Categories

Author Archive | Jef Nickerson

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).
0

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?

1

WPRI: Pedestrian struck on South County Trail

walkinpvd-iconRhode Island State Police said the victim – a South Kingstown woman in her 60s – and her friend were walking with the flow of traffic on the side of the road when she was struck.

Police said the driver – a 20-year-old man from East Greenwich – was also driving south when the vehicle in front of him came to a stop in order to make a left-hand turn. In an attempt to avoid hitting the vehicle, police said the driver swerved right into the breakdown lane and struck the victim.

1

New Hosting, Finally

flickr-network

Photo (cc) Grant Hutchinson

After much down time and annoyance from our prior webhosting provider over the last weeks, I’ve moved the site to a new host. I’ve already noticed it is more speedy, and not crashing all the times (knock-on-wood), I hope you’re all finding it the same.

There might be a few little things for me to fix after the transfer, but most things seem to have moved as desired.

I’m also fixing to move all my domains to a new provider, which might result in a bit of downtime this week, but hopefully it will be relatively painless.

6

All I know is somone wants to tear down buildings on Broadway and build a drive-thru CVS

broadway-dean

Former home of Empire Beauty School at Broadway and Dean on Federal Hill

I don’t actually know a whole lot about this, so it is hard to have too many opinions about it.

What I do know, is someone (presumably the property owner(s)) wants to tear down the 3-story office building at the corner of Broadway and Dean Streets along with the one-story building along Broadway next to it (currently the home of Hall’s on Broadway vintage store).

Then, someone wants to replace those buildings with a new multi-story mixed-use building with a CVS with a drive-thru on the ground floor.

Continue Reading →

17

Mayor Elorza signs executive order giving more planning input to Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission

bpac

From the Mayor’s Office:


Providence to Give Commission Greater Input into Planning for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza today announced an effort to revamp the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) by signing an executive order granting the commission more say over where bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investments, such as crosswalks and bike lanes, are implemented and how they are designed.

“Having safe areas for pedestrians and bicyclists are one of the keys to having the fittest city in the country,” said Mayor Elorza. “I am looking forward to hearing input from the commission to ensure safety for all that walk and ride.”

Under the executive order, most major street and sidewalk repair or construction projects within Providence will come before the Providence BPAC for review at two points during their conception and design phases.

Continue Reading →

0

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – March 16, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building 444 Westminster Street, First Floor Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll call
  2. Approval of January meeting minutes
  3. Welcome from Mayor Jorge Elorza
  4. Presentation on Bike Plan Update from DPD staff
  5. Public comment on needed improvements to bicycle lanes and other bicycle infrastructure throughout Providence
  6. Adjournment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
0

Citizens plans campus in the middle of nowhere

johnston-citizens-sprawl-edit

Rendering of Citizens planned campus in Johnston

On Wednesday, Citizens Financial Group announced their plans to build a corporate campus on a greenfield site in Johnson outside Route 295, while maintaining their current corporate headquarters in Providence.

As reported by WPRI, the 420,000 square foot campus will house 3,200 employees. Construction will start this year with occupancy in 2018.

Rhode Island Public Radio reports the campus will feature an on-site cafeteria, fitness center, and walking paths.

The Providence Journal reports on some financial help Citizens received for the project, notably:

Citizens and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation have agreed to split the $6-million cost to build new exit and entrance ramps onto Route 295, between current exits 6 and 7, where the highway crosses Greenville Avenue. The DOT will pay $3 million, and construction is expected to start in the spring of 2017, DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin said;

Didn’t we just pass a super-controversial bill to toll trucks because RIDOT can’t afford to maintain what it has now? Now RIDOT is building infrastructure for private development?

Continue Reading →

22

ProJo: Driver, victim identified in fatal Warwick pedestrian accident

Greenwich Avenue at Main Avenue in Warwick

walkinpvd-iconPolice have identified the 83-year-old man killed in a pedestrian accident Wednesday as Jose S. Dionisio, and the driver as Carmella Visinho, 92, both of Warwick.

Dionisio was crossing Main Avenue around 9:30 a.m., near the intersection with Greenwich Avenue, when he was struck by Visinho, who was driving in the right lane, eastbound. Dionisio was not in a crosswalk, according to the initial investigation.


Crosswalk or no crosswalk, how do we expect an elderly person to ever cross that street? How do we expect anyone to ever be able to cross that street? A traffic engineer designed that.

As our population continues to age, and more elderly people are no longer able to drive, we’re going to have a lot more elderly people in suburbs trying to cross the streets we engineered for cars.

Continue Reading →

0

Proposed building at 169 Canal Street

Developer Charles Tapalian is presenting plans for a new 10-story residential building at 169 Canal Street at the Downtown Design Review Committee meeting on March 14th.

The 10-story building would contain 144 studio and one-bedroom apartments with ground floor retail. It appears to be targeting the student market. As far as I can tell, the plan is for no on-site parking with ample bike parking provided within the building.

This is an informational meeting only, the DRC will be offering opinions on the proposal, but no approvals will be given. The developer is presenting two options for the new building. The architect is Jo Ann Bentley Architects of Fall River.

Option 1

169-Canal-1-canalelevation

Elevation along Canal Street

Continue Reading →

16

ProJo: R.I. begins moving on RIPTA bus hub project at Providence Amtrak Station

Rhode Island officials have taken the first small step toward building a multimillion-dollar bus hub at the Providence Amtrak Station, potentially as part of a larger real estate project with a private developer.

On Monday, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Board approved hiring Chicago-based real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle to talk to developers, promote the project and help put together bid documents to seek private investment.

[…]

A memo from Commerce Corporation Senior Project Manager Michael Walker given to the Commerce board described Jones Lang Lasalle’s task as: “…to assist with the outreach to the developer community to identify and promote the development opportunity, structure the data requirements that a successful solicitation will require in order to be favorably received by developers, and to draft the Request for Proposals that [the Department of Transportation] will issue to solicit the private investment in this first-of-a kind transit project in Rhode Island.”

I’m all about public/private partnerships, the land around the station is far too valuable to be just a bus station. And bringing in a private developer to team up on this project is the definition of Transit Oriented Development. But boy do I fear concessions to the developer whittling away at the benefits to transit riders that this project could realize.

Please oh please Rhode Island, don’t f*ck it up!

8

News & Notes

ljubljana- flickr

Ljubljana – Photo (cc) Gilad Rom

BuzzFeed News It Will Soon Be More Expensive To Jaywalk Than To Drink And Drive In Nova Scotia

This year the province is upping its fines for jaywalking to $700 for a first offence. It’s $1,272 for a second offence and a whopping $2,422 for a third offence.

[…]

Ultimately, said [Ben] Wedge [chair of the Halifax Cycling Coalition], pedestrians are already careful because they know that they’re the ones who are going to be injured in a collision, not the driver.

“The punishment has to be proportional to the crime committed,” he said.


Continue Reading →

1

WPRI: Here are the 32 construction projects Mayor Elorza is touting for 2016

waterplace-cranes-2006

Cranes used to construct the Waterplace towers in 2006

Dan McGowan put together a comprehensive list of developments planned for the city in the next year or so. As the past has shown though, we should be careful not to count our Vaporscapers before they’ve hatched.

From the massive life-sciences complex on the former I-195 land to a small expansion of a metal company near the port of Providence, Mayor Jorge Elorza says Rhode Island’s capital city will see between $500 million and $700 million in new construction in 2016.

In his State of the City address last week, Elorza said the city expects more than 30 “major construction projects” to break ground this year, part of a once-in-a-generation boom that could provide a significant boost to the city’s coffers through new tax and permitting revenue.

So where are these new projects located?

2

111 Fountain Street hotel proposal

111 Fountain - Sabin Street

Rendering looking west on Sabin Street

The Procaccianti Group is planning to raze the Fogarty Building at 111 Fountain Street to build a new extended stay hotel. Information below is from their submission to the Downtown Design Review Committee (DRC). This was scheduled to be presented to the DRC today, that meeting has been canceled due to the snow storm.


Project Information

Project Address: 111 Fountain Street
Project Description: 176 room Residence Inn hotel
Lot Size: 24,888 S.F. 0.571+/- Acres
Project Size: 127,500 GSF (includes tenant space)
Project Height: 101’-5 5/8” Top of roof structure – 9 Stories
Project F.A.R.: 5.12 (based on GSF)
Parking Spaces: 150 Parking spaces (at 1 Empire Site)
Architect: Group One Partners

Continue Reading →

21

RESCHEDULED: Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – February 8, 2016

Today’s meeting has been rescheduled due to the snowstorm, it will take place Tuesday, February 16th at 4:45pm.
Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting
Monday, February 8, 2016 4:45 PM
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of January 11, 2016

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 15.30: 111 Fountain Street (Fogarty Building) – Continued review of the proposal by PRI XII LLC, to demolish the existing structure located at 111 Fountain Street, and to construct a new 9?story extended stay hotel on the site. The applicant was granted preliminary approval of the demolition, preliminary (conceptual) approval of the new construction, and waivers from the Design Standards for New Construction at the January 11, 2016 DRC meeting. The applicant is returning to the DRC for final design review.

Continue Reading →

0

ProJo: 6-10 rapid transit plan would draw nearly 4,000 riders, report says

olneyville sq

Olneyville before the construction of the 6/10 Connector

In the report released Jan. 22, VHB estimated that between 7,000 and 9,000 people use mass transit to reach downtown Providence from an area south and west of the city and could utilize a 6-10 transit line. The higher end of the estimate, 9,193, came from adding the passengers of 13 current Rhode Island Public Transit Authority lines and the 7,014 figure came from extrapolated census figures.

[…]

The additional 3,500 to 4,000 riders VHB estimates would use a new transit line on Routes 6 and 10 was determined by taking these numbers and adding “several percentage points” of higher transit usage to the population within the catchment area.


That all sounds rather, take a guess from this column and take a guess from that column, but OK. It seems like RIPTA needs some input on this. Do existing lines from the south and west get re-routed? Does that allow for better time into the City? Does that attract more ridership? Is there a demand for riders from the south to reach Olneyville without making a transfer in Kennedy Plaza and vice-versa..?


Continue Reading →

6

Wexford Science & Technology / CV Properties enter purchase agreement for 195 parcels

wexford-cv-2016-01-edit

Wexford/CV proposal rendering. Eddy Street bottom, Ship Street left, Dorrance Street right. Click image to enlarge.

Baltimore-based Wexford Science and Technology and real estate developer CV Properties have signed a purchase and sale agreement for two parcels of land and plan to develop a three-phase project on the vacant former highway land with research and development space, offices, hotel and residential space and other attractions.


Phasing is not really allowed by the 195 regulations, one is not allowed to land-bank. Something like this can’t really be built any other way than in phases though, so I guess we’re just ignoring that for reality. Also, I better not see any ‘temporary’ surface lots anywhere between phases.


Continue Reading →

8