Greater City Providence

Reports: Apponaug wins TIGER grant, streetcar seemingly, no.

Previously: 10 reasons why the Apponaug Circulator is ‘not ready to go’

[box style=”alert”]2013 TIGER Awards – Detailed list of projects winning grants. [/alert]

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.


  • Isn’t it enough already that Warwick got a commuter rail station? I can tell you where the $10 Mil is going – into the runway extension at PVD.

    At the rate it’s going the streetcar will NEVER be built in Providence. It was a stupid plan anyhow – it would have connected Brown University to the Hospitals complex. Instead they should have run one from say the east side to Olneyville, or maybe even down Broad St.

  • I’m not a fan of the particular plan that was assigned the streetcar (or even to calling the thing a “streetcar”. It feels like word inflation since we have a bunch of buses called “trolleys”. Meh.). But this suck. The streetcar would have been a better use of the money than this.

  • TIGER money, nor RIDOT funds go to anything airfield related. The airport is self funded or gets grants from the FAA.

  • Two thoughts:

    1) Who the hell goes to Apponaug?

    2) The Gov got his pet project and can now coast through to whatever cush post POTUS dangles down for him.

  • On the USDOT web site ( ) announcing the grants, they list the 52 projects funded My quick review indicated to me 10 of them were highway projects, 19 were rail or transit oriented – mostly rail including freight rail and a Kansas City streetcar, 9 were pedestrian/bike/complete streets type projects, 8 were for ports, and the rest I couldn’t tell. In New England there were rail improvement awards in CT, NH, VT.
    One issue in RI’s award is that the RIDOT decision to pursue the Apponaug project did not go thru the usual public process that regular projects do, there was no input from a public hearing, the Transportation Advisory Committee, or the State Plannng Council. I’ve brought up this issue at our RIDOT Roundtables in hopes of making the process more open in the future.
    I don’t think the Providence streetcar was ready to go to the Feds for this, there is no real financing plan in place as far as I know. I agree with James, and think the plan is too limited to succeed or to do much good.
    If I had input I would have considered extending the Blackstone Bikeway to the core central cities of Woonsocket and Pawtucket which might also help us establish a Backstone Valley National Park.

  • Isn’t it enough already that Warwick got a commuter rail station?

    Not even close. Warwick needs real service to that rail station and several real crosstown bus routes – routes which will now become that much harder to implement effectively, thanks to this abortive traffic circle catastrophe.

    I know I’ve had disagreements with several people before about the extent I believe we need to invest in transit in places like South County, but Warwick isn’t South Kingston or Westerly. It’s Metro Providence, and it needs functional transit just as much as Pawtucket or Cranston or Woonsocket does.

    This is a terrible project because it flies completely in the face of actually fixing the disaster that is Four Corners, replacing one traffic nightmare with an entirely different traffic nightmare and doing nothing to further complete streets or enable functional transit in the area. Ultimately, we’re going to be worse off for its funding and that would have been the case no matter what happened re: the Core Connector – because the next “fix” for Four Corners (look forward to that in five years when it comes up) is going to require that most or all of the Circulator we’re about to build gets un-built first.

    And for the record, I don’t believe this project took money away from the Core Connector, which was unlikely to get funding even if the Circulator had been tabled. The current iteration of the “Providence Streetcar” remains an extremely questionable investment that really does need to be sent back to the drawing board.

  • Here is my take.

    First, Warwick does not have a rail (train) station…It is the T.F. Green Airport connector to Providence. That is what it is designed and built for…connecting the airport to the city it serves. Avedisian (with Chafee’s help) have visions of grandeur – it is NOT a is a suburb of Providence.

    Second, the Apponaug rotary is a huge waste of money…a political gift from Chaffee to his friend.
    The Providence Streetcar System very much would have won if RIDOT and Chaffee had sponsored it. What a joke – instead of investing in the core of the economic engine of southeastern New England, he builds a rotary!

    Third, the Providence Streetcar System would have been a major selling point to draw interest in the development of the IWay area. Meanwhile, Chefee is having the EDC push the “Station District” in Warwick. He is an enemy of Providence.

    We need a friend of PVD in the State House.

Providence, RI
5:22 am8:20 pm EDT
Feels like: 77°F
Wind: 7mph SSW
Humidity: 93%
Pressure: 30.12"Hg
UV index: 4
90°F / 70°F
93°F / 73°F
93°F / 77°F