Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
February 20, 2019, 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903
Update: Item number 6, RIDOT plans for the Dean Street Viaduct, was added to the agenda of this meeting.
- Roll Call
- Approval of January 16, 2019 Meeting Minutes (For Action)
- Overview of Commission Review Procedure (For Discussion)
- City Walk Phase 2 – Upper South Providence, Lower South Providence, Elmwood, Washington Park – Ward 9, 10, and 11 (For Action) — The City of Providence Department of Planning and Development seeks comments from the BPAC regarding the concepts for improvements proposed as part of the City Walk project on Broad Street in South Providence. This will be a conceptual level review of the project and will be the first of two reviews before the Commission.
- Major TIP Amendment (For Action) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has requested a major amendment to the State Transportation Improvement Plan, including a reduction in the “Transportation Alternatives” program. The Transportation Advisory Committee of the State Planning Council has authorized a public comment period and the BPAC may discuss any desired formal sentiments during this agenda item.
- Dean Street Viaduct (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is planning some work on the Dean Street Viaduct, which has been previously identified by the Commission as a priority for the city’s bike network. This will be a conceptual level review of the project and will be the first of two reviews before the Commission.
- Dexter Street and Parade Street – West End – Ward 13 (For Action) — The City of Providence Department of Planning and Development seeks comments from the BPAC regarding alternatives for reconfiguring Dexter and Parade streets around the Dexter Training Ground. There are no conceptual plans for the Commission to review at this time, but rather several alternatives for parking and mobility lane configurations regarding which the Commission may express preference.
- Complete Streets Master Plan (For Action) — The City of Providence Department of Planning and Development seeks comments from the BPAC regarding the Complete Streets Master Plan. This will be the first of numerous opportunities for the public to provide input into this vision for future investments in the public realm.
- Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
I am a member of this Commission.
An interesting agenda. Good luck with the Dean St Viaduct, now very disagreeable for bicyclists and pedestrians. Not sure what can be done to improve it – widening sidewalks and also calling it a bike lane? Underlying problem is that Rote 6-10 and the rr cuts off north and south sides making this one of the few connections. The interchange also takes up an amazing amount of land right near downtown.
The TIP amendment which cuts about $27 million from state bike/pedestrian projects is rightly opposed by the RI Bicycle Coalition and others. Its ironic that bike/ped projects are being cut or delayed just as the Gov signed on to a regional commitment to reduce transportation emissions (the leading sector for emitting greenhouse gases) but the 10 year plan proposed seems to have no vision of doing anything differently. I hope the BPAC will also oppose the amendment as written, as well as GCPVD readers. Public hearings on it coming Feb 25band 28.
The Dean Street Viaduct could be part of a broad solution to fix some of Federal Hill’s issues.
#1. Parking. I hate the obsession over parking, but the fact is that Federal Hill will always have a parking problem. They are not going to get a railroad station, and even if they did, the type of people that come in to dine on the hill will not use it. Federal Hill needs centralized, structured parking. It could sited behind Spruce Street, in the area near the current on/off ramp. The exit onto Federal Hill should be turned to a “visitor only” off-ramp that only goes into a centralized parking garage. Access to Federal Hill that is “non-visitor” could be moved back towards the west side entrance of Atwells. The on-ramp to go from Dean Street to the highway should be moved closer to Harris. This could simplify the traffic flow a bit and turn Dean back into a 4 lane (no exit) road from the RR tracks to the hill.
#2. Turn Dean Street into Boulevard. The distractions of off ramps and on ramps have been eliminated. Widen the sidewalks, eliminate on-street parking spaces, add a bike lane, slow down traffic (Elorza, you can add more of your speed cameras). Add a tree canopy and landscaping, and period street lamps. Make this the official entrance to Federal Hill. The pedestrian and bike lane could be a dedicated bridge that goes through the parking structure.
That’s my idea.
Again I call for a new bike-ped bridge over 6-10 and the tracks. Sited where the crossing can be as short as possible with nice pedestrian environments instead of multilane intersections at both ends.
Why not 2 bridges, one east and one west of Dean St. viaduct.