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City Plan Commission Meeting – June 16, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from May 19, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report
  • A briefing on ethics and open meetings for public officials presented by the Assistant City Solicitor

City Council Referral

1. Referral No. 3391 – Abandonment of a portion of Somerset Street The petitioner, Community Preparatory School, is proposing to abandon a portion of Somerset Street between Tanner Street and Prairie Ave that lies between the school and a community center. The applicant intends to use the abandonment area to connect the school to the community center and increase the amount of green space on campus – for action (Upper South Providence)

2. Referral No. 3392 – Zoning ordinance amendment of definition of Group Quarters Petition to amend the definition of ‘Group Quarters’ in Section 1204 of the zoning ordinance – for action

3. Referral No. 3393 – Zoning ordinance amendment of Outdoor Dining regulations Petition to amend the definition of Outdoor Dining in Section 1202 of the zoning ordinance to allow businesses on the south side of Atwells Avenue between Harris Avenue and Bradford Street to operate outdoor dining past 11:00 pm – for action

Adjournment

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James Kennedy: Why Routes 6/10 should be redeveloped as a surface boulevard

6-10-overpass-ridot

Overpass on 6/10 Connector inbound. Photo from RIDOT

This post originally appeared on Transport Providence and is reposted with persmission of the author.

My Letter to City Council

To Honorable Councilpersons Aponte, Hassett, Matos, Principe, and Jennings,

I would like to bring a proposal for Rt. 6/10 to your attention. My proposal was #10 on RI NPR’s “Things to Know in Rhode Island” this week, and I hope I can get Council’s attention to discuss it.

The Rt. 6/10 Connector would be best redeveloped as a surface boulevard. The RIDOT proposal for bus lanes is what I call “transit oriented decoration” rather than “transit oriented development” because the bus lanes would remain on a raised or sunken highway, which would mean that meaningful transit service would pass over your wards.

It’s important to have some kind of “express” service for buses, but what makes buses successful is ridership, which allows frequency. We can only get ridership if we allow the dense neighborhoods that 6/10 passes through to get full service, and that means fostering a healthy pedestrian environment with development around the route. A surface boulevard will do that, and a limited-access highway will not.

Bus lanes without a meaningful ridership base and walkable environment will be as unsuccessful as the Wickford Junction Station was, and for the same reasons.

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Barry Schiller: Rhode Works – $4.8 Billion for Rhode Island Transportation

warren-ave-ridot

The crumbling Warren Avenue bridge in East Providence was recently replace. Image from RIDOT

Barry Schiller, a retired Rhode Island College math professor, is a long-time member of the State Planning Council’s Transportation Advisory Committee. He also was on the RIPTA Board of Directors 1995-1999.

What is your 10 year vision for transportation in Rhode Island? The Governor and her new RIDOT leaders propose their answer on the home page of the RIDOT website where there is a link to a 10 year $4.8 billion transportation plan called “Rhode Works.” This is about $1.1 billion more than current funding levels. A $700 million revenue bond is proposed for funding “replacement, reconstruction, and maintenance” of state bridges, the bond to be paid back by tolls on large commercial trucks crossing some bridges on Routes 95, 195, 295, 146, and 6/10. $400 million is set aside for the Route 6/10 bridges. There is a goal to reduce the percentage of our deficient bridges from about 22% to 10%. There will be a hearing on the proposed tolls at House Finance on Tuesday evening June 2.

Another $400 million to fund Rhode Works is from seeking $400 million in federal “New Start” transit funds. Rhode Works promises a “new commitment to provide increased bus and rail services.” The only specific transit project mentioned is an express bus lane on Routes 6/10. Rhode Works also promises “funding for bike lanes and accessible sidewalks.” There is no mention of bike paths.

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Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting – May 19, 2015

featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting
Wednesday, May 19, 2015 • 8:00am
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes – Meetings of January 20, 2015, March 17, 2015 and April 21, 2015
  3. Francis Street & Memorial Boulevard Intersection Safety Improvements
    Continued review of proposed safety improvements.
  4. Adjournment

There’s not really any safety improvements to the Memorial and Francis intersection (which is a pedestrian nightmare). It is basically to further keep people from walking along the side along the Omni and getting killed crossing the ramp traffic. No changes to the roadway to make anything safer.

francis-memorial-001

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Elorza updates street sweeping plans

elorza-street-sweeping

Photo from Mayor Elorza’s Facebook page

Mayor Elorza held a press conference this morning to provide an update on the street sweeping schedule. I asked on Twitter about prohibiting parking during scheduled street sweeping.


I did take it upon myself to sweep the street in front of my house a few weeks ago, but the rest of my block remains littered with detritus even after the street sweepers went by because no one knew they were coming.

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Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting – April 21, 2015

featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 • 8:00am
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes – Meetings of January 20, 2015 and March 17, 2015
  3. Francis Street & Memorial Boulevard Intersection Safety Improvements – Presentation of proposed safety improvements.
  4. Adjournment
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Spring Street Sweeping and Yard Waste Collection Dates Announced

street-sweeping-flickr

Photo (cc) Kim Brookes

Thank goodness! From the City of Providence:


Mayor Elorza Announces Citywide Street Sweeping Plan

Street Sweeping to Begin April 5, Yard Waste Collection Begins April 13

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today announced an aggressive citywide street sweeping program that will begin on Sunday, April 5.

“After a historic winter, Providence is ready to welcome spring with street sweeping and yard waste collection throughout the City,” said Mayor Elorza. “Providence has to be the City that works and that means making sure city services are working for our residents and our businesses. We will focus on our main thoroughfares and business districts first, and will then branch off into the neighborhoods.”

Crews will work to clean streets throughout the City nightly from 10:30PM-7AM, prioritizing main streets and business districts followed by neighborhoods.

Yard waste collection will begin on Monday, April 13. Residents are encouraged to recycle and compost all yard debris. Yard waste should be left curbside on regular recycling and trash collection days. Sticks and trimmings should be cut shorter than 4 feet and tied together. Yard waste may not be placed in plastic bags.

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Mayor Elorza outlines plan for dealing with potholes

elorza-potholes

Photo from Mayor Eloza’s Facebook page

From the City of Providence:


Mayor Elorza Outlines Aggressive Approach to Potholes

Proactive Plan Includes New Equipment, Increased Efforts

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today outlined efforts to aggressively and systematically repair potholes throughout the City of Providence.

Mayor Elorza announced that Department of Public Works has potholes crews out repairing roadways daily. These efforts are guided by daily, proactive surveys of streets and by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, to identify and prioritize repairs. Roadways are prioritized based on level of traffic and condition of the roadway.

This year, the City is using new equipment to help improve the speed and quality of pothole repairs. The City has more than tripled the number of asphalt compactors used to compress and smooth the surface of patches. Additionally, the City has introduced the use of a ‘hot box’ to keep asphalt on the patch truck hot for longer periods of time, meaning greater consistency in hot patch repairs and fewer resupply trips.

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Traffic changes coming to Exchange Terrace

exchange-terrace

From the City:


Changes to Traffic Pattern around Kennedy Plaza Beginning December 22

The City of Providence today announced upcoming changes to the traffic pattern on Exchange Terrace. Beginning Monday morning, December 22, Exchange Terrace (East Approach to Exchange Street) will be changed to accommodate 2-way traffic. The remainder of Exchange Terrace will allow two-way traffic later in 2015 when improvements to Emmitt Square are completed.

In preparation for this change, the southern portion of Exchange Terrace (East Approach to Exchange St.) will be barreled off Thursday morning, December 18, to allow westbound traffic to become used to driving on the northern part of Exchange Terrace prior to the switch.

There is a variable message board facing the westbound approach at the Exchange Street/Steeple St. intersection alerting motorists of the change in traffic pattern.

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RIDOT receives grant to combat distracted driving

2013 06 25 - 8332 - Rockville - Intexticated

Photo (cc) Bossi

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it is one of only seven states to receive a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) incentive grant designed to combat distracted driving. The $459,000 grant is part of NHTSA’s National Priority Safety Program.

“Rhode Island continues to lead the way in proactively addressing highway safety programs,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “Through the receipt of this grant, we can step up our ongoing efforts to ensure highway safety and ensure that drivers stay focused while driving. I want to congratulate RIDOT and our many partners in law enforcement as they continue to do all they can to make our roadways safer.”

RIDOT will use the NHTSA funds to develop a comprehensive distracted driving prevention program, which launches in October 2013. It will focus on Rhode Island drivers and include education, community outreach and increased funding for enforcement efforts.

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I rebuilt North Main Street for you

north-main-street-small-sky

I rebuilt North Main Street and you can rebuilt it and other roads too. Streetmix is a new online app that let’s you custom build your own street with streetcars, bus lanes, bike lanes, and more. I made a quick measurement on Google Maps to figure out that North Main is about 94′ wide and filled in my infrastructure from there.

Create your streets and post the results here.

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Curb extensions being installed on Atwells

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Atwells Avenue at Sutton Street.

It has been nearly three years since City Councilman Terry Hassett was struck and severely injured by a hit and run driver on Atwells Avenue; one in a long line of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the Avenue. Now, we are finally seeing some action on building pedestrian safety interventions.

After the Councilman was struck, we listed some recommended safety interventions including curb extensions such as those being installed now.

atwells-bump-out-002

Atwells Avenue at America Street.

Hopefully we’ll continue to see more of this type of infrastructure installed in the city to promote pedestrian safety.

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Kennedy Plaza/Circulator Phase 3 Informational Meeting – July 10, 2013

The City will be having an informational meeting about proposed enhancements and reconfiguration of the Kennedy Plaza area as well as details about Phase 3 of the Downtown Circulator project. The Circulator project includes reconstruction of LaSalle and Emmet Squares, Fountain Street, Broadway, part of Dorrance Street, and Exchange Terrace.

circ-meeting

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 • 5pm-6pm
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor

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A cornucopia of highway safety bills at House Judiciary – March 5, 2013

Rhode Island State House

The General Assembly House Judiciary Committee will have hearings on the following bills Tuesday, March 5th:


Subject: House Committee on Judiciary Hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the Rise in the House Lounge

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
NOTICE OF MEETING
DATE: Tuesday, March 05, 2013
TIME: Rise of the House (around 4:30pm)
PLACE: House Lounge – State House

SCHEDULED FOR HEARING AND/OR CONSIDERATION

House Bill No. 5061pdf

BY Corvese, Malik, Palangio, Ucci, Azzinaro

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES — PASSING, USING OF LANES, AND RULES OF THE ROAD {LC49/1} (would create additional penalties for motor vehicle violations at intersections and rights-of-way that cause serious bodily injury or death)

01/10/2013 Introduced, referred to House Judiciary
03/01/2013 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration


House Bill No. 5101pdf

BY Palumbo

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES – MISCELLANEOUS RULES {LC322/1} (would prohibit dogs from sitting on the lap of a motor vehicle operator. Any person in violation of such would be subject to fines)

01/16/2013 Introduced, referred to House Judiciary
03/01/2013 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration


House Bill No. 5149pdf

BY O’Neill, Gallison, Lally, Amore, Jacquard

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES — MOTOR VEHICLE OFFENSES {LC591/1} (would grant judges and magistrates the authority to prohibit drivers adjudicated of certain motor vehicle offenses from operating a motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock system)

01/23/2013 Introduced, referred to House Judiciary
03/01/2013 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration

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Parking Ban?

washington-street-parking-ban

Contrary to what you see in this photo of Washington Street this evening, there is still a Parking Ban in effect in the City of Providence, until further notice.

Update: The Mayor’s office just announced that the parking ban ends at noon today (Monday).

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