Greater City Providence

What does WPRI know about the 195 Land that we don’t?

From Friday:

Parking in Prov. expected to worsen

Parking in Providence is expected to get worse in the upcoming months, as businesses and residents continue to migrate to the Route 195 redevelopment district.

By the end of this year, this district will produce well over 2 million square feet of offices and homes.

This rapid expansion, though limiting parking for the city, has potential to create thousands of jobs in the district.

Really? There’s no source cited for this information. But it is being used to back up Sen. Ruggerio’s idea that we must have a new tax-payer funded garage in the area.

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.


  • Plan for a parking garage behind the Garahy complex date back to the 70’s. One way to attract smaller developers would be to provide parking that would allow them avoid the need for including parking huge amounts of parking in their proposals; however not sure that the city should be building parking garages for Brown and Johnson & Wales.

  • I touched on this briefly in a different thread, but it bears repeating: on-street parking is a tremendous waste of a valuable resource.

    This might be a controversial opinion, but I’d actually be willing to stand behind a taxpayer-funded garage if it was a package deal with eliminating on-street parking in certain high-value transit corridors and using the reclaimed space as transit lanes instead.

    This is anecdotal, but I believe the length of a parallel on-street parking space from end to end is 20 feet – that means there’s 264 on-street parking spaces in every mile of “parking lane.” Most streets have one parking lane on either side of the road, so we get 528 parking spaces per mile of roadway with on-street parking.

    Broad Street, from the city line to where it fizzles out in Downtown, is around 2.8 miles long. Let’s round that down to 2.5 miles to allow for all the places along the road where parking doesn’t exist (e.g. intersections) – we get a spitball, “close enough” estimate of 1320 parking spaces along the length of Broad Street in Providence. Imagine what would happen if we approved the Garrahy Garage and built 800 spaces there, but simultaneously removed all of Broad Street’s parking and painted bus lanes for the R-Line where parking once was? Well, we just reduced the amount of parking in the city by 520 spaces while simultaneously dramatically improving the R-Line’s expected performance by providing it dedicated space on a little under half of its running route. The paint for the bus lanes is going to cost so little that revenue on the R-Line will pay for it entirely in the first week, and all those cars going into the Garrahy Garage (where a premium for structured parking would be charged) will be making far more money for the city and the state.

    Not to mention, while a single large parking structure isn’t exactly subtle, it takes up far less space on the whole than 2.5 miles worth of cars parked on both sides of a busy street.

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