Providence Emergency Management keeps posting this message on Facebook:
I’ve commented in the past to seek clarification, what traffic? Where? How does one prepare? Is a hundred foot wave of cars set to strike the city that day? Should I buy D batteries or will the ones I have left from Irene suffice? Bread? Milk?
How much more unhelpful could that message be? Does anyone know what horrific fate awaits us as a city on October 3rd; and does anyone have any good advice on how we can survive?
Also, unless there is a real chance that thousands of people may die if we don’t prepare, I find it rather insensitive to compare a traffic issue to a tsunami.
Is there some kind of event going on on the 3rd? Any guesses?
methinks they meant:
Traffic salami predicted Oct 3 on #Federal Hill
Tsunami is insensitive now? I could understand if they called it a Traffic Holocaust but we shouldn’t be too hypersensitive. I will agree that a Traffic “Tsunami” is vague and irresponsible, especially coming from an official source such as PEMA. How are you supposed to plan your route if you don’t know what’s going on? Way to go PEMA
@ed, Best. Comment. Evah!
No, I don’t think the term is entirely verboten, but we’ve certainly had enough actually tsunamis in very recent times that it is certainly insensitive and frankly stupid and inaccurate to use the term to describe what I’m sure is an entirely survivable traffic problem.
It sounds like someone at PEMA is trying to be cute and jump on the Carmaggedon bandwagon here. It would be much more helpful if they dropped the cuteness and just Tweeted/Facebooked what was actually happening. I can decide from their if I need to panic or just go about my life.
And I don’t think an agency like PEMA should ever use the word “Tsunami” in a Tweet or Facebook post unless, you know, there is an actual wall of water racing toward the city which we need to get the hell out of the way of.
@Luke: You’re right, 6 million dead is more than the 250,000 dead from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, so “traffic holocaust” would be 5.75 million times more insensitive than “traffic tsunami.” But really, who’s counting?
@Jef: Maybe the “Get Motivated” Seminar with “flood” the city with “motivation” or “traffic?” https://getmotivated.com/city.aspx?a=5342
Check out the end of this USA TODAY article: http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2010-09-28-getmotivated28_ST_N.htm
DJ Paulie D is having a meet and greet on October 3 as well!
I agree that tsunami is stupid, not because it is offensive but because it is kinda dumb. Although it is kind of poetic.
OMG!! Send lawyers, guns and money!!!
Kind of inflammatory.
No, I guess a Tsunami would put OUT a fire.
Besides sending a message of total disaster about to descend on us, this alert is completely uninformative as to we should do to defend ourselves. Duct tape and plastic tarps?
I liked it better when they’d announce the impenetrable Homeland Security “color alerts.” At least they were, well, colorful.
Tsunamis only come in one color.
The “Get Motivated” event is Monday. They’ve sold 25,000 tickets. It’s an all day event and they are anticipating that every available public and private parking spot in the city will be used. A very good day to take transit or to take the day off.
I hope the lots charge them $40 a pop.
So that would be more of a “Parking Tsunami”. Or to be alliterative, a “Parking Pogrom” perhaps? “Parking Panic”? Oh! “Parking Pickle”.
No way the City or State could ‘Get Motivated’ to plan alternate parking and shuttles for the Conventioneers I suppose.
@Andrew Thanks for the links; I thought it sounded a little fishy.
Hide your kids, hide your wife.
Maybe they can knock down the library in time to get some more parking in.
“No way the City or State could Ã¢â‚¬ËœGet Motivated’ to plan alternate parking and shuttles for the Conventioneers I suppose.”
– Exactly! Why can’t this be planned? Same thing goes for all major events – July 4th for example…
Hope the parking meters are working…
Here’s a letter I received from my condo association (similar letter came to my office which is also Downcity):
Good afternoon everyone,
Our management staff attended a Downtown Security meeting this afternoon, and were notified at the meeting that the largest event in the Dunk’s history will take place this coming Monday, October 3rd. The Get Motivated Business Seminar has been sold out. They are expecting an additional 6000 cars to be in the city starting as early as 6:30 am on Monday morning. The event runs from 8am (with registration as early as 7am) and will last until 4:45 pm. They will break for lunch approximately halfway through the seminar. Therefore, the morning and evening commute is expected to be beyond awful, and restaurants are expected to be flooded during lunchtime.
It was advised at the meeting, to get word out to all local business so that downtown employees can make arrangements to either leave for work earlier or work from home or another location on that day. All other cities in which this event has taken place have experienced major traffic issues from this event. Please pass this notice along to all employees in your office so that they can make proper commuting arrangements for this day.
If we hear of any other information pertaining to how this event will affect the city, such as re-direction of traffic, etc. we will pass it along to you.
This is indeed for the “Get Motivated” event.
Live in Kent County or south? Now is the time to use the commuter rail from TF Green. I’ve heard rumors that the train schedule might be expanded this fall as well.
6:52a – 7:12a
7:15a – 7:35a
6:10p – 6:25p
6:48p – 7:03p
Only $2.25 each way and $6.75 to park all day.
RIPTA is also an option, there are 50 weekday runs between the Airport and KP (Buses 8, 14, & 20).
OK, sorry for the commercial, but anyone who knows me on here at all knows that I a mass-transit geek…
Possible missed opportunity
With the Downtown security meeting letter, mass transit was missing as a suggested alternative. As mentioned by mental757 there are bus and train options from TF Green. Besides the numerous regular bus routes, there are 29 park-n-ride bus pick-up locations throughout the state, many of which offer express service. This could have been a opportunity to introduce some suburbanites who are accustomed to only driving to tryout mass transit.
There are two days left to the workweek, so perhaps RIPTA, RIDOT, and the City could coordinate a message on the media suggesting that commuters consider using transit options.
From the City:
It would have been way more helpful if PEMA had posted a link to this info a week ago rather than spending all that time on unhelpful Tweets and Facebook posts. Tsunami!!
Message from Providence Schools to staff:
I’m not really thrilled about the fact that the city’s Press Release is a mini advertisement for the event, including a link to the event’s website. Come on!
I’m looking forward to the massive wave of smugness and schadenfreude that will wash over me as I ride my bike past all the traffic and lock up at my office building’s indoor bike rack.
I’ll have to take a few pictures along the way.
Tsunami doesn’t bother me. “a large volume of” is even a second line definition in some dictionaries. Details and information are definitely lacking, though.
This is so stupid. There are no words.
Wait… the city is actually cancelling part of the school day because of a private event? That is ridiculous. What happens if the Dunk and convention center suddenly become hotspots for these types of events with thousands of people coming into the city every couple weeks? Do we just change the school day for it?
I think RIDOT and Public Safety should be dealing with the other traffic to allow school buses and school children to get where they need to go at the expense of the other traffic rather than vice versa.
Councilman Zurier has some questions for the Safety Commissioner regarding school being delayed for this event [.pdf]
RIPTA tsunami detours, 27/28 and green line
Good to know someone cares about the children…
Channel 10 just reported 8 minute travel time on I-95 North from I-195 to the Mass line. Pretty good for the morning commute.
When I was walking to work this morning, between 8am and 8:30am, I saw no traffic, it was like Victory Day. I was able to cross Atwells no problem.
At the arch, there was a RIPTA van parked on one sidewalk, and a state police cruiser parked on the other sidewalk. At Atwells near the Hilton a police cruiser parked on the sidewalk and Staties just standing there.
The Old Public Safety Building Memorial Parking Lot™ was not full. At Fountain Street, there was the Providence Police Mobile Command Unit parked in the crosswalk.
At Washington and Empire there was a cop directing impossibly light traffic. At Empire and Westminster there was a cop waving traffic through the stop sign.
At Empire and Weybosset there was a cop leaning against a private vehicle parked on the sidewalk.
I don’t know what the traffic was like before 8am, but from my perspective, it was a good day to be a cop on detail, a bad day to be a pedestrian not wanting to be forced to walk in the road.
It’s a damn good thing they delayed school for 2 hours.
Foolishly, I did not bike this morning because I listened to the weatherman…
However, my 7:30am sun-glared commute was very light on traffic – even at 146S ramp to 95S, much lighter than normal.
Glad to see they were prepared for the worst, but seems like event goers slept-in.
It is a very good thing they delayed school, what with all the police vehicles parked on the sidewalks and all.
Facebook friend at the event says The Dunk is only half full (or half empty).
Seems like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t sort of thing from the perspective of the city. What if the convention center had been full? What if school was on time? What if regular commuters (like the head of the PVD Chamber of Commerce) had decided to drive instead of using RIPTA?
Kids would trapped on buses, etc and we’d have our selves an October Debacle instead of an October Oops.
It’s reasonable to think that maybe the show was only half full because ticket holders though, “eh, 95’s going to be backed up. I’ll eat the $1.95 ticket price to avoid the hastle…”
What we learn from this natural experiment:
Much of AM traffic is people driving kids to school and daycare.
Make every neighborhood school or daycare a place you want your kids to go and make sure there are safe ways for children to walk to them.
Less traffic and pollution, healthier kids and safer streets.
The worst traffic day of the year is what they refer to as “Terrible Tuesday.” It is the Tuesday after labor day when all the kids go back to school. People driving their kids to school really does cause miserable traffic. The county keeps building schools out in the middle of nowhere, making it impossible for kids to walk or ride their bikes to school. A real disservice to both the community and the kids, I think.