Starting October 31st and lasting through November 26th, Kennedy Plaza will be mostly closed for repaving. Buses will be moved to Exchange Terrace, near the Convention Center, and other areas (see graphic above and RIPTA page here).
Should be interesting to see how people cope with this transition, and it will also be an interesting test. There’s been some talk among people in the city (including The City itself) about changing Kennedy Plaza and how it functions. RIPTA says, that for it’s needs, Kennedy Plaza is not working, it is beyond design capacity, and some of it was designed wrong. There are areas where buses cannot pull into berths properly, and the whole end near the court house is a total cluster-f*ck of buses and traffic moving through bus lanes.
Some of the ideas about the plaza (which are still very much, “wouldn’t it be nice if we could…”) involve moving the buses out of the plaza and placing them in some of the areas they will be temporarily moved to next month. Moving the buses out of the plaza, combined with proposals from RIPTA to build sub-hubs around the outskirts of Downcity, will potentially allow RIPTA to boost service levels without adding to the traffic and noise in the plaza.
Moving the buses out gives us the opportunity to use Kennedy Plaza differently. We could have a large scale open space for events such as Campus Martius in Detroit.
We could also have a public market in the plaza, open air seasonal, or better yet, a covered year-round structure.
Let’s play Sim City on Kennedy Plaza. What would you want to see happen with the Plaza and the surrounding area? Should the buses be moved? Where should they go if they move?