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Mayor Elorza vetos City Council Resolution regarding bike lanes

Mayor Elorza speaking at ribbon-cutting of Fountain Street bike lane in November 2016

Last week the Providence City Council passed a Resolution calling for, “full traffic impact and economic impact studies prior to deciding whether to construct new bicycle lanes.”

Bicycle and transportation advocates, along with the Mayor and at least 5 members of the Council hold that these studies would out unnecessary expense in the way of expanding bicycle infrastructure within the city. The Mayor vetoed the Resolution.

From the Mayor:

I vetoed the Providence City Council’s resolution regarding bike lane planning because it sends the wrong message about bicycle and pedestrian safety here in Providence. We support Complete Streets here in our city, meaning that our infrastructure is designed and operated for safe access for all users, of all abilities. We will continue to engage the community in these decisions and we remain committed to working with the Councilmembers to address any concerns they have heard from constituents.

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What the Amazon Headquarters Beauty Contest can teach us about Economic Development

This article has been cross-posted from Strong RI

The economic development world is all abuzz with last week’s news that Amazon is courting cities for a second headquarters that will match their current, in Seattle, with 50,000 employees and over 8 million square feet of office space. To no one’s surprise, the State of Rhode Island has declared its intention to submit a proposal to lure Amazon’s new offices and tens of thousands of highly paid workers.

Let’s first acknowledge that Rhode Island and Providence aren’t going to win this competition. A quick read-through of the Amazon RFP and a bit of reflection on the recent move of GE to Boston and Amazon’s current headquarters in urban Seattle and it’s clear that the Providence metro area doesn’t have the scale, employment base, public transportation system or any number of other requirements of the proposal. The State and City will no doubt offer a generous package of incentives. But so will dozens of other cities—cities that are larger, with faster growing populations of young college graduates, rapidly improving transit systems, superior bike infrastructure, and urban placemaking projects galore.

But this post isn’t about being negative. I get that the state has to respond to something like this, so I’m not going to dwell on whether that’s a good use of resources. I’m more interested in what this Amazon mega-RFP can teach us about what we need to be doing as a city and state if we want to grow our economy in the 21st century.

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – September 20, 2017

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
September 20, 2017, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Introduction of New Commission Members (For Discussion)
  3. Approval of July 2017 Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  4. Election of Commission Chair and Vice Chair (For Action)
  5. Recommendations for improving Allens Avenue – Upper South Providence, Lower South Providence, Washington Park – Wards 10 and 11 (For Action) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, in coordination with the City of Providence, has conducted a Road Safety Assessment (RSA) for Allens Avenue. The final recommendations of the RSA have been submitted to the City. This review will allow the Commission to provide comment on these RSA recommendations. If advanced in the future, this project will come back to the Commission for preliminary plan review.
  6. “Elmwood Avenue Road Safety Assessment” – South Elmwood – Ward 9 (For Action) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, in coordination with the City of Providence, has conducted a Road Safety Assessment (RSA) for Elmwood Avenue south of Rose Avenue. The final recommendations of the RSA have been submitted to the City. This review will allow the Commission to provide comment on these RSA recommendations. If advanced in the future, this project will come back to the Commission for preliminary plan review.
  7. “Dean Street/Pleasant Valley Parkway/Oakland Street Corridor Discussion” – Federal Hill, Smith Hill, Valley, Elmhurst – Wards 12 and 13 (For Discussion) — The City seeks comments from the BPAC regarding possible bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the corridor between Atwells Avenue and Eaton Street known as Dean Street, Pleasant Valley Parkway, Raymond Street, and Oakland Ave. Such improvements would come back before the BPAC at least twice before construction.
  8. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  9. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – September 11, 2017

Downtown Design Review Committee Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, September 11, 2017 – 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Meeting Minutes of June 12, 2017, July 10, 2017 and August 7, 2017

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 17.12: 350 Eddy Street (South Street Landing) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by the CV Properties LLC, requesting a waiver from Providence Zoning Ordinance Section 1607(E), Freestanding Signs, which prohibits freestanding signs in the D-1 Zone. As per Section 1601(D), the DDRC is authorized to grant a waiver to sign regulations as part of their review and approval. Continued from the August 7, 2017 DDRC meeting.

Pre-Application Review

2. 20 Washington Place (Providence Washington Insurance Company Building) – Proposal by the Rhode Island School of Design to conduct exterior alterations and to construct a new addition (rear elevation). This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken by the DRC at this meeting.

Adjournment

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RIPTA open house on proposed Downtown Providence service changes – September 11, 2017

Kennedy Plaza, Image from RIPTA. Press Release from RIPTA: RIPTA to Hold Open House to Discuss Future Changes to Improve Downtown Providence Bus Service The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is considering changes to improve bus service in downtown Providence and is inviting the public to provide input. Future service changes are being planned […]

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Construction starts at Edge College Hill

View from Memorial Blvd. at Washington St., 169 Canal at center. Press Release from DBVW Architects: DBVW Architects is working closely with Vision Properties on Edge College Hill, a new mixed-use residential project in downtown Providence at the base of College Hill. Located at 169 Canal Street, this new 15-story high-rise will include 202 micro-loft […]

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WJAR: Woman struck, killed by garbage truck

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a garbage truck in Providence Wednesday afternoon. Police told NBC 10 News a 51-year-old woman was hit at the intersection of Hartford Avenue and Whelan Road around 1 p.m. She was found lying on the ground just outside her home before being transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where […]

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