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The Commons at Providence Station – aka Capitol Cove Building B

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View from intersection of Smith and Canal Streets

Today the Capital Center Commission approved plans for a new building in Capital Center, the second phase of Capitol Cove, now dubbed, The Commons at Providence Station.

The developer described the building in a presentation to the Commission:

Phase II – The Commons at Providence Station

The first phase of Capitol Cove was the construction of Building A in 2005. The current phase is development of Building B on Parcel 6, and the project has been renamed to The Commons at Providence Station. The project will consist of 169 units of residential apartments, approximately 169 enclosed parking spaces, as well as amenity areas, leasing office, and community spaces.

Site
The site extends the established street grid and breaks down
the scale of the building into an appropriate size for the site. The site boundaries are Smith Street to the North, Canal Street along the East, and the existing Building A along the South edge of the site towards Park Row. The West elevation of the building faces the catenaries and rail line of the Amtrak/MBTA commuter rail lines.

The entry to the site will be along an existing road which runs parallel to Building A. The drive entry up to Building B will consist of a circular courtyard and will provide a drop-off area, entry into the garage (west side), and an area set aside for van or truck parking for building deliveries. This space will also accommodate moving trucks to allow for clearance of any vehicular or pedestrian traffic within the courtyard entry. The Riverwalk will connect from Building A up to Smith Street.

Design
The approved design has been maintained for the new project. The approach to newer, more efficient building materials and finish materials has been considered in the current design. The shape of the building and surrounding area remain true to the intent of the original design approved by the Committee in 2003.

Facade
The design incorporates architectural variety in the approach
to materials to allow for smaller, distinct architectural districts rather than a monolithic development. Materials used in Building A will be incorporated in Building B. The buildings will be finished in two tones of brick, metal panel accents, and exterior painted cementitious panel system.

Parking
Two levels of parking are planned. Level P1 will enter from the East at the entry courtyard. Level P2 will enter from Smith Street. Level P1 will connect the entry, amenity, and community spaces. Both Level P1 and P2 will include residential units along the Canal Street side.

Summary
Building B is a challeng ing use of the undeveloped area of Parcel 6 because of the close proximity to the Amtrak/commuter rail lines, which generate noise and feature prominent catenary lines. These detrimental features make this parcel especially difficult and costly to develop. Taking these challenges into consideration, the team seeks to address these issues with design solutions. The development will include a continuation of the Riverwalk from Building A, and complete the connection from Park Row West to Smith Street, allowing uninterrupted pedestrian access. The area along the Riverwalk will include landscaping similar to that on the adjacent sites. The building will be designed and built to follow LEED Design Guidelines and will seek to meet LEED Silver criteria at minimum.


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RIDOT: Rhode Island’s Transit Future

One of the most crucial components of a healthy economy and quality of place is a sound transportation system: one that supports diverse modes of travel and seamlessly connects Rhode Island to the rest of the world – and Rhode Islanders, more meaningfully to each other and to opportunity.

Since I’m a big geek I watch videos like this and visit websites extolling the virtues of various transit systems around the world and I think to my self, ‘our system really sucks.’

Then I see a shiny video showcasing our system and I wonder if all those other cities just have really good videographers hiding the suckitude of their systems.

I think it is half and half; half our system sucks compared to others, and half other systems suck too but are good at publicity. Look at how the Interlink is described in that video, it sounds good, but it is not really there yet. There are a number of factors why, there’s really no there there at Warwick Station, it is not really a destination other than the airport (regardless of what this video is trying to sell us about the area). Rhode Islanders really still love their cars. There’s a chicken and egg about not enough riders so not enough service and not enough service so not enough riders, etc.

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Yes On 6

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ProJo: R.I.’s Question 6 designed to fund reconnection of train, bus service in Providence

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A new transportation hub at Providence Station could be built in part over the tracks next to the station.

In a joint application for a federal grant to advance planning for the “Providence Station Transit Center,” RIPTA and RIDOT highlighted how 15 acres of undeveloped land sit right next to the train depot.

Following a news conference that the coalition organized in October to promote Question 6, transportation director Michael Lewis walked to the edge of Railroad Street to point out the largely vacant land. A covered station could be built, possibly in tandem with commercial real estate, he said.

He envisioned the possibility of putting decking over the railroad tracks to allow for development overhead, much like the construction of Providence Place mall and the train station.

“You could have pretty substantial development here,” he said.

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ProJo: Bids opened for Providence train station exterior work

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Photo taken in 2006

With a bid of approximately $6.9 million, J.H. Lynch & Sons submitted the lowest of five proposals for the construction work. Bids were opened Friday at the R.I. Division of Purchasing office on Capitol Hill.

State officials will take about two months to review the bids and certify the winning bid.

This project will address the deplorable conditions of the plaza areas around the station, repairs to the garage roof (which is the plaza), and improve pedestrian, bike, bus, and auto connections between the station and Kennedy Plaza.

We should likely expect work to begin in the spring 2015 construction season.

RIDOT recently was awarded a TIGER grant to design a new intermodal bus station at the train station. Voters will be asked to approve the purchase of bonds through Question 6 to further that project to reality.

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ecoRI News: Transit Advocates Rally Support for Question 6

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At a Monday morning press conference at the decaying Amtrak Station Public Plaza, civic, business and labor leaders joined voices supporting Question 6, a $35 million transit bond on the Nov. 4 ballot that they consider critical to Rhode Island’s economic health.

By connecting downtown with regional and national transportation lines and making systems more attractive and useable, proponents are banking on trends that show that efficient, effective and reliable public transportation is used by increasingly larger segments of the population. It also improves air quality, cuts carbon emissions and reduces congestion.

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RIPTA: Downtown Transit 2.0

Downtown Transit Alternatives 140320

As RIPTA prepares to introduce its new R-Line rapid bus service next month, and reroute some buses in September based on the recent Comprehensive Operational Analysis, the agency is also planning for how to operate in Downtown Providence in the future.

Ideas for the future include physical improvements to Kennedy Plaza and the creation of two new bus hubs, one at Providence Train Station, the other behind the Garrahy Courthouse off Dorrance Street.

Information from RIPTA on the recent studies they have undertaken:


RIPTA has commissioned several recent studies to seek ways to improve the transit experience for Rhode Islanders. Rising ridership and the need to provide service that best meets demand in our state has driven recent evaluations of RIPTA’s operations, including the Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA). As almost all RIPTA routes access Kennedy Plaza, it is expected that operations at this location would be more closely studied. RIPTA, in partnership with the RI Department of Transportation and RI Statewide Planning, is conducting a downtown transit improvement study, Downtown Transit 2.0, to evaluate whether the introduction of additional downtown Providence transit stations could improve service for existing riders, enhance downtown accessibility and mobility, and resolve operational and passenger experience issues at Kennedy Plaza.

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RIPTA R-Line Schedules Posted

r-line-002RIPTA’s new R-Line rapid bus service will replace and combine the current Route 99 service North Main – Pawtucket and 11 Broad Street services. The new service is set to launch on June 21st and RIPTA has published the schedules for the new service.

One notable service change is that North Main service will run via Providence Station, providing direct services between the station and Kennedy Plaza and serving communities along North Main Street to Pawtucket and south along Broad Street to the Cranston line.

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Barry Schiller: State Rail Plan hearings, January 23, 2014

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Photo (cc) Providence Public Library

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.

Here is a chance to give your opinion on any railroad related issue in Rhode Island. In response to Federal incentives, RI is developing a State Rail Plan for both passenger and freight services. A draft is available on-line at Planning.ri.gov. There will be public hearings on this draft on Thursday, January 23 at 10am and 6:30pm at the Department of Administration Building in Providence.

The draft plan starts with state railroad history, explains the process for developing the plan, notes related Federal programs and previous studies, and inventories the existing situation. The plan goes on to identify various desirable goals related to safety, security, infrastructure condition, reliability, service levels, coordination with other agencies, economic activity, congestion reduction, environment, and financial feasibility, but perhaps the heart of it is with Chapter 10 “Rhode Island Rail Investment Program” which suggests implementation plans over a 20 year timeframe.

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News & Notes


The Atlantic Cities: The Great Senior Sell-Off Could Cause the Next Housing Crisis

In the 20 years between 1990 and 2010, these consumers [baby boomers] were at their peak family size and peak income. And suddenly, there was massive demand in America from the same kinds of people for the same kinds of housing: big, large-lot single-family homes (often in suburbia). In those two decades, calculates researcher Arthur C. Nelson, 77 percent of demand for new housing construction in America was driven by this trend.

“Ok, if there’s 1.5 to 2 million homes coming on the market every year at the end of this decade from senior households selling off,” Nelson asks, “who’s behind them to buy? My guess is not enough.”


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Free commuter rail parking through March 29, 2013

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Wickford Junction train station and parking garage. Photo &copy RIDOT.

Governor Chafee and RIDOT Announce Free Parking at Commuter Rail Stations for Rest of Winter

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that parking at the garages at the Interlink at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick and at Wickford Junction Station in North Kingstown will be free for the reminder of the winter.

“As we have seen over the past couple of days, travel conditions and parking in Providence have been anything but normal because of the blizzard,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “In consideration of what has happened, and the expectations of future storms in the coming weeks, we have decided to provide free parking at our commuter rail stations to make it easier for people to get to work for the rest of the winter.”

Commuters taking advantage of the free parking will receive validated tickets allowing them to exit the parking garages at T.F. Green and Wickford at no charge through Friday, March 29, 2013. Fares from Warwick and Wickford to Providence are $3 and $3.25, respectively, each way. Fares to from these stations to Boston’s South Station cost $10.50 and $11, respectively. Full schedule and fare information can be found on RIDOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov.

“While we can clear roads in a relatively short time following snowstorms, major weather events such as the blizzard leave huge volumes of snow that create hazardous situations for many days with slick and narrowed roadways, snow-covered breakdown lanes and less parking,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “These problems are being experienced all across Rhode Island, but are greatly exacerbated in a dense, urban environment such as Providence.”

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Storm recovery

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Atwells Avenue, midday Sunday, February 10, 2013.

Latest updates we have on storm recovery, please share any updates you have in the comments:

First, this from RIEMA, ugh!


With temperatures well below freezing tonight, snow and ice that melted today is refreezing on sidewalks and roadways, use extreme caution on roads and sidewalks overnight and during the morning commute.


City of Providence

Also, Providence Snow Hotline: 680-8080

Further updates from the City:

PROVIDENCE CONDUCTING CITYWIDE INVENTORY OF STREETS TO COMPLETE NEMO CLEANUP PROVIDENCE PUBLIC SCHOOLS CLOSED TOMORROW, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence officials are conducting a block-by-block inventory of every street in the City to determine which secondary roads remain impassable and deploy resources as needed in the wake of Winter Storm Nemo.

More than 90 percent of Providence’s more than 1,800 roads have been plowed. Less than 200 secondary roads still have not been plowed or need further clearing. In many cases, these are dead ends and narrow side streets with a car that remained parked on the street after the parking ban went into effect.

Because of the great amount of snow, clearing side streets has required the deployment of the city’s full inventory of front loaders and other large equipment; plows have not been sufficient to clear narrow residential roads.

The City is also contracting with private vendors that have large equipment. Privately contracted front loaders available to Providence have been limited by the high demand for such equipment across the state.

PROVIDENCE SCHOOLS CANCELED TOMORROW

Providence Public Schools will remain closed tomorrow, Monday, February 11 to allow for continued Nemo cleanup. District offices will remain open and all 12-month employees should report for work.

POWER OUTAGES

National Grid reports that the number of households without power in Providence has been reduced to 200 from more than 9,000 yesterday.

PARKING BAN

A citywide parking ban remains in effect. Vehicles parked on the street will impede plows and emergency vehicles, delaying snow cleanup and posing a public safety risk. Vehicles in violation of the parking ban may be towed.

SNOW ON ROOFTOPS POSES SAFETY RISK

With freezing rain forecast for tomorrow, residents are asked to closely monitor snow accumulation on business and residential buildings. Heavy snow can add stress to structures. Flat, commercial roofs are most vulnerable to stress, but slanted structures may also be susceptible. Residents should take reasonable precautions to monitor their homes and businesses and safely remove snow from roofs as necessary.

TRASH COLLECTION DELAYED

There will be no trash or recycling pickup on Monday in the City of Providence due to Winter Storm Nemo. Residents whose usual garbage collection day is Monday will have their trash and recycling picked up on Tuesday. All trash and recycling pickups for the rest of the week will also be one day later.

If possible, residents are asked to leave trash and recycling bins at the end of their driveways for collection. Trash and recycling cans should not be left in roadways.

OTHER CLOSURES IN THE CITY

The Roger Williams Park Zoo, Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Botanical Center and Bank of America Skating Center will be closed tomorrow.

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – January 9, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 – 12:00 NOON
Department of Planning and Development, 444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    2.1 Approval of Commission Meeting Minutes of October 10, 2012 and December 12, 2012
    2.2 Acceptance of DRC Meeting Minutes of September 25, 2012 and October 23, 2012
  3. Welcome New Members
  4. Election of Officers
  5. 2013 CCC Meeting Schedule: Acceptance of the Capital Center Commission’s 2013 Meeting Schedule
  6. Parcel 7: Providence Station Proposal to install bollards, fencing and gates as part of Amtrak’s security project at Providence Station.
  7. Adjournment

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Amtrak service restoration plan

Amtrak will provide modified Northeast Regional service between Boston and New Haven, Conn., and between Newark, N.J., and points south, on Thursday, November 1. Amtrak will also operate Shuttle service trains between Springfield, Mass., and New Haven, Keystone Service trains between Harrisburg, Penn., and Philadelphia, and Downeaster service trains between Boston and Portland, Maine, along with additional overnight services to and from the Northeast.

Amtrak is continuing to remove water from tunnels in order to make repairs to track, signal and power systems under the Hudson and East rivers and to restore service to and from Penn Station in New York City. Amtrak is planning to operate modified service to and from New York City on Friday, November 2, with schedules to be announced on Thursday, November 1.

In the meantime, there will be no Northeast Regional service between Newark and New Haven and no Acela Express service for the length of the Northeast Corridor on Thursday, November 1.

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Recycling/Trash collection resume tomorrow, Amtrak does not

Recycling and trash collection in Providence resumes tomorrow, however the schedule has been modified as follows:

  • Residents who have collection on Monday put out trash and recycling Tuesday evening to be collected on Wednesday.
  • Residents who have collection on Tuesday put out trash and recycling Tuesday evening to be collected by Thursday.
  • Residents who have collection on Wednesday put out trash and recycling Wednesday evening to be collected on Thursday.
  • Residents who have collection on Thursday put out trash and recycling Thursday evening to be collected on Friday.
  • Residents who have collection on Friday put out trash and recycling Friday evening to be collected on Saturday.

Due to flooding in New York, there continue to be massive service disruptions on Amtrak:

Therefore, there will be no Northeast Regional service between Newark and Boston and no Acela Express service for the length of the Northeast Corridor on Wednesday, October 31.

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RIPTA Service information for today, October 30, 2012

RIPTA has detours in place today on Routes 14 and 66 due to issues related to Hurricane Sandy. The RIde Program is suspended except for vital medical trips. RIPTA warns to expect minor delays on all routes.

MBTA Commuter Rail service is also suspended today between Wickford Junction and Mansfield due to downed trees on the tracks.

Normal Service has been restored on MBTA Commuter Rail trough to Wickford Junction.

Northeast Corridor Amtrak service is suspended today.

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