Local Whole Foods Close Earlier

In Retail, Retail Updatesby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

The closing of the Warwick Mall one hour earlier on some nights was recently reported with a grave tone suggesting that this was the long-awaited proof that the economic apocalypse had finally arrived. In my opinion, the far more newsworthy and lifestyle altering early closure (if you’re like me and do your food shopping hyper-efficiently from 9:30 to 10 PM) …

Editorial: I-Way Quality Job 1?

In 195 Relocation Projectby Bret Ancowitz3 Comments

Photo from RIDOT Driving home the other day and taking the new on-ramp to 195 off of 95 South, I couldn’t help but think about Jef Nickerson’s comments here on the blog regarding how outrageous it is that our 23 year old Amrak station is already in need of heavy renovation. Exiting off 95, my car met the new ramp …

Shock! US Last in Transit Survey

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz8 Comments

National Geographic Magazine has started a worldwide survey called the “Greendex” (click here to learn more) which has the Earth-shattering conclusion that the United States comes in dead last in planet-friendly transportation patterns. These metrics include the “Frequency of Walking or Biking to Work” and “Frequency of Use of Public Transportation.” While not surprising, the graphs of these elements (both …

Providence’s Stimulus Wish List

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz18 Comments

Back in December, the US Conference of Mayors put together a “ready to go,” or “shovel ready” list of jobs and infrastructure projects. Some of the recommendations were widely reported in the media, but Frankie at the PVD Urbanplanet forum just recently posted the link for the full list of recommendations for RI, and it makes for interesting reading. If …

More NY Times Articles of Note

In News & Notes, Uncategorizedby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

The NY Times writers and editors have for some time been examining transit and land use issues, but with the economic calamity unfolding and the mood for “stimulus” in the air, they have had many good articles of late. One is by the liberal-leaning Bob Herbert who, like his conservative co-columnist David Brooks, begs for infrastructure updates first and foremost …

The Sincerest Form of Flattery…

In Colleges/Universitiesby Bret Ancowitz1 Comment

I absolutely love reading the Brown Daily Herald (BDH) newspaper. It offers the comprehensive (and often refreshingly critical) Brown community news and opinion you would expect while also delivering numerous and suprisingly deep Providence and metro area pieces (making the BDH an all-of-a-sudden critical community treasure as the ProJo and other local news sources fall on hard times). What elevates …

Transit Cuts Across the Nation

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz2 Comments

Photo by Urban from stock.xchng There’s a must read NY Times article titled “Downturn Forces Transit Cuts as Ridership Grows” detailing what we all know to be true – that a society that’s using and desiring more mass transit as the economy worsens is hitting a funding wall. The piece describes the amazing cuts proposed for St. Louis’ system (a …

Reminder: I-95 South Closures Upcoming

In Transportationby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

As has been widely reported, I-95 will this week have the beginning of some intense work to remove overpasses. Downtown sections of the road will be closed to traffic during overnight hours. This will mostly be taking place the last two weeks of this month and the first week of February. The first closures will take place overnight from 11 …

Detroit (Bob Lutz, at Least) Hints at Need for Gas Tax

In Economy, Government, Uncategorizedby Bret Ancowitz1 Comment

The blunt and effective Robert Lutz of General Motors, an executive who inspires both love (he’s a product genius and calls things as he sees them) and hate (he bluntly calls things as he sees them, even when unpopular, as when he ridiculed the idea of global warming), again seems to be suggesting what many analysts have been recommending for …

Hint, Hint…

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz2 Comments

As has been widely reported, Team Obama is on their way to the inauguration via rail in what we all can hope will be symbolic of a greater mass transit push in the years ahead. One national newscast even described Joseph Biden as the “nation’s most famous, frequent Amtrak rider.” While, for the purpose of message, I would have loved …

Bus Shelter Snow Shoveling Answer

In RIPTA, Snow, Transportationby Bret Ancowitz1 Comment

Mary Ann Barbary from the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority generously answered a question I emailed her about a topic that came up several weeks ago here on the Greater City Providence… When it snows, who is responsible for shoveling the bus shelters? Here is the answer: Lamar Advertising owns and maintains THEIR bus shelters which are clearly marked with …

Retail Update: CVS at the Mall moving

In Retail Updatesby Bret Ancowitz2 Comments

In the windows of the large, street corner, sidewalk-fronting retail space that wraps around where Memorial Boulevard meets Francis Street are large “coming soon” CVS/Pharmacy signs. The pharmacy-less CVS on the third floor of the mall will be closing and moving to this new street level location with a pharmacy. There is also a CVS in Kennedy Plaza without a …

Providence Restaurant Wish List

In Foodby Bret Ancowitz5 Comments

As we look forward to 2009, I thought I would chime in with my cuisine wish list for 2009. Unfortunately, my wish list tends to look the same from year-to-year except this year, two items shockingly came off the list: Authentic Japanese noodle shop (Ebisu, near the PVD/Cranston line, and Noodles 102 in Fox Point) and a dedicated bubble tea …

RI Historical Society Looking for Guides…

In Uncategorizedby Bret Ancowitz3 Comments

Interested in Rhode Island and Providence history and wished you could share your enthusiasm with others? If so, strongly consider replying to the Rhode Island Historical Society’s call for recruits to do John Brown House, College Hill, and RiverWalk tours. Training sessions will run from January 21st to February 25th on Wednesday mornings from 10AM to 12:30 PM. Intrigued? If …

RI Nexus, Jack Templin in the PBN

In Peopleby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

News about the RI IT community building website RI Nexus, its program director Jack Templin (who is also a friend of GCPVD), and their impact grace the pages of local media yet again. The Providence Business News has a nice article on the organization and on Templin’s continuing series of talks at local educational institutions (J&W, URI, and NEIT down, …

Retail Update: Bubble Tea House

In Retail Updatesby Bret Ancowitz7 Comments

2008 will be long remembered for some seriously miserable economic events. One local bright spark in 2008, however, has been the quiet opening of some seriously interesting food and dining establishments. Ebisu, United BBQ, Tini’s, the crepe place on Weybosset, Noodles 102, and Farmstead Downcity (to name but a few) have helped to break the New Ameritalian lock on the …

Retail Update: Jac’s Wraps Coming to Medical Campus

In Retail Updatesby Bret Ancowitz3 Comments

The Pearl Street Cafe, which recently closed, was an old wooden structure that had an isolated location in back of RI Hospital and Women and Infant’s Hospital. Despite the location, it always seemed quite busy with lunch customers. The excellent lunch stand there always felt to me like an oasis in the center of an absolute asphalt ocean of depressing …

What Do You Think of a Gas Tax?

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz8 Comments

All of a sudden, the idea of instituting a much higher gas tax (to keep gas at about 4-5 dollars a gallon) to fund transportation and infrastructure seem to be getting a lot of press. The comprehensive automotive industry blog Autoblog reports on great editorials at Ward’s Auto World (must reading) and Tom Friedman again in the NY Times (who …