaurants, and waterfront can navigate our tiny historic streets and find parking easily.
HEY! You may be thinking. What about Monday through Thursday? Y'know, when real people have to get stuff done, like errands, shopping, go out to lunch, have work meetings over coffee?!
Okay, let's chat. While we're super excited about the final results — better sewer and water connections for the Tourister Mill development, coming soon! improved and accessible sidewalks! — the construction, pardon our French, does kinda suck. Traffic gets backed up, detours abound, and it's always changing so you never know what streets or cross-streets are affected. And downtown businesses are feeling the pinch! Water Street restaurants have had to close multiple times for lunch; shops that rely on walking traffic report slow to sluggish sales; even Main Street feels it, what with all the backed up traffic and detours. That's why everyone put their heads together and decided to PAY IT FORWARD. Starting *now*, if you brave the construction downtown (bike, walk, boat, or park your car and stroll around) and patronize a local business, SAVE THAT RECEIPT and get perks at other merchants with your proof of purchase during the next 24 hours. Shop the fabulousDISHboutique sale? Save that receipt, go on up to Main Street, and grab a surprise treat out of Made in Warren's prize box. Buy a piece of art at The Collaborative 02885? Save your receipt and hit upCafe Water Street for a daily perk, or visit Simone'sfor a dirty martini plus a surprise treat. It's our way of saying THANK YOU to neighbors and locals who are keeping us going during the construction, and also a way to BRIBE (hey, bribes work, okay?) folks from nearby to put on their hard hats (just kidding you don't need a hard hat) and jump on their bicycles or use one of our municipal parking lots and walk around town, keeping businesses open during this challenging time. 
You never know what you'll find when you slow down and walk around town. Use #parkandwalk#24hoursinWarren and #payitforwardWarren to promote your business's special daily perk, or for patrons, to document and share your trip. #warrenrithanks you. We'll be sharing daily updates about who is doing what, where to go, what to eat, and who to visit. 
Katie Dickson
Discover Warren