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Author Archive | Jef Nickerson

WPRI: 6/10 inspection reports reveal close-ups of potentially dangerous dilapidation

ridot-6-10-huntington-bridge

Huntington Bridge photo from RIDOT’s Facebook page

Among the new issues revealed, a horribly rusted temporary support beam.

“This was decaying to the point of possibly falling over onto the high speed rail that’s next to it,” [RIDOT Director Peter] Alviti explained.

OK, should I not ride the train through this area then?

Alviti, who admitted the condition of the various structures keep him awake at night, said the fact that the reports are available is one of RIDOT’s most important, recent changes.

If the Director literally cannot sleep at night about it, shouldn’t the roadway be closed? What exactly is keeping him from sleeping if not the fear of an imminent collapse?

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – September 21, 2016

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
September 21, 2016, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of June Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Approval of July Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  4. Olney Street Restriping – College Hill, Mount Hope – Wards 1 and 2 (For Action) – The Department of Public Works intends to restripe Olney Street from Camp to Hope streets. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans, which include bike lanes along this 0.4-mile stretch and the removal of a limited amount of underutilized on street parking on the northbound side of Olney Street between Camp and North Main streets, adjacent to the University Heights Apartment Complex.
  5. Olneyville Square Pedestrian Safety Improvements – Olneyville – Ward 15 (For Action) – ONE Neighborhood Builders is exploring the potential installation of curb extensions at the two existing RIPTA bus stops on Westminster Street in Olneyville Square and a raised pedestrian refuge at the intersection of Plainfield Street at Hartford Avenue. The City of Providence DPD seeks comment from the BPAC at this initial scoping phase of the project.
  6. Smith Street Repaving, Restriping, and Sidewalk Replacement – Smith Hill, Elmhurst – Wards 5 and 12 (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has prepared preliminary plans for Smith Street from Lyndhurst Avenue to Holden Street. Planned improvements include pavement resurfacing, replacement of existing sidewalk and curb, ADA improvements, minor improvements to the existing drainage system, modifications to the existing signals, upgrades to the existing pedestrian facilities, and the installation of new roadway signs and pavement markings. RIDOT also intends to remove existing street trees within the project limits that have caused severe sidewalk damage making sidewalks inaccessible to those who are in wheelchairs or disabled. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans.
  7. Fountain Street Restriping Project Update – Downtown – Ward 1 (For Discussion)
  8. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  9. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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ProJo: State to fast-track Route 6-10 connector project, abandon surface boulevard

ridot-6-10-original-design

RIDOT’s Original Design for the 6/10 interchange

Governor Raimondo has ordered a fast-track reconstruction of the Route 6 and 10 interchange and the abandonment of plans to rebuild the highway under an earthen cap, state officials said Wednesday.

The decision to rebuild the highways in their current footprint — and scrap a design favored by Department of Transportation leaders just this spring — was prompted by safety concerns and the deteriorating condition of the overpasses, said DOT Director Peter Alviti Jr.

I.E. the public hates how we’re spending thier money, so let’s spend it faster.

Along with abandoning the capped highway plan, Raimondo’s move all but dismisses the possibility of replacing the highway with a surface boulevard, a design that drew overwhelming support from attendees of a public forum on the 6-10 held last week by the city of Providence.

[…]

Alviti said the disruption to commuters that a boulevard would create was unacceptable.

Translation, people in the suburbs are more important than people who live in the city next to the suburban infrastructure.

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ProJo: Cumberland woman, 30, struck and killed by bus in Providence’s Kennedy Plaza

walkinpvd-iconA 30-year-old Cumberland woman on her way to work Wednesday morning was killed when a bus struck her in a crosswalk in Kennedy Plaza and dragged her 50 to 60 feet.

Providence police identified the victim as Michelle Cagnon. She worked for Bank of America, according to company spokesman Trevor Koenig.

She was walking east on Washington Street, in front of the Alex and Ani City Center ice skating rink, when she stepped into the crosswalk to cross East Approach a little after 8 a.m., according to Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré.

“Lady was in the crosswalk,” said witness Charles Parker, “looked up, screamed as she got run over.”

“The minute she got into the middle of the crosswalk, Peter Pan came around and just hit her,” said another witness, Michael “Casey” Lee, of Dartmouth, Mass. “All you heard was the smack, and that was it.”


This is so awful.

The Peter Pan buses often move too fast and too recklessly through the plaza, I don’t understand why. One almost hit me the other day as it swung out of the berth at the Transit Center, across the 3 lanes of traffic on Washington Street, and up onto the East Approach. I was crossing East Approach on foot and had to step back onto the curb to avoid it.

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – July 20, 2016

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
July 20, 2016 • 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of June Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Olney Street Restriping – College Hill, Mount Hope (For Action) – The Department of Public Works intends to restripe Olney Street from Camp to Hope streets. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC at this initial scoping phase of the project.
  4. Allens Avenue Restriping – Upper South Providence, Lower South Providence, Washington Park (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has developed preliminary design plans for the restriping of Allens Avenue from Blackstone Street to New York Avenue. The City of Providence DPD and DPW seek comment from the BPAC regarding RIDOT’s preliminary plans.
  5. Francis Street Mid-Block Crossing – Downtown (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has developed preliminary design plans for a new mid-block crossing across Francis Street to improve pedestrian safety between Providence Place Mall and Station Park. The City of Providence DPD and DPW seek comment from the BPAC regarding RIDOT’s preliminary plans.
  6. Potential Improvements to Tobey and Ridge streets – Federal Hill (For Discussion)
  7. Potential Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements to streets surrounding the new LINK District waterfront parks and Providence River Pedestrian Bridge – Downtown, Fox Point (For Discussion)
  8. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  9. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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PBN: State approves $8M for historic renovations across R.I.

The state Division of Taxation has approved nearly $8 million in state historic preservation tax credits to seven projects in several cities, including for works that will create new purposes for old industrial buildings.


This is quite a list of buildings, some pretty important to the streetscapes of the city. Let’s take a look at the ones in Providence:

Freedom City Properties LLC – 431 Harris Avenue, Providence

Image from the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

In Eagle Square, Freedom City Properties LLC is renovating the former American Brewing Co. building (better known as Capital Records Management) into artists workspaces, a theatre, and apartments.

Continue Reading →

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ProJo: Feds reject $175-million grant for 6-10 interchange project – City Workshop Scheduled on July 19, 2016

route-6-10-label

Plans to rebuild Routes 6 and 10 were dealt a setback Friday as Rhode Island’s bid for a $175-million federal grant for the project was passed over, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation said.

[…]

“While we are disappointed that we did not receive the FASTLANE grant funding for the Route 6-10 Interchange project, we remain committed to moving this long-delayed project forward,” said DOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. in the release. “RIDOT will move quickly to evaluate our options to tackle this problem and present a recommendation for next steps.”

[…]

The state and its consultants are refining a design for the 6/10 project, which is estimated to cost $959 million, in anticipation of seeking federal environmental approval for construction.


ONE BILLION DOLLARS is just a kookoo bananas amount of money for a highway interchange.

Continue Reading →

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City proposes $40 million Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond

cone-down

You may remember in 2012, the Taveras administration proposed, and voters passed a $40 million bond to fund road work within the city; with the City Council trying to politicize the process along the way.

It looks like this time around, the bonding will be for infrastructure beyond just road paving, which could be a worthy investment. I’d like to see how the City plans to prioritize spending and am hopeful we can avoid messy politics with the City Council this time around.

From the City of Providence:


Providence Seeks $40 Million for Stronger Neighborhoods, Infrastructure

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza today announced the city’s plan to seek a $40 million Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond to make needed investments and build stronger neighborhoods throughout the capital city.

“Making the necessary long term investments in our infrastructure is an essential component of building stronger and more vibrant neighborhoods across Providence,” said Mayor Elorza. “The Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond will work to improve every neighborhood, and will continue to lay the foundation for a long term capital improvement plan that invests in repairing our streets, sidewalks, parks, recreation facilities, and other critical infrastructure.”

Continue Reading →

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Boo City at Burnside Music Series + Beer Garden – July 7, 2016

boo-city

Boo City – Image courtesy of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy © Curt Allan

Canceled due to the imminent risk of severe weather.

The weekly Music Series + Beer Garden kicks off for the season this Thursday at Burnside Park in Kennedy Plaza:


You’ve earned it, Providence: an entire season of afternoons in the park. The sun on your face, the breeze in your hair, a well-deserved drink in your hand, and FREE MUSIC!

Every Thursday this summer from July 7th to September 8th, Burnside Park will be transformed into your favorite restaurant, your family outing, your afternoon date, and your patio bar. Lounge on the grass, grab a bite from your favorite food truck, or sidle up to the tables and chairs at Trinity Brewhouse’s beer garden (open from 4:30-7:30 every Thursday!). Live music from 5:30-7 ensures that your personal dance hall, showspace, and musician’s salon is but a stroll downtown away.

Whether you’re wrapping up work, heading in for your shift, cavorting with friends, or just reveling in something other than winter, join us by the fountain Thursday afternoons. You work hard. You deserve it.

Facebook event page

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ProJo: Police: East Providence man drives onto sidewalk, strikes husband, wife, dog

walkinpvd-iconThe police have arrested an East Providence man they say drove up on a sidewalk along Legion Way and struck a pedestrian and a bicyclist and killed a dog before driving away Tuesday night, according to Lt. Thomas J. Rush.

Daniel James, 33, of Dorr Avenue, was arrested at his home about an hour-and-a-half after the crash and charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious personal injury, as well as motor vehicle infractions. He was held for arraignment Wednesday in District Court, Providence.


Seriously, WTF!?

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Rhode Island Assembly, Speeds Approval for Parking Garage, No Money for Commuter Rail Station

garrahy-garage-bing

Location of proposed Garrahy Parking Garage

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.

Continue Reading →

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40th Annual Rhode Island Pridefest – June 18, 2016

pride-2012

2012 Illuminated Night Parade

This Saturday, Rhode Island Pride celebrates the 40th Annual Rhode Island Gay Pride Festival and Parade.

Pridefest

Pridefest starts Saturday, June 18th, at noon on South Water Street along the waterfront.

Illuminated Night Parade

The Illuminated Night Parade starts at 8pm traveling along Dorrance, Washington, and Empire Streets downtown.

A full schedule of Pride events can be found here.

Facebook event page

Continue Reading →

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – June 15, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission
June 15, 2016, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of May Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Francis Street Modifications – Downtown (For Action) – Providence Place Mall intends to make improvements to the Francis Street side of the mall, including the sidewalk area and street. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the plans.
  4. Harris Avenue Modifications – Smith Hill, Valley, Olneyville (For Action) – The Department of Public Works has proposed striping for Harris Avenue. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the conceptual plans.
  5. Potential Bicycle Improvements through Downtown to improve access to Classical High School – Downtown (For Discussion)
  6. Potential Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements to streets surrounding the new LINK District waterfront parks and Providence River Pedestrian Bridge – Downtown, Fox Point (For Discussion)
  7. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  8. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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#Orlando

A photo posted by Andy Cohen (@bravoandy) on

Vigils for the vicitms of the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando are being held in Providence tonight and tomorrow evening.


The Alley Cat, The Dark Lady, and The Stable are hosting a vigil and march to the State House tonight at 8pm. All three bars will be closed tonight between 8pm and 9pm during the vigil. Meet at the corner of Snow and Washington Streets at 8pm.

Please join us for a candellight vigil Monday in honor of those lost, injured, families, friends, and community. We will meet between 8:00-8:30pm and walk to the State House. More details will follow please share and feel free to post here. xoxo, The Dark Lady & Alleycat and Stable Family

Facebook event page


Another vigil will be held tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6pm at the Roger Williams National Memorial Park on North Main Street.

Please join the LGBTQ and allied community in this visible response to ant-LGBTQ violence and stand strong together in this important moment. We are Pulse; we are Orlando; we are Rhode Island.

Facebook event page


The CenterAlso, The Center, Orlando’s GLBT Community Center, is accepting donations for victims and thier families via a GoFundMe page.

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – May 18, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 4:45 PM
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of April Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Waterman Street Modifications – Wayland (For Action) – The City of Providence intends to restripe Waterman Street between Butler Avenue and the Henderson Bridge. This restriping will include the relocation of on street parking from the south side to the north side of Waterman and installation a crosswalk near the ramp to the Henderson Bridge. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans.
  4. Eddy Street Restriping – Upper South Providence (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation intends to restripe Eddy Street from Willard Avenue north to the I-95 Eddy Street underpass. RIDOT’s restriping plan includes bike lanes along portions of Eddy Street in both directions. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding RIDOT’s preliminary striping plans.
  5. Bicycle Infrastructure Improvements to Connect to New Waterfront Parks and Pedestrian Bridge – Downtown and Fox Point (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will soon begin construction on the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge and two new waterfront parks to be placed on the former I-195 land on either side of the Providence River. DPD seeks ideas from the BPAC regarding new bicycle infrastructure to improve access from Downtown and Fox Point to the new parks and bridge.
  6. DPW Report on Status and Outcomes of Autotmatic Pedestrian Signal Pilot Project (For Discussion)
  7. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  8. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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Bike Month!

bikemonth

I posted this late and some of these events may have already happened, sorry.


May is National Bike Month and it is being celebrated here in Rhode Island. While any month is fine for enjoying this healthy, money-saving, enjoyable and environmentally superior way to travel, with the arrival of spring, its time for many of us to savor the season, often best at the speed of a bicycle. Though it is a work in progress, the Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition announces the following calendar of events, note Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20. Please join us for rides and events when you can. Check for updates at ribike.org.

Pre-Ride Roadside Bike Class (Bike Newport)
May 3, 10, 17, & 24 • 5:00-7:00pm • 29 Spring St, Newport
Free this month!

Bike making noises? Chain need some TLC? Brakes just not what they used to be? Ready to repair your own flat? You can give your bike the love it wants, and it’ll love you back – we promise! Join us for a basic roadside maintenance class. Topics will include pre-ride checks, fixing flats, caring for chains, and more. Classes are free for the month of May. Ladies Nights are geared toward women, girls, and female-identified. No boys allowed on those nights!

Bike to Breakfast (Women Bike RI)
May 6, 13, 14, & 27 • 7:30am • Various locations
Free (but bring money for your meal)

In celebration of Bike Month, Women Bike RI is organizing an informal bike to breakfast meetup series. Join us at any of the below locations on Friday mornings throughout the month of May. We’ll fill up bike racks, support local businesses and help demonstrate that bicycle commuting can be fun! All Women Bike RI events are free.

Weekday breakfast rides will take place 7:30 – 8:30 am. Please email womenbikeri@gmail.com to learn more and join the group on Facebook.

Jane’s Bike of Historical Providence
May 7: • 9:00am • 24 Meeting St, Providence
$10 per person • Eventbrite

Participate in a whirlwind tour of the Providence Preservation Society’s Most Endangered Properties (MEP), hosted by RIHPHC’s Sarah Zurier and RIBike’s Executive Director, Alex Krogh-Grabbe. See some great successes, like The Whitmarsh Apartments (1913) in Elmwood, one of the first properties ever listed as a MEP. We will also visit some losses, including the Grove Street Elementary School (1901) in Federal Hill which was partially demolished in 2007 without a permit, and eventually completely leveled in 2011.

Most of our stops will be sites still in danger, like the Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House (1867) and Rhode Island Hospital’s Southwest Pavilion.

Continue Reading →

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – April 20, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
April 20, 2016, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Impact of Executive Order on BPAC membership and BPAC Project Review Process (For Discussion)
  3. Approval of March Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  4. City of Providence Vulnerable Road User Safety Action Plan – Overview and Status Update (For Discussion)
  5. Bike Plan Update – Status Update (For Discussion)
  6. Fountain Street Repaving and Restriping – Downtown (For Action)
    The City of Providence intends to repave and restripe Fountain Street between Empire and Dorrance streets in Spring 2016. As part of the restriping, the City has proposed for the road to be restriped in a new configuration to include two travel lanes, a buffered bike lane, and on street parking. Existing crosswalk locations will also be restriped. The bike lane will connect existing bike lanes on Broadway to Emmett Square and Kennedy Plaza. DPW and DPD seek comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans.
  7. Douglas Avenue Restriping Project – Smith Hill, Elmhurst, Wanskuck (For Action)
    In Summer 2016, the City of Providence intends to restripe Douglas Avenue from Orms Street to the City Line. As part of that restriping, the City of Providence Department of Public Works has proposed bike lanes to be striped from Chad Brown Street to Chalkstone Avenue. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding their preliminary striping plans.
  8. Road restriping list from DPW (For Action)
    In Summer 2016, the City of Providence intends to restripe several streets throughout the City. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the following projects: See offical agenda for full list.
  9. Announcements (For Discussion)
  10. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission (although unfortunately I will be missing this meeting).
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ProJo: $800M Route 6-10 Connector plan gains fans at 1st public hearing

The initial estimate for the “hybrid” design assumed a $500-$550 million price for the highway portion of the project and $300 million for the bus line and stations. However in a March 25 letter to federal officials expressing interest in a $150-million grant for the project, DOT listed the highway portion of the project at $650 million.

DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin said the $650-million estimate included the possibility that the project could be expanded to include repair of additional structurally deficient bridges, such as one at Plainfield Street. He could not immediately say whether the total price tag, including the transit component, would then grow to $950 million, or whether the state’s share of the project would still be $400 million.


Do we think we’ll be told the project is going to cost a billion dollars before or after they start construction?

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