, Newburyport, MA

July 3, 2013

Waterfront Trust considers 'slacklining'


---- — NEWBURYPORT — Members of the Waterfront Trust Monday night discussed the possibility of introducing “slacklining” on Riverfront Park that the organization supervises.

From the tone of the discussion, it appeared that few residents in town would be capable of explaining this unheralded activity.

Slacklining, it was said, is an activity in which participants string a sturdy rope or wire across a stretch of land or water, and an athlete walks across.

It can be done above land, sea or canyon, to wit, a daredevil named Nik Wallenda recently crossed a portion of the Grand Canyon on a wire.

Trust members said they would consider erecting 4-by-4-inch (or larger) posts that would permit young people to test their balance.

Members said they do not want to discourage the activity but are concerned that trees now sometimes used for support are not damaged.

No action was taken, in part because board members said they want to research the liability that the board might have in case of injury or damage.

On another matter, members indicated they will consider expanding the hours of their parking lot on their riverfront.

Motorists can park for free weekdays after 6 p.m. and on Sundays, which was described as the busiest day of the week.

Resident (and former mayor) Lisa Mead said that Portsmouth has had much success in recent years with public parking, even though they charge during “expanded” hours.

No action was taken.