Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza: Walkabout and Panel Discussion
Providence, Rhode Island
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Please join CNU New England for a walkabout in Providence’s Kennedy Plaza and panel discussion at Aurora to review the progress, programming, and next steps for the Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza. Through a public-private partnership between the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and the City of Providence, this project seeks to create a pedestrian-friendly environment, encourage transit ridership, bolster economic well-being, promote arts and culture, and encourage tourism. The first steps toward implementation of the long-term vision are under construction, so please come join us to discuss what’s next. “Ideas for admission” are encouraged at the door – provide your walkabout observations and thoughts regarding next steps toward implementation of the vision.
- 5:30pm Walkabout – Providence City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street
- 6:00pm Panel Discussion – Aurora, 276 Westminster Street
Featured panelists include Cliff Wood (Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy), Ray Studley (Rhode Island Public Transit Authority), Chris Ise (City of Providence), Buff Chace (Cornish Associates)[alert type=”muted”]This event is free and open to all. Suggested $5 donation helps CNU New England to sustain this regularly occurring event series at Aurora throughout the year. Please RSVP here.[/alert] [alert type=”warning”]Full disclosure: I am on the Advisory Board of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy.[/alert]
Too bad the Ripta Riders Alliance wasn’t invited to be on the panel, or directly contacted by the CNU. even though passengers, a main user of the Plaza, are already inconvenienced during the construction. Some in the Alliance feel the KP project is about gentrification and seeks to push passengers out of the Plaza, and ignoring passengers voices again gives this view credibility. With fewer bus lanes and bus stop locations, riders are concerned about delays this might cause. The loss of the old Newport bus stop, apparently to enable some Court House employees to grab more parking, may force a more circuitous and timewasting route for the Newport buses to enter the Plaza. With bus stops dispersed, there are enhanced security concerns, not everyone relishes having to cross Burnside Park after dark to get to a relocated stop. There are concerns about snow removal, signage, and lighting, especially as inadequate lighting on Exchange Terrace was already reported at the last RIPTA Board meeting)
None of this is intended to criticize RIPTA which is doing the best they can to help passengers, or the CNU which is to be commended for holding such an event. But passenger concerns shoud be heard!
Update: upon request the CNU has agreed to include Don Rhodes, the President of the RIPTA Riders Alliance, in the panel discussion, and that is now included in the New England CNU Chapter website. I think this is good idea for the reasons in my first comment. Thank you CNU!
The KP project is happening. I hope to hear some good ideas going forward on how to make it a great space that will work as well as possible, both for riders and all other users.