Archive | Uncategorized

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – March 18, 2015

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
March 18, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor


  1. Roll call
  2. Vote to approve meeting minutes from February 18 Commission meeting
  3. Discussion of and vote to adopt 2015 meeting schedule
  4. Presentation by Robert Azar, Deputy Director of Planning and Development, regarding Fountain Street improvements
  5. Discussion of request to DPW for list of upcoming road repair and striping projects
  6. Discussion of agenda for Bicycle Friendly Community visit by League of American Bicyclists planned for April 16
  7. Discussion of the City’s participation in the USDOT Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets and next steps to be taken by the Commission in order fulfill their role as Mayor Elorza’s “local action team”
  8. Discussion of ideas for improving pedestrian and bicycle conditions generated from February 18 Commission meeting
  9. Adjournment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.

News & Notes


President Obama announced his budget on Monday including a $478-billion six-year plan for transportation spending.

Streetsblog USA: Obama’s New Transportation Budget: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Today President Obama unveiled his opening bid in this process. The $478-billion, six-year plan from the White House includes many of the proposals the administration unveiled last year. Congress didn’t advance those ideas then, and with the GOP now controlling both houses, chances remain slim for reforming highway-centric federal transportation policy.

But the White House budget document remains the best summary of the Obama team’s transportation policy agenda. The ideas are intriguing even if they’re politically improbable.

Also on Streetsblog, they picked up our story about the death of Karen McHugh.

Scientific American: U.S. Cities Lag in Race against Rising Seas

In just a few decades, most U.S. coastal regions are likely to experience at least 30 days of nuisance flooding every year.

Washington, D.C.; Annapolis, Md.; and Wilmington, N.C., are already in trouble. By 2020, seven more cities, including Baltimore and Atlantic City, N.J., can add themselves to the list. And within the next 35 years, most cities along all coasts will be dealing with routine flooding.

Some cities, such as New York, are bolstering their shorelines in response to extreme events, such as Superstorm Sandy. But with more than half the U.S. population living within 50 miles of the coast, many areas are just at the beginning stages of preparing to deal with rising sea levels and the increased flooding they bring.

Where will we build the next hurricane barrier?

Continue Reading →


City Plan Commission Meeting – November 18, 2014

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from September 16, 2014 meeting – for action
  • Approval of minutes from September 30, 2014 special meeting – for action
  • Vote to elect Administrative Officer for City Plan Commission
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3385 – Amendment of Section 404 of the Zoning Ordinance The proponent is requesting that Section 404 of the Zoning Ordinance be amended to remove the requirement that solar uses in Historic Districts be reviewed by the Historic District Commission – for action

Minor Subdivision

2. Case No. 14-032 MI – 550 Veazie Street The applicant is requesting to subdivide 550 Veazie Street measuring approximately 6.5 acres into two lots, each measuring approximately 3.9 acres and 3.02 acres– for action (AP 78 Lot 417, Wanskuck)

Continue Reading →


Making Providence a greater city for 5 years

5th Birthday Candle

Photo (cc) AndrewEick

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the first post made on Greater City: Providence.

Greater City: Providence was created as a way to catalogue what was taking place at the Providence Tomorrow Charrettes and ensure that an urban perspective was heard and had a place to be discussed. While Matt, Bret, and I and others had been discussing the charrettes and how we wanted to approach them and just generally having an outlet for discussing urbanism in Providence for a while, October 8, 2006 marked the birth of this site and its first post.

Over the years the site has evolved into what it is today, a place to spread news and print commentary about the urban condition in Providence. We’ve published 1,743 posts, have received over 6,500 comments from readers on those posts, and have had over half a million page views.

We reach a wide audience in the city and beyond and it is always a joy when we’re out and about and someone tells us they read the site. Even more of a joy is when someone reads something on the site and it prompts them to act on an issue. We’re proud that we can prompt citizens into action and influence the decision makers to respond to issues.

We want to thank you all for reading, some since day one, and others who find the site every day. Knowing that people are reading and appreciating the site makes us continue with it. We hope to be at it for another 5 years.

While we have your attention, allow us to remind you all the ways you can connect with Greater City: Providence in addition to this site.


Memorial Day

Photo (cc) eddiecoyote

Ted Nesi compiled the names of all the Rhode Islanders who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of The Washington Post’s tally:

  • Spec. Michael Andrade, 28, of Bristol (2003)
  • Capt. Matthew August, 28, of North Kingstown (2004)
  • Sgt. Gregory Belanger, 24, of Narragansett (2003)
  • Sgt. Charles Caldwell, 38, of North Providence (2003)
  • Lance Cpl. Holly Charette, 21, of Cranston (2005)
  • Pfc. Kyle Coutu, 20, of Providence (2010)
  • 2nd Lt. Matthew Coutu, 23, of North Kingstown (2005)
  • Sgt. Moises Jazmin, 25, of Providence (2006)
  • Sgt. Michael Paranzino, 22, of Middletown (2010)
  • Sgt. Christopher Potts, 38, of Tiverton (2004)
  • Spec. Dennis Poulin, 26, of Cumberland (2011)
  • Lance Cpl. Matthew Serio, 21, of North Providence (2004)
  • Cpl. Brian St. Germain, 22, of Warwick (2006)
  • Lt. Francis Toner IV, 26, of Narragansett (2009)
  • Sgt. Michael Weidemann, 23, of Newport (2006)

Update: Nesi was alerted by the Secretary of State’s office of 8 more Rhode Island soldiers who have died since Sept. 11th, 2001:

  • Staff Sgt. Joseph Camara
  • Master Sgt. Richard Ferguson
  • Petty Officer Ronald Gill
  • Missionary John Kelly
  • Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Mancini
  • Sgt. 1st Class Danilo Nuenz
  • Chief Warrant Officer 5 Sharon Swartworth
  • Lance Cpl. John VanGyzen

News & Notes

Sidewalk Rage: Mental Illness or ‘Altruistic Punishment?’ [Time Magazine | Healthland]

While it sounds like an oxymoron, altruistic punishment is basically how social norms get enforced. So when you expel a huffy “Excuse me!” to the rude sidewalk clogger in front of you who has stopped midstride to check his BlackBerry, you’re trying to discourage behavior that endangers other members of the society. It’s called “altruistic” punishment, because your efforts to protect civility come at personal cost with little chance of personal benefit: you are far more likely to get an obscene gesture or even a punch in the mouth than a thank you.

Nonprofit group wins funds for Olney Village rehab project [The Providence Journal]

Olneyville Housing Corporation has received key financing assistance from Rhode Island Housing that will permit the nonprofit organization to move forward with its Olney Village project.

The $10-million development project will turn 11 foreclosed properties and a large vacant lot in the Providence neighborhood into 39 affordable apartments, plus spaces for two organizations: the food pantry formerly located at St. Teresa’s Church and the Manton Avenue Project, a youth arts and theater program.

Continue Reading →


We’re starting to feel like Susan Lucci over here

Thank you to everyone who voted to nominate us as Best Blog in the Phoenix Best of 2011 poll. Now that we’ve been nominated, it would be wicked super if you would vote for us to win. You can vote once a day. Make sure you go to the end of the poll to submit your final votes.

Tell all your friends, your family, your co-workers, and your cat to vote too! We’re getting tired of being Susan Lucci to the Daily Dose.


City Plan Commission Meeting (01/19)

TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2010 4:45 PM

Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Auditorium 400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903


Call to Order
Roll Call
Approval of Meeting Minutes: December 1st and 15th, 2009
Approval of the CPC meeting schedule for the 2010 calendar year
Designation of Recording Secretary


View Larger Map

1. Referral 3321 – Petition to abandon a portion of Penrose Avenue
Petition to abandon the unimproved portion of Penrose Avenue. (Blackstone)


View Larger Map

2. Case No. 09-050MA – 395 Promenade Street (Master Plan Approval)
The applicant is seeking Master Plan Approval to reuse approximately 2,600 SF of the southwest portion of an existing 2 story building and construct a new 23,000 SF one story laboratory building. The building will be used as a blood bank. Onsite parking will be provided. The property abuts Promenade and Bath Streets. (AP 67 Lots 341, 522 and 523) (Smith Hill)

The applicant has requested that this item be continued to the February 23, 2010 meeting.


3. College Hill, Wayland & Fox Point Neighborhood Plan
Continuation of the discussion between Commission members and staff regarding the development potential of the “Shooters” site based on the approved neighborhood plan. The discussion will also address the legal issues surrounding downzoning the site. No additional public comment will be taken.

4. Neighborhood Plan Presentations
Presentation of the West End/Federal Hill/ Reservoir, Charles/Wanskuck and Hartford/Manton/Silver Lake neighborhood plans by DPD staff. The plans will be reviewed by the Commission and public comment will be taken. The Commission may choose to act to adopt one or more of the neighborhood plans presented.




Yes, a new theme is in the works

You may see the look of the site change from time to time as we work on getting a new theme up and running (the old and new theme may pop in and out of existence as it is worked on). We’ll let you know when it is all settled in and solicit your feedback.



A couple cool L.A. photo sites

Photo from Empty L.A.

I ran across a couple of cool L.A. based urban photo websites recently on the intertubes.

Empty L.A. is by photographer Matt Logue and is what it sounds like, visions of Los Angeles devoid of cars and people. Rather apocalyptic looking.

A Photoshopped after image from Narrow Streets Los Angeles

David Yoon is a self-described writer, designer, and urban planning geek. On his blog Narrow Streets Los Angeles he Photoshops some of Los Angele’s widest thoroughfares making them into narrow lanes, utter changing the feel of the places. His blog also features “Friday Favorites” of some of the best narrow streets around the world.


Ontario introduces green vehicle license plates


The province of Ontario in Canada has introduced a new green vehicle license plate for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. The province describes the plate and the benefits associated with it:

Ontarians have voted for a new vehicle licence plate that will encourage consumers to switch to environmentally-friendly cars and trucks.

The new plate will have green lettering on a white background with the picture of a trillium in the middle. It was selected from four choices in an online vote that ran from July to October.

Drivers sporting these plates on a plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicle will be able to:

  • Use Ontario’s High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes until 2015, even if there is just one person in the vehicle
  • Access recharging facilities at GO Transit and other provincially operated parking lots
  • Use designated parking spots at the University of Toronto and private companies such as Walmart Canada.

This water tastes delicious!


Photo (cc) Cayusa

A report by the Environmental Working Group ranks Providence’s municipal water as second best (of metropolitan areas over 250,000 people) in the country. EWG compiled information from water utility tests going back to 2004 in 48,000 municipalities in 45 states. Arlington, Texas beat us out for the top spot. The only other New England city in the top ten is Boston at number 5.

More reason for us Providencians to give up the bottled water habit.

View the full report here.

Via Yahoo! Green Blog and Po-Tee-Weet?.