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RIPTA to relocate buses out of Kennedy Plaza to accommodate construction starting July 12, 2014

ripta-map-k-plaza

From RIPTA:


RIPTA to Temporarily Relocate Bus Stops Out of Kennedy Plaza to Accommodate City of Providence Construction

All Routes Detoured Out of Kennedy Plaza Beginning Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will temporarily relocate all bus stops out of Kennedy Plaza beginning Saturday, July 12, 2014 to accommodate City of Providence renovations of the Plaza. These renovations will create a large civic space, reorganize bus berth locations and improve pedestrian connections to and from the plaza. The work is expected to be complete Fall 2014. All routes will be slightly detoured to avoid entering Kennedy Plaza. Bus stops will be relocated to Exchange Terrace, Sabin Street, Exchange Street, Fountain Street and Steeple Street. Park N’ Ride service will be relocated from Exchange Terrace to Sabin St. but will continue to pick up passengers at other downtown locations. Peter Pan and Greyhound passengers will continue to load and unload at their current stop in front of the Kennedy Plaza Terminal.

Ticketing and other passenger amenities will remain open inside the Kennedy Plaza Terminal during the construction period. RIPTA’s Kennedy Plaza sales and information outlet will remain open during construction. Customers are advised to enter through the side door on the Fulton Street side, near City Hall.

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – January 15, 2014

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
January 15, 2014, 4:30 PM
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Agenda

  • 4:30:Bike Share Update – Martina Haggerty, Department of Planning and Development
  • 4:45: Broadway and Fountain Street Updates
  • 5:05: Downtown (DID) Bike Parking Update
  • 5:20: Public Service Announcement brainstorming
  • 5:40: Bike Plan Implementation/Next Steps
  • 6:00: Adjourn
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Interim pedestrian safety improvement at LaSalle Square

lasalle-square

From the Mayor’s Facebook page:

The City completed traffic changes to the intersection of Empire and Fountain Streets earlier today. Motor vehicle traffic proceeding from Empire Street is now required to use the traffic signal to turn left onto Fountain Street, improving pedestrian safety in the area.

This interim step will calm traffic coming from Broadway and Atwells Avenue into LaSalle Square making the pedestrian crossing on Fountain Street outside Hasbro safer and easier. Next spring, the City will begin work on the Downtown Circulator Phase III which will rebuild LaSalle Square and other area streets entirely.

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Barry Schiller: Providence Planning Hosts Meeting on Kennedy Plaza, Downtown Circulation

circulator-meeting

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.

Overall: good ideas on the parts of the project about 2-way streets and pedestrian and bike improvements around downtown, but on Kennedy Plaza, a net loss for bus riders, but not as much as once feared.

The project: extend 2-way on Empire, 2-way on Dorrance in front of the Biltmore, and on Exchange Terrace on north side of Burnside Park; narrow Fountain Street by widening sidewalk, maybe include a bike lane and add “public space” at the squares on both ends (La Salle Square, Emmet Square) to slow traffic and be much more pedestrian friendly;

Kennedy Plaza: no change in RIPTA waiting room but the adjacent plaza will have much more public space by eliminating the inner berths and bus lanes. Thus we’d go from 8 bus-only lanes to 4; possible amenities added such as more seating, plantings, public art, and maybe more shelters if funding permits. The 16 current bus berths there now (4 sets of 4 each) would be reduced to 10 – 4 eastbound on the north side, 5 (one more than now) westbound on the south side, and one new one on Exchange Street across from the court house. The loss of berths would be partly made up by another bus berth up the hill on the little street where the trolleys now stop, and another new berth behind the Q stop on Exchange St where the Newport buses stop. Thus there is a net loss of 4 berths. If more berths are ever needed, likely to be on north side of Burnside Park on Exchange Terrace, or up Exchange Street near Memorial Blvd by the undeveloped triangle of land there.

Unresolved issues: what to do with intercity Peter Pan/Greyhound buses; whether there will be a fence separating the bus lane from Washington Street traffic which could help direct pedestrian crossings; funding for more shelters; who is in charge of snow removal.

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Kennedy Plaza/Circulator Phase 3 Informational Meeting – July 10, 2013

The City will be having an informational meeting about proposed enhancements and reconfiguration of the Kennedy Plaza area as well as details about Phase 3 of the Downtown Circulator project. The Circulator project includes reconstruction of LaSalle and Emmet Squares, Fountain Street, Broadway, part of Dorrance Street, and Exchange Terrace.

circ-meeting

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 • 5pm-6pm
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – June 17, 2013

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
June 17, 2013, 4:30 PM
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Agenda

  • 4:30: Introductions
  • 4:35: Approval of May 30 Minutes
  • 4:40: Downtown Circulator (KP and Fountain/Sabin) w/Bonnie Nickerson
  • 5:10: Bike Plan (following up on steering committee meeting)
  • 5:30: Thayer St Plan input
  • 5:40: Crosswalk Buttons
  • 5:50: Downtown Bicycle Parking
  • 6:00: Adjourn
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – May 30, 2013

featured-bikepedMay 30, 2013, 4:30 PM
City Administrative Building
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Agenda

  • 4:30: Welcome and introductions
  • 4:35: City signs and bike locks (guest: Parking Administrator Leo Perrotta)
  • 4:50: Kennedy Plaza redesign: bike and pedestrian elements (guests: Cliff Wood, Bonnie Nickerson)
  • 5:10: Fountain & Sabin streets: bike & ped improvements
  • 5:20: Pedestrian crosswalk signals
  • 5:30: League of American Bicyclists: State ranking; bike-friendly community application (Matt Moritz)
  • 5:40: City bike & ped ordinances: recommendation to the City (Matt Moritz)
  • 5:50: Old Business and Public Comment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – April 15, 2013

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
April 15, 2013, 4:30 PM
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Agenda

4:30 – Old Business:

  • Letter to Businesses Abutting Bike/Ped Facilities
  • Logo/Letterhead
  • Ordinance Changes
  • Pedestrian Cross (“Beg”) Buttons

5:00 – Downtown Circulator and Related Bike/Ped Concerns: Fountan, Sabin, etc.
5:30 – Public Comment, Additional Issues
5:50 – Reschedule or Relocate May 20 Meeting

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Providence 2013 State of the City Address


Mayor Angel Taveras

2013 State of the City Address

Providence Is Recovering

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 • (as prepared for delivery)

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor's Office.

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor’s Office.

Governor, Mr. President, honorable members of the Providence City Council, distinguished guests, and my fellow residents of our great Capital City –

One year ago I stood before you in this Chamber with an urgent message for our City and the entire State of Rhode Island. Providence was in peril. Despite many difficult decisions and painful sacrifices made to pull Providence back from the brink, we were still $22 million short of closing a $110 million structural deficit.

Crucial steps necessary to navigate our City safely through our Category 5 fiscal hurricane had not yet come to pass. We still needed to reform our unsustainable pensions. And we needed Providence’s large, tax-exempt institutions to contribute more.

As I stood before you on February 13, 2012, Providence was running out of cash, and running out of time. In the months that followed, there were some who said Providence could not avoid filing for bankruptcy.

BACK FROM THE BRINK

Today it is my privilege to deliver a much more hopeful report on the State of our City: Providence is recovering.

Through collaborative efforts and shared sacrifice, we have all but eliminated our City’s $110 million structural deficit, and we expect to end this year with a balanced budget. Working together, we have accomplished what few believed possible.

We were determined to address the root causes of Providence’s fiscal emergency and prepared to act unilaterally if necessary. And we knew our City would never achieve a lasting recovery without addressing our unsustainable and spiraling pension costs.

In April, following months of actuarial analysis and public testimony, this City Council unanimously approved a pension reform ordinance that put Providence’s pension system on a sustainable path.

We recognized that passing the ordinance would likely lead to a high-stakes lawsuit with no real winners – because a decision in favor of the status quo would push our City over the brink. However, faced with the challenge of negotiating pension changes with more than 2,000 retirees who were not represented by a single entity, we saw no alternative.

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Updated: Two-Way Empire and Weybosset on January 10, 2012

Variable message sign at LaSalle Square

Variable message sign at LaSalle Square

Update: Two-way traffic to begin Tuesday morning, January 10th before the AM commute. See Press Release in the comments below.

Signs are up on Weybosset and Empire Streets alerting drivers that those streets will become two-way in “January 2012.” When exactly in January, it doesn’t say.

My understanding is that the final striping and signage and such to convert the streets will be put in place on a Saturday and Sunday morning, Ta Da!, two-way streets. I can’t imagine that work will take place on New Year’s Eve, so I’m speculating we have at least another week to go.

This is of course all part of the Downtown Circulator Project which got underway in April, and was due to be completed in November, oops!

The rebuilt intersection of Weybosset, Richmond, and Mathewson Streets, aka PPAC Square, is also part of this project.

If previous plans hold true, work should begin next year on Phase 3 of the Circulator Project which will include the redesign on Emmett and LaSalle Squares, conversion of Sabin Street in front of the Convention Center to two-way traffic, and the possible two-way conversions of Exchange Terrace and Dorrance Street between Washington Street and Emmett Square.

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PPAC Square

PPAC Square

Click Image to enlarge

Today the Mayor’s Office held a press conference announcing the designation of the intersection of Weybosset and Mathewson Streets as “PPAC Square.” This is part of the larger Downtown Circulator Project.

Speakers included the Mayor, Director of Planning and Development Thom Deller, Joe Walsh the Chairman of the PPAC Board, and Laurie White of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

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Downtown Circulator Project Underway

Phase 2 of the “Downtown Providence Traffic Circulation Improvements” have begun in earnest. This morning a lane was dropped on Weybosset Street, Mathewson Street is closed between Weybosset and Chapel (through June), and a worker was out with a giant machine cutting hacking away at the sidewalks.

You might be thinking, “Phase 2, did I miss Phase 1.” Well, you might of, I did. The Circulator Project (not to be confused with the Core Connector Study) is to make more Downtown streets two-way, to make traffic flow better and the city more predictable to navigate. Phase one was the conversion of Washington Street to two-way traffic and happened some time early in the last decade.

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