Tag Archives | Amtrak
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.
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.
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.
|Capital Center Commission Meeting
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 • 12:00 noon
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903
- Roll Call
Approval of Meeting Minutes of March 12, 2013
- Francis Street Parcels
- AMTRAK/Providence Station Plaza
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.
RIPTA’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.
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.
Acela trains traveling through Kingston Station.
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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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.”
Latest updates we have on storm recovery, please share any updates you have in the comments:
First, this from RIEMA, ugh!
The NWS is predicting ½” of rain for all areas Mon. Large amounts of snow saturated w/ water can cause flooding & damage to roofs #StormRI
— Rhode Island EMA (@RhodeIslandEMA) February 10, 2013
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.
National Grid reports that the number of households without power in Providence has been reduced to 200 from more than 9,000 yesterday.
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.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 – 12:00 NOON
Department of Planning and Development, 444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903
- Roll Call
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
- Welcome New Members
- Election of Officers
- 2013 CCC Meeting Schedule: Acceptance of the Capital Center Commission’s 2013 Meeting Schedule
- Parcel 7: Providence Station Proposal to install bollards, fencing and gates as part of Amtrak’s security project at Providence Station.
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.
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.
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.
Public spaces are increasingly being recognized as a crucial ingredient for successful cities, and for their ability to revitalize and create economic and social development opportunities. But actually finding ways to build and maintain healthy public space remains elusive to many municipal governments, especially in the developing world. The vast web of streets, parks, plazas, and courtyards that define the public realm is often lacking, too poorly planned, or without adequate citizen participation in the design process.
Recognizing these challenges, the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) released earlier this month a draft of their handbook Placemaking and the Future of Cities. It’s intended to serve as a best practices guide for those wishing to improve the economic, environmental and social health of their communities through the power of successful public space.
VolumeOne: Successful Riverfront 101
Must-Have Items For A Great Waterfront Destination By Project For Public Spaces
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The Federal Railroad Adminstration (FRA) is running a planning program dubbed NEC Future to determine the future path of rail development in the Northeast Corridor running from Boston to Washington. Greater City Providence reader Peter Brassard submitted the following comments to the FRA in response to the study’s request for public comment.
- Construct a T.F. Green Airport Amtrak Station
- NEC High Speed Rail (HSR) bypass between East Haven and Westerly
- Reserve the option to construct a four-track NEC corridor in Rhode Island and Eastern Connecticut, as well as between Providence and Westwood
- Develop Providence to Cape Cod Rail Service using an existing corridor
- Develop Providence/Fall River/New Bedford interstate LRT
- Develop Providence to Worcester Commuter Rail Service
- New England track electrification and use of DMUs and EMUs
- Add multiple infill train stations within Providence’s urban core cities
- Develop Rhode Island Mainline Rail Transit
- Extend Train Service to Aquidneck Island
- New York to New Jersey – Penn Station New York to the Portal Bridge
- Penn Station New York to Grand Central connecting rail tunnel
- Extend the New York #7 Subway line to Hoboken Terminal
- Boston South Station to North Station connecting rail tunnel
1. Construct a T.F. Green Airport Amtrak Station
The study should include planning for a T.F. Green Airport Amtrak Station. Amtrak Regional service, as well as MBTA commuter trains could serve the station. Service models for this station would be the BWI Airport Station in Baltimore and Newark Airport Station in New Jersey.
2. NEC High Speed Rail (HSR) bypass between East Haven and Westerly
Study a HSR bypass option that would link the existing NEC between East Haven and Westerly following the routes I-95 and RI-78 corridor. This bypass would avoid excessively curved sections of eastern Connecticut’s legacy rail right-of-way, which would allow for significantly higher speeds for HSR service. This option could be a cost effective alternative to constructing a second completely new Southern New England HSR corridor from Westchester County through central Connecticut to Hartford and to Providence. There could be an opportunity to combine funding for a rail bypass and upgrading and increasing capacity to route I-95 simultaneously.
3. Reserve the option to construct a four-track corridor in Rhode Island and Connecticut, as well as between Providence and Westwood
Amtrak has proposed creating a four-track rail corridor between Providence to Westwood. Other sections of Rhode Island’s NEC rail segment south of Providence had the corridor width to accommodate four tracks. Also many bridges had been designed to allow for four tracks throughout the state. When the New Haven to Boston NEC segment was electrified in the 1990s, replacement tracks were installed off-center in much of Rhode Island to allow for the tilting feature on Acela trains.
Develop an alternate that would reserve the option to re-build Rhode Island’s NEC rail segment south of Providence Station to four-tracks and if a HSR bypass is not planned for or constructed between East Haven and Westerly in Eastern Connecticut, to accommodate for future expanded track usage of high-speed and regional trains, commuter rail/mass-transit, and freight service. A Rhode Island four-track corridor would typically only require the acquisition of narrow strips of land adjacent to the existing corridor to meet current standards for high-speed track centers, while in other instances no land acquisition would be necessary.
Even if four tracks are not built in Rhode Island or Connecticut for decades, planning for a their future installation would insure that other federal and state funds will not be wasted when infrastructure, such as bridges are constructed or replaced over the NEC. With the current offcenter track configuration in Rhode Island, off-center abutments or column placements for new bridges could make future track expansion problematic and unnecessarily expensive.
4. Develop Providence to Cape Cod Rail Service using an existing corridor
Develop year-round rail service from Cape Cod to Providence, T.F. Green Airport, and beyond to New York. Service could be provided by Amtrak or alternately by a commuter rail agency from Cape Cod to Providence and T.F. Green with connections to Amtrak. Study the reuse of the existing rail right-of-way from Providence to Attleboro to Cape Cod.