Greater City Providence

I don’t know what happened here…

…I’m just glad I wasn’t waiting for a bus.

atwells bus stop

It actually looks like the wind might have knocked it over. It doesn’t appear to actually be damaged in any way. It would be nice if someone actually removed it or better yet, fixed it, rather than just putting down cones and wrapping it in caution tape.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • Plus I almost landed on my ass here as this is the only sidewalk remaining on Atwells that still has ice on it, ice which this morning was covered in a layer of fluff so I could not see it (this sidewalk is adjacent to a city owned park by the by).

  • What a sad little pothole. I know, I’ll put a cone on it. Did you see this pothole before? I didn’t, Now there’s a cone, pointing to the sky. Got a manhole cover missing? Just put a cone in the hole and the let the day-glo orange brighten your commute. Bus shelter knocked over? A few cones will cheer things up. Put a cone on it!

  • The Atwells Avenue bus shelter appears from the photo to have been anchored into two or three inch thick concrete blocks . In most areas of the state, the Rhode Island Building Code requires a minimum footing of 40 inches in depth for freestanding structures, which includes buildings, sheds, and decks.

    How many other bus shelters throughout the city and state are attached in the manner of the Atwells Avenue bus shelter that failed?

  • Maybe I’m being too serious about this, but if there was no fence, someone could have really been hurt, if they were behind the structure when it blew.

    When were these shelters installed? Was it 10 or 15 years ago? Who was the contractor? What were the installation specifications?

  • No you’re not being too serious, it looks like someone could have been seriously hurt, and it still looks like someone could be hurt were there not a collection of cones on scene to protect us.

    This particular shelter is actually maybe a year old or less. It arrived relatively recently. It is an outbound stop, which usually don’t get shelters due to the commuter-centric thinking on these things. I.e. people commuting from work get off outbound and walk away, they don’t need shelters.

    However, this one is across from Dominica Manor and many of the residents there wait at this stop to catch buses out to Walgreens and Price-Rite. Of course, the elderly patrons of this stop make this situation (and the ice that has been on the sidewalk since Boxing Day) doubly serious.

    I didn’t really stop to inspect the scene too well, but I think what you are seeing there is that the shelter is screwed into the bricks which form the sidewalk, nothing more.

  • Actually, let’s scan right and enhance:

    Yes, attached to the bricks and it looks like the screws actually came out of one of the bricks.

    It totally had to be the wind we had the other day, there is no damage to the shelter, there’s no sign a car hit it.

    Sorry for the blurriness, I was using the HDR setting on my phone and my hands were shaking.

  • The flange of the shelter feet shouldn’t be anchored into bricks at all.

    There should be either threaded rod that imbeded into a 40 inch deep concrete footing to attach the shelter to or if anchors are used the anchors should be set into a 40 inch footing.

    Nothing like this was done with this installation.

    Imagine if the wind was coming from the other direction and someone or several people were waiting in the shelter.

  • Someone flipped it back into its upright position. So now it is just sitting there attached to nothing.

    I made RIPTA aware of it via the “Contact Us” form on their site.

  • A city building inspector should investigate the shelter’s condition and construction, and possibly the equivalent for the state, since it’s property of a state agency. RIPTA may have been unaware of how this shelter(s) was installed, since the installation was likely bid out to a contractor. Also, since the installation wasn’t an actual building and was for a state agency, there may not have been a building permit application made to the city, hence no inspection of the work.

  • RIPTA is talking to Lamar (the company which installs and maintains the shelters) about this site. They’ve temporarily secured it to the fence due to the ground being frozen and being unable to pour more secure footings.

    It is a valiant effort, but I don’t think Mike Holmes would approve of this:

  • RIPTA and Lamar (the company that places the shelters) have decided that they will remove this shelter until spring. When the ground thaws they will lay a concrete pad or some other footing to properly secure the shelter. In the interim, there will be no shelter and RIPTA will put up a bus stop sign.

  • The bus shelter is gone:

    See you in the spring bus shelter.

    Someone might want to put some cones on those spikes marking off the broken bricks.

Providence, RI
5:14 am8:11 pm EDT
Feels like: 70°F
Wind: 8mph WSW
Humidity: 93%
Pressure: 29.69"Hg
UV index: 1
77°F / 57°F
68°F / 52°F
73°F / 52°F