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2014 Providence free holiday parking program starts Black Friday

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From the City:


Mayor Taveras Announces Return of Free Holiday Parking

City offers two hours of free parking for shoppers beginning November 28th

PROVIDENCE – To accommodate holiday shoppers and support local businesses during the busy holiday sales season, Mayor Taveras announced today that there will be two hours of free parking in designated commercial districts throughout Providence.

Shoppers will be offered two hours of free parking from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. beginning Friday, November 28, 2014 through Thursday, January 1, 2015 in the following commercial districts:

  • Atwells Avenue – Bradford Street to Knight Street
  • Broad Street – Public Street to Montgomery Street
  • Downtown Providence – bounded by Fountain Street, Memorial Boulevard, Weybosset Street, Empire Street and Friendship Street (from Dyer Street to Dorrance Street)
  • Hope Street – Rochambeau Avenue to Blackstone Boulevard
  • North Main Street – Thomas Street to Park Row
  • Olneyville Square – Route 10 to Sydney Street and Delaine Street to Atwood Street to Magnolia Street
  • South Main Street – James Street to Packet Street
  • Point St – From Eddy to East Franklin St
  • Thayer Street – Meeting Street to Bowen Street
  • Wayland Square – East Angell Street/Angell Street to Gano Street and Wayland Avenue from Angell Street to Pitman Street
  • Wickenden/Ives – Wickenden Street at Benefit Street to Ives Street at Preston Street

The holiday parking program is designed to make it easier for shoppers to patronize local businesses. The two-hour parking limit will be strictly enforced by parking enforcement officers. Cars parked illegally in prohibited areas, including crosswalks and tow zones, will be ticketed during this period.


So no excuse not to Buy Local this holiday season.

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Olneyville development and Atwells demolition appeal on the June 25, 2014 Zoning Board of Review agenda

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Two notable items are on the June 25, 2014 Zoning Board of Review agenda.

First, the proposed McDonald’s and Family Dollar Store in Olneyville seeks variances from Zoning:

RPS ASSOCIATES, LLC: filed an application requesting a Dimensional Variance and Special Use Permit in order to construct two (2) new commercial buildings: a 4,316 square foot quick-serve restaurant with two (2) drive-thru lanes and an 8,400 square foot retail store, along with any associated site improvements on the property located at 48, 50 & 54 Plainfield Street and 4, 6, 10 & 14 Atwood Street (bounded by Dike St.), also known as Lots 46, 47, 66, 98, 99, 100 & 101 on Tax Assessor’s Plat 105; Lots 46, 66, 99 100 & 101 being located in a General Commercial C-2 Zone and Lots 47 & 98 being located in an Industrial M-1 Zone. The applicant is requesting a Dimensional Variance for relief from Sections 305, 305.1(Footnote 10), 425.2, 425.2(A), 425.2(B), 604.3 and 607.3, which are regulations governing front yard setback, landscaping, and freestanding menu board signs. Further, a Special Use Permit is sought pursuant to Section 303(5.0)-Use Codes 57.1 and 57.2, to construct the proposed new restaurant at over 2,500 gross square feet and to permit operation of two (2) drive-thru lanes in the C-2 Zone. Together, the lots in question contain approximately 64,295 square feet of land area.


Next, the Providence Preservation Society and others are appealing the Historic District Commission’s decision to allow the demolition of the GE plant on Atwells Avenue:

APPEAL FROM THE DECISION OF THE PROVIDENCE HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

APPELLANTS: Providence Preservation Society; Green Lot, LLC; Monohassett Mill Condominium Association; Clay Rockefeller; Eagle Square Condominium Association, Erik Bright; and Steelyard

PROPERTY OWNER: General Electric Company

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 586 Atwells Avenue, also known as Lots 282, 556, 657, 30 & 634 on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 30

The Appellants are appealing the Decision of the Providence Historic District Commission issuing a Certificate of Appropriateness dated May 5, 2014, concerning the proposed demolition of the existing structure(s).

The Zoning Board of Review meets on Wednesday, June 25th at 444 Westminster Street in the First Floor Conference Room. The Olneyville item is on the 6pm agenda, the Atwells item is on the 7pm agenda.
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UPDATED: PPS: General Electric Base Plant Demolition Proposal

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Image from Bing Maps

Update 4pm: The demolition has been approved on a technicality, we’re waiting on PPS to issue a statement and will post it when they do.
This post originally appeared on the Providence Preservation Society’s website. Reposted with permission.
Now I’m being told this afternoon’s meeting is canceled.

A special meeting of the Providence Historic District Commission will be held on Monday, May 5, at 4:15 pm at 444 Westminster to vote on a demolition application for the General Electric Base Plant complex at 586 Atwells Avenue. Built c. 1916, the GE Base Plant stands as a fine expression of post-World War I industrial architecture, and according to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission the plant was once the largest producer of lamp bases in the world – employing 500 people at the Atwells Avenue site.

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ProJo: Pedestrian safety on Providence’s Federal Hill takes giant step forward

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In 2013 the state, in cooperation with the city, installed on Atwells 14 sidewalk “bumpouts,” 7 neon green crosswalk signs that are supposed to be more vivid than the standard highway orange, and other signs; upgraded some pedestrian-crossing signals; and restriped to create a 3-foot buffer zone on both sides of the avenue.

Nothing has been done to improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of Atwells and Dean, which is basically an extention of the Route 6/10 highway off-ramp.

Scheduled this year are the installation of additional traffic signal improvements, including 12 unusual pedestrian crossing signals; the painting of “25 mph,” the speed limit, and “PED XING” on the pavement; and the painting of 11 additional crosswalks.

The pedestrian crossing signal, called a “rectangular rapid flashing beacon,” would be unique in Rhode Island. It is a pedestrian-activated LED array attached to a pedestrian crossing sign that irregularly flashes an amber or white light that Urso said is impossible for a motorist to ignore.

Now if we can just stop people getting stabbed to death and drunks driving up on the sidewalks, it’ll be a nice place.

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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.

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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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Snowblogging III: Whoa!

Internet is down here at Greater City Providence. Lucky for us we still have power and heat. So, I’m posting from my phone, lets see how that goes.

I took an epic amount of photos (and a few videos) and am going to split them up a bit. Here goes day after post number one.

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Whoops! Published that too quick. Wait, I’m adding more!

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Gas leak on Atwells Avenue

Atwells Avenue is closed at Dean Street due to a gas leak. Dean Street appears to still be open to through traffic, but no traffic is being allowed from Dean onto Atwells. Pedestrians are being allowed through, and no evacuations have been ordered.

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Real life Frogger

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This police officer on her phone in her cruiser was no help to me as I was forced to play a real life game of Frogger crossing Atwells and Dean this morning when the traffic lights were out due to the storm.

The officer at Atwells and the Service Road was only slightly more helpful.

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Snowblogging – Last Night

I went out for a walk last night during the storm. Here are some of the photos I took.

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Snowblogging: November 7th Edition (Really?)

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I lived in Portland, Maine in the early 90’s and we had snow that stuck on Halloween, other than that, I’m pretty sure this is the earliest I’ve ever seen accumulating snow. And of course I love snow, so this is great.

These are just a few photos I snapped with my phone as I struggled home in the gale force windstorm this evening.

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And of course, as always, even with a surprisingly early November snowstorm, Angelo’s on Atwells Avenue has a completely snow free sidewalk. I swear I’m going to move back to Maine and gay marry them someday.

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There’s a few snow photos in our Flickr Group, if you have any please share them and we’ll post them on the site later.
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Drive-thru proposed for Atwells Avenue in Valley

At their November 13th Meeting, the Zoning Board of Review will consider a request for a drive-thru at the gas station site at the corner of Atwells Avenue and Valley Street, across from Eagle Square shopping center.

atwells drive thru

Subject property fronts Atwells between Valley and Tuxedo. Image from Bing Maps.

RTJM, LLC: 259-269 Valley Street, 268-280 Atwells Avenue1 & 13-15 Tuxedo Avenue, also known as Lots 532, 533, 580 & 583 on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 33, located in a General Commercial C-2 Zone; the applicant is seeking a dimensional variance for relief from Sections 409 (requirements for retail gasoline fueling facilities) and 607.3 (provisions for signs) in the proposed modernization of the existing retail gasoline fueling facility with retail uses, and a special use permit pursuant to Section 303-Use Code 57.2 in order to provide for a new drive-in window. The lots in question together contain approximately 28,550 square feet of land area.

The lot with the gas station on it has already been cleared, the car wash on Valley Street and the building facing Tuxedo Avenue remain.

The Zoning Board of Review meets on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 5:30pm at 444 Westminster Street.

1The Atwells address above is wrong, it is on Federal Hill and not contiguous with the parcels in question on Valley Street and Tuxedo Avenue.

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Update on Garibaldi Park

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Image from Bing Maps

A couple weeks ago a site fence went up around Garibaldi Park on Federal Hill (where the arch is). I recieved this notice from a tentant at West Exchange Center with an explanation of the work happening:

Garibaldi Park Revitalization Project
Sponsorship Opportunities

The Omni Group is proud to formally announce that they have adopted Garibaldi Park, which is located at 99 Atwells Avenue. The park sits on the corner of Atwells Avenue and Bradford Street.

The Omni Group, at its own expense, will be doing a complete upgrade to the park (i.e., trees, shrubs, irrigations, sod, lighting, etc.) Along with the landscaping, we will be building a stage, which will be host to a performing arts series.

The Omni Group would like to offer you the opportunity to be involved and help support the project. There are two ways you can do this. Option one, for $250.00; you can sponsor one of the ten park benches. (We will have a name plate made with your personal wording.) The second option, for $85.00, is a personalized engraved brick paver. These brick pavers will be inserted in the pathways. If this is something you would like to do please e-mail Kimberly Bland, Executive Assistant, The Omni Group.

The Omni Group will be hosting a grand reopening of the park in September. More information will be sent out soon.

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Snowblogging: Twice in one week!

I am going to try to not sidewalk rant here. It is still snowing, so by right, no one is required to have their sidewalks clear, but expect a little ranting to sneak in, I can’t help myself!

I was out between noon and 1pm and did a big loop through Downcity to Waterplace and back.

Snow - January 21, 2012

Right off the bat, a little rant, I told you I can’t help myself. Well not so much a rant as a surprise; the sidewalks at Dominica Manor have not been touched today. They do not need to be per regulations, but they are usually out clearing snow all day on a day like this. Budget problems?

I didn’t take a photo, but as always, Angelo’s was clear. Someone was out shoveling and salting as I walked by.

Again, dumbfounded here, my ranting is bearing fruit. Someone (I assume the City though it is a State bridge) dumped a metric ton of salt on the Atwells Avenue Bridge sidewalks.

Snow - January 21, 2012

Of course then the plows pushed snow up on top of it. The sidewalk on the other side faired better and was actually clear, even as I walked back and the snow was getting heavier.

Snow - January 21, 2012

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Piling on the 195 Commission’s sidewalks

Am I being unfair? I don’t know, let me pile on as much as the snow is currently piled on their sidewalks, shall I?

To be accurate (not fair, just accurate), the 195 Commission had according to idiotic changes the City Council made to the snow removal regulations in 2010, until 3:08pm to remove their snow (8 hours after sunrise after snow stops falling). When I left work around 6pm, the sidewalks were still unclear.

However, this parking lot built for DCYF was clear first thing in the morning.

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DCYF surface parking lot on the 195 land

Yes, the only thing built on the 195 land thus far is a surface parking lot clearly marked as for employees of DCYF, a non-tax paying state agency.

So, this lot is clear, and apparently, DCYF employees are able to hover from this lot to their offices. I’m assuming this is the case as none of the sidewalks around this parking lot are clear. For us mere mortal non-state employees who can’t hover, we’re left walking in the street or risking falling on the snow and ice. (as an aside, does anyone know if DCYF employees have to pay for parking, you know, like private sector employees do?)

Does anyone know who I sue if I fall on these sidewalks or get hit by a car while avoiding them? Does the 195 Commission have insurance yet? Does the Governor just give me money out of his personal fortune?

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Rain on top of snow equals gross

Atwells Avenue bridge over Route 95

At midnight last night I almost went out to do some honest to goodness snowblogging, it was really coming down. But come morning, it had changed to rain and most of the snow was gone. The amount of snow we got before the changeover, and the amount of rain that fell on top of it, and the temperature still hovering in the mid 30s meant that the sidewalk were a mess.

Worst kind of weather conditions for sidewalks, a thin layer of slush frozen, often indistinguishable from what is simply wet makes for a slow shuffle with arms out to help stop from falling. When I got to the Atwells Bridge, I moved into the street.

Some building owners were out salting, Dominica Manor as usual was putting a lot of salt down on their sidewalks. The Hilton, again as usual. The Public Library was just getting started on salting as I shuffled by. The newest member of the neighborhood, 38 Studios also had salt down on their sidewalks at One Empire and also salted the sidewalks past the pocket park to the Westminster Walk. I’m liking 38 Studios now!

The forecast I saw this morning had some snow showers on it for Thursday night, Friday, and next Monday, maybe we’ll finally get some honest to goodness real New England snow!

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