How Much to Travel to NYC?

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz17 Comments

View Larger Map One of Providence’s trumpeted advantages is its geographical proximity to both NYC and Boston. I am traveling to NYC shortly (a frequent jaunt for me and my wife) and this prompted a discussion with co-workers as to the best, most convenient, and lowest cost ways to travel. I had actually, once upon a time, priced this out …

PVD’s 5 Worst Intersections…

In Roadsby Bret Ancowitz20 Comments

Inspired by Jef’s proposal of putting the Thomas/North Main intersection on an asphalt “diet” of sorts (and some feedback posted that perhaps there are worse offenders out there), I thought we could all think out loud about which intersections in the city are the worst-of-the-worst. Here’s how we should break it down: – 5 Worst Intersections for Drivers: – 5 …

Yurdin, Narducci Work on Shoveling

In Snowby Bret Ancowitz1 Comment

The Brown Daily News reports that Councilmen Seth Yurdin and Nicholas Narducci, Jr. are working on efforts to both increase awareness of shoveling ordinances and refashion the current one to give it more teeth (and a bigger fine). The article (which, befitting the BDN, is somewhat College Hill-centric) reports that complaints have been up this year and that, when police …

The Squares of Providence

In Roadsby Bret Ancowitz17 Comments

View Larger Map About two years ago on the Urbanplanet.org site (which was the primordial soup from which Greater City Providence emerged and was born) I posted about trying to maintain a list of all of the public Squares in the city. The goal was to use such a list as a tool to promote branding of those neighborhoods. The …

New “Downtown” 5K?

In Recreationby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

I received an e-mail a while back screaming the headline “New Downtown 5k!” about the new St. Patrick’s Day 5K coming up this Saturday on March 21st. “Awesome!” I initially thought… “Sign me up…” I’ve run in the CVS Downtown 5K for the last 4 summers and have always enjoyed it. Hosting several thousand runners, many of whom are from …

Capital Center, a Neighborhood Opportunity Lost, Part I

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz9 Comments

A recent thread on the “New England” board of the food and restaurant site Chow.com started me thinking that Capital Center, Providence’s newest neighborhood, is perhaps the city’s busiest, most bustling urban streetscape. It also, by far and away, the city’s saddest and loneliest… Greater City Providence head Jef Nickerson has long said that the underdevelopment of Providence Station was …

BDH Would Love a Chipotle…

In Retailby Bret Ancowitz9 Comments

View Larger Map The editorial page for the Brown Daily Herald has a great suggestion for the now closed Roba Dolce spot on Thayer Street – a Chipotle… “Wait!” you might say. “Isn’t there a Chipotle coming to the old, vacant house on Thayer where Estas Video (pictured above) used to be? And wasn’t it going to be really cool …

Retail Update: Whoa! Cold Stone Creamery Downtown

In Retail Updatesby Bret Ancowitz7 Comments

I was walking on Westminster last night and noticed a Cold Stone Creamery sign up at the Tim Horton’s coffee location at the intersection with Dorrance. A quick Google search confirmed that the two companies recently announced that they are expanding their co-branding initiative after trials were successful. Given that an ice cream store has been high on most people’s …

Vaporscraper: Imperial Place

In Vaporscraperby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

Rendering from Churchill and Banks It’s hard to know how close this project ever came to reality, but anything remotely like it in this economic climate seems impossibly far off… What was it?: The Churchill and Banks website calls the building’s use “undecided,” but initial thoughs were for a 137,000 sf complex adjacent to Lifespan’s headquarters (well, adjacent to their …

Around the Web…

In News & Notesby Bret Ancowitz1 Comment

There have been a few interesting stories in and around the web of late. Here are a few: – Smallest State Grapples With Oversize Problems: I don’t know how I missed this, but the NY Times recently had an article on Rhode Island’s current woes (and its potential). For an out of state paper, the article surprisingly gets most of …

Freight Rail First

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz6 Comments

Phillip Longman of Washington Monthly has a great article discussing how getting tractor trailer trucks off of our highways and the cargo they carry onto expanded freight rail should be a top national infrastructure priority. The freight infrastructure system has long been neglected and, in a sense, the freight companies have been expected to pay their own way while being …

Required Reading: Part II

In News & Notesby Bret Ancowitz7 Comments

As interesting follow-ups to the essential “The Atlantic” piece I blogged about below, there are two other essential articles… One is by David Brooks of the NY Times, who had been drinking New Urbanism water of late, but backpedals with his depressing “I Dream of Denver” piece, which covers some (flawed sounding) polling data suggesting that you and I may …

Brown Med School Building Canceled, Other Changes…

In Colleges/Universitiesby Bret Ancowitz3 Comments

The Brown Daily Herald reports on changes decided by Brown this past weekend to adjust to the current economic woes, including the cancelation of construction of a new Medical School building in the Jewelry District. The medical school will now likely get renovated space in an existing Jewelry District building that has yet to be chosen. Given that the late …

Must Read: How the Crash Will Reshape America

In News & Notesby Bret Ancowitz6 Comments

This article in the current The Atlantic, by Richard Florida, is a must read for anyone who cares about American cities and how our urban and national cityscapes will change as a result of our economic difficulties. The article is a well researched and deeply logical prediction by an well known expert on how communities and regions will be altered …

State of the City Address, and What’s Missing…

In Governmentby Bret Ancowitz5 Comments

As many have likely already heard on the radio (WRNI has excellent coverage) or read in the ProJo’s reporting, the mayor set out a broad agenda (called “Operation Opportunity”) for spending of economic stimulus funding for the city. The sprawling, multi-objective plan will be put online and residents will be able to follow progress item by item. Most interesting from …

Mayor’s “State of the City” Tonight

In Governmentby Bret Ancowitz2 Comments

Tonight at 7 PM is Mayor Mayor David Cicilline’s “State of the City” address. It’s at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 5th floor Rotunda. Greater City Providence will be there. Does anyone know if the Convention Center has WiFi? If so, I’ll try to liveblog it… From the press release: The Mayor will talk about the City’s response to the …

Event: “Waltz With Bashir,” David Polonsky Q&A at Avon

In Eventsby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

This Wednesday at the Avon is the Providence premiere of the Golden Globe award winning (for Best Foreign Film) and Oscar nominated movie “Waltz with Bashir.” This dramatically animated Israeli film documents the filmmaker’s journey toward discovering the truth about an Israeli Army mission he participated in during the first Lebanon War of the early 1980s that left him with …

Pothole Nation

In Roadsby Bret Ancowitz14 Comments

Photo of this pothole downtown by justincase1021 at flickr.com Traffic calming is achieved! I think it is now impossible, by the laws of physics, to speed on Providence roads without completely shredding one’s automobile… In fact, I’m almost positive a pot hole on Frost Street last year helped end the life of my previous car… Yes, that time of the …