In wee-hours of Saturday morning, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a bill to speed the construction of a parking garage in Providence, but failed to provide funding for a proposed commuter rail station in Pawtucket / Central Falls.
The Providence Journal: R.I. House passes bill to speed garage project by Providence courthouse
A bill speeding construction of a $45 million parking garage next to the Garrahy Judicial Complex downtown passed the House Friday night and is one step from clearing the General Assembly.
Requested by the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission to advance a planned life sciences development, the bill would eliminate a requirement that the commission reach agreements to sell three parcels of the property it controls on the former interstate highway land before the garage would be built.[…]
Instead of requiring three purchase-and-sales agreements on the I-195 land before the garage could be built, the bill would require Wexford/CV to lease at least 400 parking spaces.
Then this happened on Twitter and I went ballistic.
— Providence Journal (@projo) June 18, 2016
The Providence Journal: Plans for a $40M commuter train station in Pawtucket hinges on U.S. grant
Rhode Island’s recent history with new train stations, like the sparsely used Wickford Junction station in North Kingstown, casts a shadow over arguments for a new commuter rail station in Pawtucket.[…]
The free-market Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity has put the station plan in its cross-hairs, adding the funding bill to its “five worst” list for the year and saying it aligns with a “submissive philosophy” that Rhode Island should be considered a suburb of Boston.[…]
Although the bill to spend $10 million in state funds, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Tobon, D-Pawtucket, did not clear the General Assembly, the long-planned station is not dead.
In April, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation applied for a $14.5 million federal grant to finance the project. The U.S. Department of Transportation typically awards those grants each fall.
Great, so we can’t have a train station because of Wickford and someone having a small dick about our relationship with Boston.