Greater City Providence

Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities Project Community Meeting, May 14th


Photo (cc) Trisha Crabb

Community Meeting – Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities Project – North Main Street

The City of Providence and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) invite you to share your thoughts on the future of North Main Street.

Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street
Monday, May 14th, 2012 – 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
(Presentation at 6:00 PM followed by open house)

  • How is RIPTA improving bus stop locations, bus shelters, and bus service?
  • What is RIPTA’s new R-Line (Rapid Bus) service?
  • What improvements are coming? (bus shelters, trash cans, bicycle racks, wayfinding signage, public art)
  • Where should community hubs and gateways be located?
  • What services and businesses would you like to see at community hubs?

A 72-hour notice is required for persons with sensory impairment requiring auxiliary aids. To request this service, please contact the RIPTA Customer Service Manager at 401-784-9500 x183.

For more information, please contact Martina Haggerty, Project Coordinator or visit the Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities project website.

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.


  • I work on N Main. I live off N Main. I walk to work most days. Believe me, becoming a senior authority on N Main Street was never my ambition, yet here I am, 20 years on.

    The only part of the walk I look forward to is alongside, or when possible through, the Burial Ground. Ugh, the rest.

    At more than a few “What Is To Be Done About North Main Street” meetings I have heard calls for (you guessed it!) mo’ better parking, benches, brick sidewalks, signage, planters, etc. I try to explain that none of these things change the fact that N Main is a 4 lane highway, where traffic routinely moves at 40mph and turns corners across crosswalks at 25mph, thanks to huge curb radii. Then there are the curb cuts, more cut than uncut for many blocks. Cosmetic pedestrian amenities are going to attract strolling visitors? Excuse me for laughing.

    I do cheer the prospect of improved bus service. The bus spends more time stopped while people get on and off, at red lights, and waiting for a break to pull into traffic than it does rolling, so I am truly hopeful that the changes will be significant. The rest is hokum, unless North Main gets a traffic-calming REBOOT!

  • I am really excited about this meeting. Andrew I can’t agree more about the bus service, it is one of RIPTA’s busiest routes and yet it is painfully slow. My desires for the corridor are:
    1) Transit signal priority for RIPTA’s buses AND signal coordination along the entire corridor (especially north of Rochambeau)
    2) Something in the old Sears building, reusing the actual building (not knocking it down and setting it way back from the street). I’d actually love for Bennys to move there so I can actually walk there and so it’s less of a nightmare to get in and out of their lot in a car.
    3) Curb extensions (bumpouts) at Olney and Doyle so people making right-turns can’t fly around the corner.
    4) Something in the old Miko building. I noticed Rhode Runner moved into the old Rent a Center building so I’m excited about this and hoping it will make someone want to occupy the Miko building next door.

  • Now that Borders is gone and not coming back I dream of the Miko building housing indy bookstore that this town could support even in this day and age.

  • I’d like to see bumpouts at the BRT stops, so the bus never has to leave the travel lane. It would speed up bus trips, slow others and provide space for modest amenities.

  • I also live off North Main and walk from downtown to almost Pawtucket every day. I think North Main has tremendous potential to become the Mass Ave. of Providence if it plays its cards right. The customers are already here (18-22,000 vehicles a day on NM and the busiest bus route in the RIPTA system by far, the 99/11.) The problem is they don’t have too many places to stop and shop at. I agree with Adam, something HAS to happen with the Sears building. Can the city step in and do something? That building has been vacant for two decades. It’s crippling any meaningful development to the neighborhood.

  • The North Main corridor needs to be dramatically up-zoned to allow mid-rise buildings and greater residential density. Density similar to downtown and building heights of 8 to 10 stories might be a place to start. Presently there’s no incentive to build anything more than a single-story retail building. Even if a building is required to be built to the street line, when at grade parking is added the density of North Main Street is similar to Bald Hill Road. With North Main’s public transit service, adding significant residential population along with ground floor retail could transform North Main from a highway retail strip to a diverse pedestrian oriented boulevard.

  • I am thinking we should find a movie that wants to blow up a building so we could clear out the Sears building and start over on that spot. I also want a community garden in the North Burial Ground

  • Peter you make a great point about the parking, case in point the new Walgreens. It is great that they built it up to the sidewalk but it still has a massive parking lot off to its side that has never ever ever been full and never will be full ever! A good example of what we should have is the East Side Urgent Care or even Asian Palace, both of which utilize on-street parking and only have tiny parking lots off to the side.

  • There is a lot of contractor work happening at the old Miko Building on N Main St @ Doyle Ave, including masonry work on the exterior. Anyone know if a business has plans to occupy the space in the near future?

  • A RIPTA finance bill hearing is coming even before this meeting, on Wed May 9 at the House Finance Committee (1pm Room 35) on bill H7581 to help fund RIPTA and avert a $8 to $10 million deficit they face in the next fiscal year (due to declining gas tax, high fuel prices, binding arbitration requirements raising labor costs…) that would lead to severe service cuts on almost all lines (loss of evening and holiday service, many weekend cuts, less frequent service, cancelling some lines entirely…) For more info, please call the Sierra Club 521-4734

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