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Tag Archives | Core Connector Study

Planning Department all a-Twitter

For those of you not down with Twitter, I thought I’d share some of the tweets coming out of the Planning Department this morning:

ProvPlanning
Stay tuned: Mayor is expected to announce the winning design for the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge on Tuesday morning. (!!!)

ProvPlanning
We will also be revealing the names of all 11 design teams from the Providence Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition on Tuesday afternoon.

ProvPlanning
Did you know: there are approx. 46 acres of vacant/underutilzed parcels in the Jewelry District (that’s >45% of the land in the district)!?!

ProvPlanning
Throughout the entire Core Connector Study area there are approx. 106 acres of vacant/underutilized land.

ProvPlanning
Planned New Orleans streetcar line spurs development on surface parking lots: Nola.com

Good stuff.

Follow the Planning Department on Twitter @ProvPlanning and follow Greater City: Providence on Twitter @gcpvd.

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City Plan Commission Meeting, Dec. 14

City Plan Commission

Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development
4th Floor Auditorium
400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

OPENING SESSION

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of meeting minutes from November 16th, 2010 – for action
  • Approval of the CPC meeting schedule for the 2011 calendar year – for action

PROVIDENCE TOMORROW

1. Downtown Plan
Presentation of the final version of the Downtown Plan by DPD staff. – for action (Downtown)

CITY COUNCIL REFERRAL

2. Referral 3334 – Abandonment of a portion of Frank Street
Petition to abandon approximately 243 feet of the easterly portion of Frank Street that runs between Plain Street and Beacon Avenue. – for action (Upper South Providence)

MINOR SUBDIVISION

3. Case No. 10-040 MI – 104 Barrows Street (Preliminary Plan Approval)
Subdivision of existing nonconforming lot with two dwelling units measuring 5,918 SF into two lots measuring 2,959 SF each. The applicant intends to create two lots with a single structure on each lot. – for action (AP 108 Lot 123, Silver Lake)

PUBLIC FORUM ON PROVIDENCE CORE CONNECTOR STUDY

4. Presentation of Providence Core Connector Study
Presentation of an overview of the Providence Core Connector Study project, detailing potential modes of transport (streetcar, bus) alignments and potential routes. Public comment will be taken. – for discussion

ADJOURNMENT

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Downcity Design Review Committee Meeting – December 13, 2010

Notice of Regular Meeting • Monday, December 13, 2010 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Conference Room
400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 13, 2010 and October 18, 2010
  • Acceptance of the DRC 2011 Monthly Meeting Schedule

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 10.19, Kennedy Plaza Proposal by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) to install new two new information kiosks on Washington Street adjacent to the east and west entrances into Burnside Park.

2. Providence Core Connector Study Presentation of the Providence Core Connector Study by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) – for discussion.

Other Business

Image from Google StreetView

3. Pre-Application Review: 55 Canal Street (Arnold Hoffman Building) Proposal to construct an addition to the east elevation of Rhode Island School of Design’s Illustration Studies Building. This is a conceptual presentation for discussion only.

Adjournment


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A proposal for the Core Connector and a Frequent Service network

The City and RIPTA are having a public meeting about the Core Connector Study on Thursday. Before that, I thought I’d lay out some of my thoughts on the issue.

First, let me share my thoughts on having streetcars in Providence. The short story is I support them. Let’s say, for the sake of having a number, that the Core Connector built out as streetcars will cost $80 million¹. Certainly, a lot could be done for $80 million. But the Core Connector is not simply the school bus for Brown that people² are so flippant to say.

I view the Core Connector in large part as a marketing scheme for RIPTA and the City of Providence. Many people who’ve never ridden a bus will ride the streetcars. If RIPTA builds it and runs it properly, with reasonable fares, frequent service, well trained operators, ease of use, etc., it will be a great introduction to mass transit for these new users. Then when RIPTA makes the case for funding, as they will always need to do, the chorus of haters will be tempered. It is also a strong stake in the ground wherein RIPTA and the state leadership are saying they believe in public transit in Rhode Island and are willing to lay out a pile of money and steel rails in the ground to back that up.

For the city, having a streetcar line is a marketing dream. The shiny photos of happy people riding the rails are a brochure makers dream. They’ll be plastered all over the city’s and the convention center’s websites (and this website). It is a strong message for economic developers to send to companies looking to relocate here. ‘Look at us, we have a strong commuter rail line tied to a streetcar line and excellent bus service. Come here, your employees will love it!’

And plus that, we get a streetcar line connecting the two largest employment areas in the state with the train station and Downcity. In addition to serving existing riders and institutions, our proposed routing will help spur development in the Route 195 land, one of the best areas of development opportunity on the East Coast.

Could we save some money and put some rubber wheels on the road and call it a Core Connector? Sure, but we would not get anywhere near the bang for the buck that streetcars will provide. I think it is a worthy investment for our city and our state.

Now, onto where I think said streetcar should go and what service I think could supplement it.

Continue Reading →

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Core Connector Study Meeting, Dec. 9

Providence Core Connector Study
December Public Forum

Three potential route options are now being reviewed to identify relative strengths, weaknesses, costs and benefits. The results will be presented at an upcoming public forum:

Thursday, December 9th
Providence Central Library
150 Empire Street, 3rd floor
Providence, RI
5pm to 7pm

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Peter Brassard: RIPTA presents its Vision for the Future of Transit in Rhode Island

RIPTA

Greater City: Providence reader Peter Brassard attended RIPTA’s 5-year plan community meeting yesterday. Here are is what he learned.

The Coalition for Transportation Choices (CTC) and the Transit 2020 Action Committee hosted Tuesday’s Community Briefing for RIPTA’s 5-year Strategic Plan at URI’s Janice Paff Auditorium in Providence.

Mark Therrien, RIPTA Assistant General Manager explained that RIPTA’s philosophy has made a major shift from a “last choice transportation” option the predominant view through the 1980s to become a “business transportation” system through the 1990s to the current philosophy of a provider of “multi-modal, convenient, and attractive” transit system that would “promote economic growth, and support thriving, livable communities.”

RIPTA sees itself as a “mobility manager.” Goals include increasing ridership, addressing demographic changes of system users, developing new modes, such as Flex Service that has been introduced to some suburban areas, which differs from fixed route service by offering individual direct pick-up and drop-off for passengers. RIPTA should be used as a tool to assist in economic development for “people going to work.” The five-year plan will work towards changing RIPTA’s image by improving information and service.

Development of a multi-modal, regional transit system is a priority. Intermodal connections can be improved by providing direct bus connections to train stations and reinforce connections to other modes such as bicycle, cars, and private buses. To support regional mobility, attempts will be made to have federal restrictions removed, which prevent RIPTA from crossing state lines. Another priority is to effectively address the needs of individuals with disabilities and the growing senior population. RIPTA wants to become the definitive transportation manager for Rhode Island.

Continue Reading →

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Peter Brassard: The Core Connector system should connect more than just Downtown

This post was submitted Greater City: Providence reader Peter Brassard. If you’ve written something you’d like us to consider posting, please contact us and let us know.

Providence’s Core Connector transit system should be based on its ability to interconnect the city’s Occupation Districts and cultural venues, not just to Downtown and parts of the East Side and South Providence. If the goal is to reduce automotive dependency and produce the greatest number of jobs, attract real estate and economic development, all of the city’s Occupation Districts must be interconnected with a high-frequency transit system. Occupation Districts are employment centers where most educational, institutional, industrial, or business activities are situated. Besides serving employment centers, the Core Connector should provide access to major cultural and public event venues and recreation destinations to accommodate the public and to reinforce tourism.

Service schedules should be high frequency and ideally operate 24 hours, 7 days per week as students, hospital staff, and service workers often travel beyond midnight. The Core Connector should be operational well after the closing hours of bars and other entertainment venues to help reduce alcohol related car accidents. Schedule headway times should be at short intervals for reliable convenient service and to facilitate fast transfers between routes.

If the priority is interconnecting the city’s economic centers, residential neighborhood connections should be considered secondary. If a line passes through a residential area, the neighborhood can be directly served. People can plan in advance to leave or return home with transit that may have longer headway times. They can use existing bus lines to access the Core Connector to get to jobs or schools. Alternately, a series of new “feeder” bus routes or Rapid Bus could be developed to bring residential passengers to the Core Connector.

Occupation Districts
Click image to enlarge

The Occupation Districts diagram analyzes locations and potential maximum densities for Occupation Districts, as well as, showing an overlay of possible citywide routes. Providence regulates land use mostly with height limits, lot coverage, or dwelling unit maximums. Real estate development is generally calculated by potential developable floor area.

A scale of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is assumed based on permitted number of floors combined with permitted lot coverage maximums to create the diagram. Occupation Districts are differentiated by a color that corresponds to a maximum FAR range or use type.

Continue Reading →

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Downcity Design Review Committee – November 8, 2010

Notice Of Regular Meeting • Monday November 8, 2010 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Conference Room
400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 13, 2010 and October 18, 2010

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 10.19, Kennedy Plaza Proposal by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) to install new two new information kiosks on Washington Street adjacent to the east and west entrances into Burnside Park.

2. Providence Core Connector Study Presentation of the Providence Core Connector Study by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) – for discussion.

Adjournment


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CHNA Core Connector Study Meeting (Nov. 15)

Thayer Street Station Rendering
Rendering by Ron Henderson / L+A Landscape Architecture | Click image to enlarge

The College Hill Neighborhood Association is having a meeting on the Core Connector (aka Streetcar) Study, see below:

To all Neighborhood Associations, Community Groups and Providence Residents: We invite you to the next…

CORE CONNECTOR STUDY MEETING

Providence Core Connector Study Meeting
Monday, November 15th
6:30 – 8:00pm
Brown University’s MacMillan Hall, 167 Thayer Street, Room 117 (“Starr Auditorium”)

CHNA has organized a meeting to discuss the Providence Core Connector Study. This meeting has been scheduled on short notice to accommodate a vote in December that relates to the study.

The Providence Core Connector Study is examining the impacts, costs and benefits of improving transit within the central core of Providence. Based on public input received at three community houses held in September, RIPTA and the City have identified specific goals for the project, as well as three potential transit routes that will be evaluated in more detail over the next two months. At our meeting, RIPTA will be on hand to provide an update on the project and to solicit further public comment on the potential benefits and/or concerns related to the three potential routes. A larger public forum will also be held in December to present the results of a detailed comparative evaluation on these routes.

We hope to have you join us to hear more about this project. If you have any questions, please call 401.633.5230. Please forward to all groups of interest.

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