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Providence Geeks – February 10, 2016

Wednesday, February 10th 5:30-8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street
Free Admission
RSVP at Facebook

geeks-roundFor our first Geek Dinner of 2016, we’ve got a doozy.

Since its founding in 2012, North Kingstown-based Focal Upright has been shaking up the office furniture industry with its super innovative, funky, and — most importantly — ergonomic designs. In fact, just last week, Focal was recognized with a GOOD DESIGN Award — the most prestigious award of its kind.

On Wednesday Co-Founders Martin Keen — yes, the inventor and founder of KEEN footwear — and Mary Hall Keen will tell the Focal Upright story, demo their brilliant line, and — best of all — unveil for the first time ever an exciting new product!

In addition, there will be a variety of Focal Upright products for you to test drive!

See you there!

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Politico: Obama to propose $10-a-barrel oil tax

obama-official-edit

President Barack Obama is about to unveil an ambitious plan for a “21st century clean transportation system.” And he hopes to fund it with a tax on oil.

Obama aides told POLITICO that when he releases his final budget request next week, the president will propose more than $300 billion worth of investments over the next decade in mass transit, high-speed rail, self-driving cars, and other transportation approaches designed to reduce carbon emissions and congestion. To pay for it all, Obama will call for a $10 “fee” on every barrel of oil, a surcharge that would be paid by oil companies but would presumably be passed along to consumers.

There is no real chance that the Republican-controlled Congress will embrace Obama’s grand vision of climate-friendly mobility in an election year—especially after passing a long-stalled bipartisan highway bill just last year—and his aides acknowledge it’s mostly an effort to jump-start a conversation about the future of transportation.

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Strong Towns: From Highway to Boulevard

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6/10 Connector from the Atwells Avenue overpass

Currently a six lane highway running like a loop off of I-95, the 6/10 Connector goes from Capitol Center through Smith Hill, Federal Hill, Valley, Olneyville, Manton, the West End, Silver Lake, the Upper South Side and Lower South Side, ending back at I-95 in the suburb of Cranston. These are working class and middle class neighborhoods with walkable bones, and the highway goes against its name and disconnects them from one another, ensuring more driving. Many businesses in the poorer neighborhoods of Providence rank high on the per-acre value scale that Joe Minicozzi’s Urban Three developed, but the design flaws imposed on the neighborhoods by decades of RIDOT mistakes do not allow those advantages to show.

[…]

The mayor’s administration recently added a 6/10 Boulevard proposal to the “TIP” or Transportation Improvement Plan, for the state. This marks a new milestone in a journey from the boulevard being a wild pipe dream to a proposal that seems likely to happen. Ominously, another version of the project—a complete rebuild of the highway—still is on the TIP. Advocates from Moving Together Providence are working to make sure the boulevard is built and that it does not become a stroad.

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Providence Preservation Society 2016 Most Endangered Properties List

atlantic-mills

Atlantic Mills in Olneyville

From the Providence Preservation Society:


  • Atlantic Mills, 100 Manton Avenue (1863)
  • Bomes Theatre, 1017 Broad Street (1921)
  • Cranston Street Armory, 315 Cranston Street (1907)
  • Historic Jewelry District Buildings As exemplified by:
    Barstow Stove Company (known as Tops Electric Company), 120 Point Street (c. 1849)
    Ward Baking Company Administration Building, 145 Globe Street (1908-1956)
  • Historic Middle School Buildings As exemplified by:
    Gilbert Stuart Middle School, 188 Princeton Avenue (c. 1930)
    Roger Williams Middle School, 278 Thurbers Avenue (1932)
    Nathanael Greene Middle School, 721 Chalkstone Avenue (1929)
  • Historic Religious Buildings As exemplified by:
    Broad Street Synagogue, 688 Broad Street (1910)
    Congregation of the Sons of Jacob, 24 Douglas Avenue (1905-1912, 1920)
    United Presbyterian Church, 619 Chalkstone Avenue (1895)
  • Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street (1928)
  • Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House, 514 Broadway (1867)
  • Meader Street School, 20 Almy Street (1891)
  • Rhode Island Hospital Southwest Pavilion, 593 Eddy Street (1900)
  • Sheffield Smith House, 334 Smith Street (1855)

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WPRI: Driver arrested, charged in hit & run

walkinpvd-iconCentral Falls Police said they were called to Roosevelt Avenue around 3:05 a.m. Saturday, where they found a 51-year old Pawtucket man in the roadway.

[…]

At his arraignment, [Rigoberto] Vasquez was charged with driving while intoxicated, failing to stop in an accident resulting in serious personal injury, driving with an expired license, among other charges.

Central Falls Police said the victim is in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital.

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Providence Preservation Society Annual Meeting – January 20, 2016

The 2016 PPS Annual Meeting
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 | 5:30 pm
Providence Public Library, 225 Washington Street
FREE and Open to the Public; Registration required

Join the Providence Preservation Society on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, as we welcome guest speaker Adele Chatfield-Taylor, former President and CEO of the American Academy in Rome, to our 2016 Annual Meeting at the Providence Public Library Auditorium. Also during the meeting, the 2016 Most Endangered Properties will be announced, and the Society’s 2016 Board of Trustees will be presented to members for a vote. After the meeting, a small reception will be held in the Library.

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RI General Assembly: Bill taps DOT to clear snow from sidewalks on overpasses, pedestrian bridges

snow-route-95-sidewalk

Press Release from the General Assembly:


STATE HOUSE – After last winter’s barrage of snow made traversing streets a challenge for pedestrians, Providence legislators Sen. Maryellen Goodwin and Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski have reintroduced legislation putting the Department of Transportation in charge of clearing snow from sidewalks on state-controlled highway overpasses and overhead pedestrian walkways with significant pedestrian traffic.

The pair said it became apparent last year by the many pedestrians forced to dodge traffic in the street that sidewalks in those two areas seem to be among the most neglected after snowstorms.

“Most cities and towns require property owners to clear the sidewalks in front of their land, and you’ll see lots of business owners and residents out there when it snows fulfilling their duty. But when pedestrians get to an overpass, which isn’t in front of anybody’s property, they have to either walk out in the street or climb over a snow bank and trudge through the snow. It’s dangerous, and we need to designate someone to be in charge of snow removal in these areas, at least where there are a lot of pedestrians,” said Senator Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence), who is the Senate majority whip.

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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – January 11, 2016

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2016, beginning at 3 P.M., for the following purposes

195-roundPublic Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. Presentation by HR&A Advisors, Inc. on their economic development report regarding the I-195 Lands.
  3. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on December 14, 2015.
  4. Executive Director’s Report.
  5. Vote regarding adoption of the final rules and regulations for the I-195 Redevelopment Project Fund.
  6. Chairman’s Report/Agenda for February 15, 2016 meeting.
  7. Vote to Adjourn.
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City of Providence Draft Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Submission Public Hearing – Today, January 4, 2016

From the City of Providence:


City of Providence Draft Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Submission available for public review

square-p-01On Monday, January 4, 2016 at 5:30pm, the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development will host a public hearing allowing the general public an opportunity to comment on the municipality’s full Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) submission for federal fiscal years (FFY) 2017 – 2025.

A draft of the City’s full Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) submission for federal fiscal years (FFY) 2017 – 2025 is available for viewing at the front desk of the Department of Planning and Development at 444 Westminster Street, 3rd floor, or online.

The municipality’s TIP submission is a list of transportation projects that are intended to be considered by the State of Rhode Island for implementation using United States Department of Transportation funds. For a transportation project to utilize federal funds it must be included in the TIP. A project’s inclusion in the TIP is a critical step, but it does not represent an allocation of funds, obligation to fund, or grant of funds. Additional information on the TIP process can be found here.

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WPRI: Police searching for vehicle, driver who hit officer

walkinpvd-iconThe officer had been directing traffic at Dave’s Marketplace on Airport Road Saturday about 10 a.m..

The woman began arguing with the officer, then backed up her vehicle about fifty feet and drove at the officer head-on. He was able to step partially out of the way, but had minor injuries.

The woman sped away, southbound on Warwick Avenue. She’s described as a woman in her 20s or 30s. Several eyewitnesses saw it happen, but the woman remains at large.

If you see the vehicle on the road, Warwick Police ask you to call (401) 468-4293.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – January 11, 2016

NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2016 4:45 PM
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Agenda

drc-round

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approve Meeting Minutes of September 21, 2015 and November 16, 2015
  • Accept DDRC 2016 Meeting Schedule
  • Annual Election of Vice Chair

New Business

Fogarty Building

1. DRC Application No. 15.30: 111 Fountain Street (Fogarty Building) ? Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by PRI XII LLC, to demolish the existing structure located at 111 Fountain Street, and to construct a new 8?story extended stay hotel on the site. The applicant is requesting a Downtown Demolition Waiver, and waivers from Development and Design Standards of the Zoning Ordinance. At the conclusion of the hearing, the DDRC will take action with respect to these items.

Adjournment

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WPRI: Pedestrian reportedly struck in Providence

walkinpvd-icon Fire officials told Eyewitness News that the call came in from Washington Street at Snow Street around 10:30 p.m.

A man had reportedly been struck by a vehicle and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment. Fire officials had no other information on the circumstances of the incident or the man’s condition.

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Providence Planning Department Neighborhood Planning Survey

From the City of Providence Department of Planning & Development:


square-p-01From 2007-2012, the Department of Planning and Development conducted extensive community outreach as part of the Providence Tomorrow neighborhood planning process. The neighborhood action plans were an important result of that process.

As several years have now passed, we feel that it is important to update the action plans for each neighborhood to make sure that they reflect current goals and issues. These documents will serve as a central repository for all planning-related issues, containing a prioritized list of issues and opportunities specific to each neighborhood including those pertaining to redevelopment, crosswalks and sidewalks, nuisance properties, parks and playgrounds, zoning, parking, schools, public transportation, drainage, historic preservation, and business needs, among many others.

Once the action items are updated to reflect current needs and goals, the Department of Planning + Development will work to identify funding to complete specific projects, build on opportunities that exist, and resolve other issues as needed.

Neighborhood Planning Survey: English | Español
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Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting – December 15, 2015

2015-0803-homewood-parcel-12-rendering-001

Capital Center Commission Meeting
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 • 8:00 am
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

ccc-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Meetings of August 4, 2015, October 6, 2015 and November 3, 2015
  3. Acceptance of 2016 CCDRC Meeting Schedule
  4. Parcel 12
    Continued design review of plans for the construction of a new hotel on the property. (The DRC made a recommendation to the Capital Center Commission for the application for development and deviations, and to the Zoning Board of Review for zoning variances, at a public hearing held on November 3, 2015).
  5. Adjournment
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City Plan Commission Meeting – December 15, 2015

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from November 17 regular meeting and December 1 special meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Institutional Master Plan

1. Rhode Island Hospital Institutional Master Plan Amendment
– Presentation of amendment to Rhode Island Hospital’s Institutional Master Plan – for action (Upper South Providence)

City Council Referral

2. Referral 3401—Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance – Presentation of proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance to make clarifications, corrections and technical changes to the zoning ordinance. The amendment is proposing to rezone certain parcels from M-MU 75 to M-1 – for action

Adjournment

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Urban Greens announces location for planned food co-op

urban-greens

Rendering of 93 Cranston Street by Bourne Avenue Capital Partners

Press release by Urban Greens:


Urban Greens Food Co-op’s Cooperative Council is so glad to be able to share this exciting news with everyone!

In an event at the Columbus Theater, Urban Greens Food Co-op announced the future location of its consumer-owned grocery store. The retail store will be located at 93 Cranston Street, the site of the old Louttit Laundry building. The co-op store will be the anchor commercial tenant in a mixed use development including 37 residential units. Urban Greens will occupy a 7,000 square foot retail grocery space. The Co-op will be a full-service grocery store, though it will emphasize natural, healthy, and local food in its product mix. This announcement comes after a multi-year search and planning effort by the Co-op’s Cooperative Council & Site Committee to secure a viable site for Providence’s first consumer-owned retail grocery store.

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Both RIPTA and MBTA will serve Wickford Junction Station starting December 7, 2015

wickford-jct-ridot

Wickford Junction Station. Photo from RIDOT

Press release from RIDOT:


RIDOT and RIPTA Providing More Transit Choices from Wickford Junction Transit Center

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) today announced the expansion of bus service to the Wickford Junction Transit Center in North Kingstown. Effective Monday, December 7, 2015, this move will provide one-stop consolidated transit services, including rail, bus, and carpooling for commuting and easy access to shopping, sports, and other entertainment activities in Providence and Boston.

“Improving service and reducing operating costs at Wickford Junction has been a major focus of attention at RIDOT, and we are pleased to provide these changes with the assistance of our partners at RIPTA to make the station a full-featured transit hub for South County,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “With trains and buses under one roof, commuters have more options for transit and can avoid the hassle of rush hour and costly parking in Providence and Boston.”

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Weekend Holiday Events Downtown

providence-christmas-tree-2015

A few events coming up this weekend to celebrate the Holidays:

#CelebrateDowncity

Grant’s Block and Aurora
Saturday, December 5, 2015 – 10am-6pm

Providence Flea will be hosting a special Holiday Mini-Flea at Aurora from 10am to 4pm. Santa will be at Grant’s Block for free photos, along with a collection of your favorite food trucks. Holiday music will be spun on vinyl and a special holiday Movies on the Block will commence at sundown.

Visit InDowncity for more details.

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