Newport Harbor has become a chaotic highway of stand-up paddle boarders, says one City Council member who wants to regulate their traffic.
Citing safety concerns, Councilwoman Leslie Daigle requested that the Harbor Commission consider installing "paddleboarder lanes."
The sport has exploded in recent years, and with the harbor becoming more crowded with all sorts of craft, people are increasingly nervous that boaters could hit paddle boarders.
Paddlers essentially stand on a large surfboard and have nothing to protect them but a paddle, so they are more vulnerable than people in other watercraft like kayaks.
"We have a lot of other users in the bay," said Daigle, who cited people doing yoga and carrying dogs on boards. "We have boats that are trying to navigate."
While she didn't go into specifics, Daigle mentioned that lanes could be made with buoys, and compared them with shipping or swim lanes. She said that Honolulu recently installed stand-up paddling lanes in its harbor.