Greater City Providence

Downcity Design Review Committee – September 13, 2010

Notice Of Regular Meeting • Monday, September 13, 2010 – 4:45 PM
Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Auditorium
400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of August 16, 2010

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 10.16, One, Two & Three Regency Plaza (Public Hearing)


Image from Google Street View

The subject of the hearing will be an application by Regency Plaza LLC, requesting waivers of DRC Regulations limiting the maximum total area of all signs and prohibiting internally illuminated signs. The applicant is proposing to install new signage at the Regency Plaza Complex.

2. DRC Application No. 10.19, 1 Kennedy Plaza (RIPTA Intermodal Transit Center)

Image from Google Maps

Proposal to replace the existing bicycle storage shelter with a new bus shelter pavilion.

3. DRC Application No. 10.20, Weybosset Street Comfort Station

Image from Google Street View

Proposal to restore and relocate the historic comfort station tower to a new location in the right-of-way (Weybosset Street).


A note about item number 2. The bicycle storage shelter is a set of bike lockers that apparently no one ever uses. Of course not many people probably realize it is there, I didn’t until it was pointed out to me, I had no idea what it was. Of course the other reason may be, locked in a locker or not, people just don’t want to leave their bikes in Kennedy Plaza. It seems like a weird place for such a thing. I guess the buses can carry bikes, and it is an intermodal station, so it seemed to make sense when it was installed. But I just don’t see people putting their bikes on buses, riding to Kennedy Plaza, then wanting to store thier bikes in the Plaza. People take their bikes off the bus at K. Plaza, then ride their bikes to their final destination, then lock them someplace there.

Where bike lockers would make more sense, is the train station. Many people ride their bikes to the train station, lock them up and get on the train. We talked about this last year when we looked at Washington’s Bikestation.

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  • The reason the bike storage lockers aren’t used is that RIPTA won’t allow it. I’ve been told (second-hand) that it is due to the potential post 9/11 security threat. Publicly-accessed lockers that do not allow security personnel to see what is inside have been unpopular since 2001. Assuming that these lockers are removed, the question then is what to do with them. Perhaps they can be donated to the RI Bicycle Coalition for installation somewhere else.

  • I’d like to know more about the comfort station tower. That is, where would they move it, what’s the reasoning and why just the tower? What will become of the rest of the structure?

    I don’t see that info on the DRC’s site. Any ideas where I can find the proposal?

  • Unfortunately the DRC does not post the details of the Applications online. Hopefully that is something that will change with the next administration with all the talk about open government, but let’s not hold our breath about that right now.

    Planning has the Application in their office, you can contact the Planning Department and likely you would have to go to the office to see the plans in person during business hours.

    The contact person for DRC at Planning is Christopher Ise:
    401-351-4300 x521 –

    I think I will be attending this meeting, I’ll report back if I do.

    What I do know, is that in order to make Weybosset a two-way street, and accommodated PPAC’s needs to have a drop off lane out front on this two-way street, the comfort station needs to be moved/changed. At one point there was talk of moving the whole thing to LaSalle Square. I haven’t heard anything about current plans for the tower.

  • Thanks, Jef. I look forward to hearing more about it. Unlikely that I’ll get to City Hall during business hours.

    I’ve been curious about the comfort station since we first saw it and am looking for some history. I’m sort of glad this came up, since it jogged my memory to learn more.

  • Well, don’t go to City Hall ‘cos that’s not where Planning is. They are at 400 Westminster, corner of Westminster and Empire.

Providence, RI
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