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City of Providence 6-10 Connector Draft Plan Release – October 3, 2016

planning-6-10-meeting

From the Department of Planning & Development Facebook page:


Please join us on Monday, October 3 at 6:00pm at 444 Westminster Street to review our draft plan for a better 6-10 Connector. The 6-10 Connector is an aging highway that cuts through several Providence neighborhoods and is slated for immediate replacement. Similar to the I-195 relocation, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest wisely, reconnect neighborhoods, and improve our city.

Over 250 community members attended a City-led public workshop on August 30th.

At the workshop, community members were asked to help identify goals for the project and to begin brainstorming about ideas to improve the area surrounding the 6-10 Connector. Click here to view photos of the ideas that community members presented at the event. Click here to view the presentation that was given by City staff at the meeting.

More information on Facebook

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – September 21, 2016

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
September 21, 2016, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of June Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Approval of July Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  4. Olney Street Restriping – College Hill, Mount Hope – Wards 1 and 2 (For Action) – The Department of Public Works intends to restripe Olney Street from Camp to Hope streets. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans, which include bike lanes along this 0.4-mile stretch and the removal of a limited amount of underutilized on street parking on the northbound side of Olney Street between Camp and North Main streets, adjacent to the University Heights Apartment Complex.
  5. Olneyville Square Pedestrian Safety Improvements – Olneyville – Ward 15 (For Action) – ONE Neighborhood Builders is exploring the potential installation of curb extensions at the two existing RIPTA bus stops on Westminster Street in Olneyville Square and a raised pedestrian refuge at the intersection of Plainfield Street at Hartford Avenue. The City of Providence DPD seeks comment from the BPAC at this initial scoping phase of the project.
  6. Smith Street Repaving, Restriping, and Sidewalk Replacement – Smith Hill, Elmhurst – Wards 5 and 12 (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has prepared preliminary plans for Smith Street from Lyndhurst Avenue to Holden Street. Planned improvements include pavement resurfacing, replacement of existing sidewalk and curb, ADA improvements, minor improvements to the existing drainage system, modifications to the existing signals, upgrades to the existing pedestrian facilities, and the installation of new roadway signs and pavement markings. RIDOT also intends to remove existing street trees within the project limits that have caused severe sidewalk damage making sidewalks inaccessible to those who are in wheelchairs or disabled. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans.
  7. Fountain Street Restriping Project Update – Downtown – Ward 1 (For Discussion)
  8. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  9. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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James Kennedy: The Elorza Challenge

elorza-bike-to-work-day

Mayor Elorza at Bike-to-Work Day, from his Facebook page.

This post was written by James Kennedy and was originally published on his website Transport Providence and RIfuture.org.

Mayor Jorge Elorza bikes to work everyday, and takes part in frequent night rides with community members. By all accounts the mayor is supportive of bicycling. However, Providence has made next to no progress on bike infrastructure during the two years the mayor has been in office. This needs to change.

I want to be really clear about what I’m saying. I can’t fully diagnose what the internal politics of why Providence hasn’t gotten infrastructure are. It’s very possible that an intransigent Providence City Council, inter-agency struggles with state-level institutions like RIDOT, or some other cause is to blame. When I say that the mayor needs to step up, I’m not trying to insult the difficulty of being mayor, or saying that the mayor is a bad person.

But Providence has seen the mayor step up on some issues, and his vocal leadership has had an effect. Just recently, Mayor Elorza spoke eloquently to the harm of liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants, a move which put him in direct contradiction with Governor Raimondo. This move came after the Sierra Club of Rhode Island challenged the mayor to speak up clearly on the issue. I am making the same request.

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – July 20, 2016

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
July 20, 2016 • 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of June Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Olney Street Restriping – College Hill, Mount Hope (For Action) – The Department of Public Works intends to restripe Olney Street from Camp to Hope streets. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC at this initial scoping phase of the project.
  4. Allens Avenue Restriping – Upper South Providence, Lower South Providence, Washington Park (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has developed preliminary design plans for the restriping of Allens Avenue from Blackstone Street to New York Avenue. The City of Providence DPD and DPW seek comment from the BPAC regarding RIDOT’s preliminary plans.
  5. Francis Street Mid-Block Crossing – Downtown (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has developed preliminary design plans for a new mid-block crossing across Francis Street to improve pedestrian safety between Providence Place Mall and Station Park. The City of Providence DPD and DPW seek comment from the BPAC regarding RIDOT’s preliminary plans.
  6. Potential Improvements to Tobey and Ridge streets – Federal Hill (For Discussion)
  7. Potential Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements to streets surrounding the new LINK District waterfront parks and Providence River Pedestrian Bridge – Downtown, Fox Point (For Discussion)
  8. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  9. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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ProJo: Police: East Providence man drives onto sidewalk, strikes husband, wife, dog

walkinpvd-iconThe police have arrested an East Providence man they say drove up on a sidewalk along Legion Way and struck a pedestrian and a bicyclist and killed a dog before driving away Tuesday night, according to Lt. Thomas J. Rush.

Daniel James, 33, of Dorr Avenue, was arrested at his home about an hour-and-a-half after the crash and charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious personal injury, as well as motor vehicle infractions. He was held for arraignment Wednesday in District Court, Providence.


Seriously, WTF!?

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – April 20, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
April 20, 2016, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Impact of Executive Order on BPAC membership and BPAC Project Review Process (For Discussion)
  3. Approval of March Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  4. City of Providence Vulnerable Road User Safety Action Plan – Overview and Status Update (For Discussion)
  5. Bike Plan Update – Status Update (For Discussion)
  6. Fountain Street Repaving and Restriping – Downtown (For Action)
    The City of Providence intends to repave and restripe Fountain Street between Empire and Dorrance streets in Spring 2016. As part of the restriping, the City has proposed for the road to be restriped in a new configuration to include two travel lanes, a buffered bike lane, and on street parking. Existing crosswalk locations will also be restriped. The bike lane will connect existing bike lanes on Broadway to Emmett Square and Kennedy Plaza. DPW and DPD seek comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans.
  7. Douglas Avenue Restriping Project – Smith Hill, Elmhurst, Wanskuck (For Action)
    In Summer 2016, the City of Providence intends to restripe Douglas Avenue from Orms Street to the City Line. As part of that restriping, the City of Providence Department of Public Works has proposed bike lanes to be striped from Chad Brown Street to Chalkstone Avenue. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding their preliminary striping plans.
  8. Road restriping list from DPW (For Action)
    In Summer 2016, the City of Providence intends to restripe several streets throughout the City. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the following projects: See offical agenda for full list.
  9. Announcements (For Discussion)
  10. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission (although unfortunately I will be missing this meeting).
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Mayor Elorza signs executive order giving more planning input to Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission

bpac

From the Mayor’s Office:


Providence to Give Commission Greater Input into Planning for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza today announced an effort to revamp the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) by signing an executive order granting the commission more say over where bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investments, such as crosswalks and bike lanes, are implemented and how they are designed.

“Having safe areas for pedestrians and bicyclists are one of the keys to having the fittest city in the country,” said Mayor Elorza. “I am looking forward to hearing input from the commission to ensure safety for all that walk and ride.”

Under the executive order, most major street and sidewalk repair or construction projects within Providence will come before the Providence BPAC for review at two points during their conception and design phases.

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – March 16, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building 444 Westminster Street, First Floor Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll call
  2. Approval of January meeting minutes
  3. Welcome from Mayor Jorge Elorza
  4. Presentation on Bike Plan Update from DPD staff
  5. Public comment on needed improvements to bicycle lanes and other bicycle infrastructure throughout Providence
  6. Adjournment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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Proposed building at 169 Canal Street

Developer Charles Tapalian is presenting plans for a new 10-story residential building at 169 Canal Street at the Downtown Design Review Committee meeting on March 14th.

The 10-story building would contain 144 studio and one-bedroom apartments with ground floor retail. It appears to be targeting the student market. As far as I can tell, the plan is for no on-site parking with ample bike parking provided within the building.

This is an informational meeting only, the DRC will be offering opinions on the proposal, but no approvals will be given. The developer is presenting two options for the new building. The architect is Jo Ann Bentley Architects of Fall River.

Option 1

169-Canal-1-canalelevation

Elevation along Canal Street

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Adisory Commission Meeting – January 20, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Adisory Commission Meeting
Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 4:45 PM
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll call
  2. Approval of 2016 meeting schedule – for action
  3. DPD staff update – for discussion
  4. 2016 BPAC work plan – for discussion
  5. Announcements – for discussion
  6. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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WPRI: Teen cyclist struck by vehicle in Portsmouth

walkinpvd-icon Officials said the man suffered “traumatic injuries” that appeared to be significant. At last check, police said he was in stable condition at the hospital.

According to fire officials, the ambulance had a hard time getting to the hospital due to low visibility from the heavy fog, and it’s possible the driver never saw the cyclist.

While on scene, police said they noticed the smell of marijuana on the driver of the vehicle. Officers performed a field sobriety test, which the driver passed, and later found less than an ounce of marijuana inside the vehicle. The 20-year-old was cited for possession of marijuana and due car by drivers, police said.


The driver was high, but it is still probably the victim’s fault and most certainly not the fault of the person who designed the road.

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Providence Planning Department Neighborhood Planning Survey

From the City of Providence Department of Planning & Development:


square-p-01From 2007-2012, the Department of Planning and Development conducted extensive community outreach as part of the Providence Tomorrow neighborhood planning process. The neighborhood action plans were an important result of that process.

As several years have now passed, we feel that it is important to update the action plans for each neighborhood to make sure that they reflect current goals and issues. These documents will serve as a central repository for all planning-related issues, containing a prioritized list of issues and opportunities specific to each neighborhood including those pertaining to redevelopment, crosswalks and sidewalks, nuisance properties, parks and playgrounds, zoning, parking, schools, public transportation, drainage, historic preservation, and business needs, among many others.

Once the action items are updated to reflect current needs and goals, the Department of Planning + Development will work to identify funding to complete specific projects, build on opportunities that exist, and resolve other issues as needed.

Neighborhood Planning Survey: English | Español
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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – November 18, 2015

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

bpac-round

  1. Roll call
  2. Approval of meeting minutes from October Commission meeting
  3. Reading of a response regarding BPAC recommendations to Mayor Elorza – update on advancement of several key recommendations
  4. Discussion and identification of intersections where the timing of pedestrian crossing signals needs to be improved
  5. Discussion and identification of intersections where crosswalks need to be improved
  6. Discussion and identification of priority areas for snow removal
  7. Adjournment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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ecoRI News: R.I.’s Bike Infrastructure a Disjointed Maze

matt-allens-bike-lane

Bike Lane on Allens Avenue

In June 2012 complete-streets legislation was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee. The law requires federal- and state-funded road-construction projects to consider bicyclists, public-transit users and pedestrians during the design process. The goal is to increase road safety for non-automobile users and, thereby, encourage people to use alternative forms of transportation, which promote public and environmental health while reducing traffic congestion.

While Rhode Island’s complete-streets legislation has resulted in safer road design in some places, many bicycle advocates are generally disappointed by the results. The legislation requires the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to consider incorporating complete-streets features, but allows exceptions on projects if the agency determines space is limited or costs are deemed disproportionate to the use those features would likely garner.

When I imagine RIDOT considering complete street infrastructure on construction projects, I imagine it a lot like my non-religious family says grace at Thanksgiving; “Someone should say grace,” “Grace,” eat. “Someone should consider complete streets,” “considered,” make street geometry so cars can move as fast as possible.

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – October 20, 2015

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
October 20, 2015, 2015 – 4:45pm
30 Exchange Terrace, 1st Floor Conference Room
Note: This meeting is at a different location than regularly scheduled meetings

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll call
  2. Approval of meeting minutes from September Commission meeting
  3. Introduction of Peter Garino, RIDOT Deputy Director (Martina Haggerty)
  4. Discussion with Peter Garino, RIDOT Deputy Director, regarding ways to improve coordination between RIDOT and BPAC and status updates on several RIDOT projects within the City of Providence
  5. Update on bike share program (Leah Bamberger)
  6. Adjournment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Automobile induced isolation and loneliness in small cities

ripta-flickr

Photo (cc) Matt Cloutier

The Bicycle Lobby posted the following Tweet this evening which I retweeted:


Typical Bicycle Lobby of course, but one of the responses to my retweet was:

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News & Notes

pedestrians

Image (cc) pedbikeimages.org by Barbara Gossett

CityLab: The Real Downtown ‘Parking Problem’: There’s Too Much of It

It’s not unusual for people to worry about parking in places where they totally don’t need to worry about parking. The consultancy Nelson\Nygaard recently surveyed parking availability in 27 mixed-use districts across the U.S. and found that parking supply exceeded demand by an average of 65 percent. In nine areas where parking was thought to be scarce, the oversupply ranged from 6 to 82 percent.


Vox: Houston just dramatically improved its mass transit system without spending a dime

How is Houston able to pull that off with no additional funding?

Well, as Jarrett Walker, one of the plan’s lead designers, explains, it’s all about prioritizing routes that will plausibly attract riders. The old system, like many bus routes in the United States, expended a lot of resources on very low-ridership routes for the sake of saying there’s “a bus that goes there.” The new plan says the focus should be to provide reasonably frequent service on routes where reasonably frequent service will attract riders. That does mean that some people are further than ever from a transit stop. But it means that many more Houstonians will find themselves near a useful transit stop.

Focusing transit planning on the goal of promoting transit services that are actually used strikes me as common sense. But it’s also the best way to create a virtuous circle of sound urban planning and transportation management. A system with a lot of riders is a system with a lot of advocates for expansion and improvement.


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RIBike: Meetings with RIDOT

ridot-washington-bridge-2015-003

We had two meetings last week with Deputy Director of RIDOT, Pete Garino. One was a roundtable with a number of other advocates for biking & transit, one was one-on-one. There are changes afoot at RIDOT, and we wanted to let you know what’s going on.

First of all, the basic idea the new RIDOT leadership is pushing in its 10-year RhodeWorks proposal is to raise extra money through truck tolls to aggressively repair the state’s structurally-deficient bridges and get us out of the “death spiral” of nothing but emergency repairs. With public infrastructure, it’s often the case that doing proactive maintenance & repairs saves boatloads of money in the longer run, and RIDOT wants to do that.

But what about bikes? In the administration’s proposed breakdown of funding in the RhodeWorks proposal, there is $128 million for bike/ped infrastructure over the next 10 years, which is about 3x more than we’re getting currently. In addition to keeping that funding in there, we’ve been clear with DOT that when they’re resurfacing roads and bridges, they should stripe bike lanes wherever appropriate. To focus that process, we are eager to work with Statewide Planning, DOT, DEM, and local governments to ensure that good bike plans are in place so that DOT knows where to put bike lanes.


Visit the link to read RIBike’s extensive notes on various transportation projects.

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