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Providence has 10th highest percentage of people walking to work, and growing

Cambridge - Harvard Square

Harvard Square in #1 ranked Cambridge, Mass. Photo (cc) Wally Gobetz

Nationally, only a small fraction of people primarily walk to work – the measure the Census Bureau estimates in its annual American Communities Survey. In a select group of cities, though, recent data illustrates the extent to which walking has emerged as an everyday means of commuting.

Providence ranks 10th with 10.8% of commuters walking; 69.9% commuting by car, 9.2% by public transit, 5.3% by bike/taxi/other*, and 5% working from home.

Providence also sees the 10th highest rise in people commuting by foot, going up 1.5% from 2007 to 2012. Imagine if we were actually actively working somehow to encourage people to walk the way number 1 ranked Cambridge does!

*What do we thinking the others are commuting by.


WJAR: Woman killed in front of condominiums is identified


Bullocks Point Avenue, East Providence – Image from Google Street View

walkinpvd-iconA woman was killed after being struck by a car on Bullocks Point Avenue in East Providence on Friday.

The victim has been identified as 53-year-old Laurie Rozen, of East Providence. Police say she was crossing the street in front of the Stonegate Condominiums when she was killed.

Police told NBC 10 initially it doesn’t appear the driver did anything improper.

Just a tragic accident on a roadway, those who live here say can be dangerous.

Well, no. Someone designed a high-speed four-lane roadway with housing and bus stops on either side with poor lighting and no crosswalks; it wasn’t just a tragic accident, it was by design. Who designed this roadway, and how should they be held accountable for the death of this woman?


Why are so many people driving up onto the sidewalk in North Providence?

WJAR: Digging Deeper: Too close to the curb?

About 15 years ago, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation put up more than 200 decorative street lights in the Centredale and Marieville sections of North Providence.

Twenty-seven have been wiped clean from their bases by passing motorists, and are too expensive to replace at $4,200 each.

Shouldn’t the title of this piece be, “Why are so many people driving up onto the sidewalk in North Providence?”

Drivers get a certain amount of real estate in which to operate in, this is called a roadway. They don’t get to swing about wildly across the roadway and a few feet on either side of it.

“Oh boo hoo, it is so difficult to drive without knocking shit over on either side of the road.”

It’s a cautionary tale for towns getting the decorative lighting, especially when the towns take possession of the projects, and are responsible for maintaining or replacing ones that get damaged.

It’s a cautionary tale for anyone walking in North Providence, look out for people driving up onto the sidewalk knocking over decorative street lights and who knows what else.


Media Matters: STUDY: Media Missing The Mark On Gas Prices

A Media Matters analysis of print and television coverage of rising gasoline prices between January 1 and February 29 finds that news outlets often provided a shallow and shortsighted treatment of the issue. For instance, several outlets largely overlooked fuel economy standards – a key policy solution that mitigates U.S. vulnerability to price spikes – while promoting increased U.S. drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline, which would likely move gas prices by only a few cents, if at all. In addition, cable news outlets primarily hosted political figures rather than energy experts or economists to comment on gas prices. Fox News, which covered gas prices far more frequently than any other outlet, regularly blamed President Obama for the recent price increase, a claim in line with Republican strategy but not with the facts.


UPDATED: Providence featured on the Travel Channel tonight

Olneyville New York System

Olneyville New York System. Image from Travel Channel.

For those of you who don’t have 47 Facebook friends who have already posted about this, let us tell you that Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food lands in Providence tonight. Well, technically, they landed in Providence a while ago, what they did while they were here is on the television tonight, at 9pm on the Travel Channel.

Adam visits Providence, RI for a unique grilled pizza and for the infamous Triple Murder Burger. Adam’s journey concludes with him coaching a rugby player through 15 fully-loaded hot wieners in 45 minutes.

Judging from the photo gallery on the site, they also paid a visit to Bob & Timmy’s Grilled Pizza on the Hill.

Continue Reading →


Coverage from last night’s Route 195 Community Forum

Speakers at last night's Route 195 Community Forum. From left; Kelly Mahoney, State Department of Administration; John Marion, Common Cause RI; Thom Deller, Providence Planning Department; not pictured Arthur Salisbury, Jewelry District Association.
From left; Kelly Mahoney, State Department of Administration; John Marion, Common Cause RI; Thom Deller, Providence Planning Department; not pictured Arthur Salisbury, Jewelry District Association. Photo from Common Cause RI’s Facebook Page

Last night’s forum was well attended (probably 100+ in the crowd) and a lively discussion on the issues.

Better Providence video’d the event, we’ll have that for you as soon as it is available online, for now, coverage from local media:

This post will be updated as more information is available.


You like us! You really like us!

We were awarded “Best Blog” by The Providence Phoenix y’all!

Thank you to all our readers and everyone, and everyone’s moms and cats and mailmen and Faceplace friends who voted for us! We’ve been feeling like Susan Lucci for a while now, and to be honest, it is actually quite cool to win.

Congratulations also to everyone who was nominated in our category, EcoRI, IndieArts RI, Providence Daily Dose, and RadioProv.

Also thanks to the Phoenix for hosting the poll and hosting a great party at The Met.


New Book: “JAWS: Memories From Martha’s Vineyard”

My partner Jim Beller and his book writing partner Matt Taylor have been working on a book chronicling the making of the movie JAWS on Martha’s Vineyard in 1974. After years of work the book is off to the publishers and they are taking pre-orders starting today.

While numerous behind-the-scenes accounts have chronicled the making of JAWS on Martha’s Vineyard in 1974, few have focused on the production’s many local participants. In this unique compendium, their stories are told at last.

Visit their website to learn more about the book and place your pre-order.


Watch season 2 premiere of “Brick City”

Brick City” is the Peabody Award winning Sundance Channel series which follows Newark, NJ Mayor, Cory Booker. The series combines a reality style tailing of the mayor at work with citizens of the city and others to tell a compelling story of Newark. This is not a slick media piece released by the city as a marketing tool, the series tells the real story of Newark, and it is often not pretty.

The second season premieres Sunday evening on the Sundance Channel, Huffington Post is hosting the first episode on their site now, which is embedded below.

You may have heard that Cory Booker has been all over the Twitter regarding his city’s epic snowfall this winter. I follow him, the guy won’t quit. Here’s video from the New Jersey Star Ledger letting you know, that you should indeed believe the hype.

I’m all about setting up a playdate for Cory and Angel.


Some *Positive* PVD Press!

We’ve been getting really pummeled in the national media of late. It seems every state (well, except for California) has had a newpaper write an article with the tone of, “You think our economy is bad, take a look at Rhode Island’s! Just look at their unemployment rate! They have no industries at all. Just some schools! Whew, good thing there’s someone else out there more miserable than we are!”

Well, some positive, “Isn’t Providence a cool place to visit” articles have recently and quietly been sneaking out, and the Mayor’s Office “City News” weekly email (which is actually an interesting read, click the link to subscribe) had mentioned two such articles. It’s always interesting to see which attractions, shops, and restaurants the out of town press enjoys. The two articles are:

It’s nice to have a break from all the negativity, at least until Twin River probably declares Chapter 11