Tag Archives | Elmwood

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – Janaury 18, 2017

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
January 18, 2017, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903


  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of November Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Approval of 2017 Meeting Calendar (For Action)
  4. Recommendations for improving the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Atlantic Avenue – Elmwood – Wards 8 and 9 (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, in coordination with the City of Providence, has conducted a Road Safety Assessment (RSA) for the intersection of Elmwood and Atlantic avenues. The draft recommendations of the RSA are being presented to the Commission for initial review. If advanced in the future, this project will come back to the Commission for preliminary plan review.
  5. Discussion of bicycle and pedestrian safety issues on southern section of Elmwood Avenue – Lower South Elmwood – Wards 8 and 9 (For Discussion) – The Lower South Elmwood Neighborhood Association has requested to discuss issues regarding the safety of road users including bicyclists and pedestrians on Elmwood Avenue.
  6. Discussion of timeframe and next steps for automatic pedestrian signals – Citywide (For Discussion)
  7. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  8. Adjournment
Full disclosure, I am a member of this Commission.

City Plan Commission Meeting – December 20, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, December 20, 2016, 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the November 15, 2016, meeting – for action
  • Adoption of 2017 meeting calendar
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3409 – 12 Lenox Avenue – The petitioner is requesting to rezone 12 Lenox Ave from R-2 to C-2. The lot measures approximately 12,000 SF – for action (AP 53 Lot 386, Blackstone)

Minor Subdivision

2. 16-055MI – 210 Windmill Street – The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot measuring 28,932 SF in the R-1 zone into two lots measuring 12,382 SF and 16,550 SF – for action (AP 97 Lot 409, Charles)

3. 16-057MI – 246 Gallatin Street – The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot measuring 14,996 SF in the R-1 zone into three lots; two measuring 5,000 SF and one measuring 4,996 SF. The minimum lot size in the R-1 zone is 5,000 SF. The applicant will apply for an administrative modification for the undersized lot – for action (AP 52 Lot 572, Elmwood)

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2 RIPTA routes to be detoured for Reservoir Avenue bridge work

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RIPTA Routes 21 and 22 will be detoured starting Monday, April 23rd due to the closure of the Reservoir Avenue bridge over Amtrak for repairs.

Due to Reservoir Avenue Bridge repairs, RIPTA to detour Route 21 (Reservoir) and Route 22 (Pontiac Ave.)

Due to Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) repairs to the Reservoir Avenue Bridge, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will detour Route 21 (Reservoir) and Route 22 (Pontiac Ave.) in the Providence/Cranston area. RIPTA will detour Route 21 and Route 22 beginning with the first trip on Monday, April 23, 2012, and continue for approximately thirty days.

The Route 21 (Reservoir) and Route 22 (Pontiac Ave.) detour is as follows:

Inbound trips will travel the regular route to the intersection of Elmwood and Reservoir Avenues, then take a right onto Narragansett Avenue, left onto Roger Williams Avenue, left onto Elmwood Avenue and then resume the regular route.

Outbound trips will travel the regular route to the intersection of Elmwood and Reservoir Avenues, continue on Elmwood Avenue, take a right onto Roger Williams Avenue, right onto Narragansett Avenue, left onto Reservoir Avenue, and then resume the regular route.

For more information on RIPTA services, customers may call 781-9400.



Providence receives HUD grant to improve transit on high ridership bus routes

Broad Street

Image from Google Street View

Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities Project

The City of Providence has been awarded a Community Planning Challenge Grant through HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities to conduct the Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities study. The project will focus on the highest ridership bus routes in the city– Broad Street, Chalkstone Avenue, Elmwood Avenue, Manton Avenue, and North Main Street. Over the next 18 months, the City and RIPTA will be working together to conduct corridor studies to improve transit service, enhance bus stops and other pedestrian amenities, and encourage the development of mixed-income housing and opportunities for jobs and the arts near transit. Once the corridor studies are complete, the City will update and revise the Providence Zoning Ordinance so that it will be an effective tool to implement the corridor plans and the City’s overall livability and sustainability goals.

Project Goals

  • Provide frequent, reliable transit service.
  • Improve access to employment centers, arts and cultural opportunities, and healthy food choices.
  • Encourage development that is concentrated around transit stops and offers a range of housing choices serving a variety of household types and income levels.
  • Encourage the creation of community hubs, unique to the character of the neighborhoods where they are located.

More information at


RIPTA Community Meeting on Elmwood Avenue service improvements – February 28, 2012


Photo (cc) Trisha Crabb


RIPTA and Senator Juan M. Pichardo to hold community meeting on Tuesday, February 28, 2012

RIPTA and Senator Juan M. Pichardo (District 2) will hold a community meeting to present suggested improvements to bus stop service along Elmwood Avenue. The Route 20/Elmwood Avenue Optimization Project is part of RIPTA’s Key Bus Route Improvement Program. These proposed improvements are scheduled to be completed by October 2013. The meeting is scheduled for 6pm on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 in the RIPTA Conference Room, located at 269 Melrose Street in Providence. For more information on this project, email Amy Pettine at

Also, don’t forget RIDOT is holding a meeting on proposed MBTA service cuts and fare increases on Monday the 27th.


“Elmer the Elm” lobotomized

Elmwood Avenue at Route 95. Reader submitted photo.

A reader wrote in to us several weeks ago to report the lobotomization of several trees on Elmwood Avenue at the ramp from Route 95. Among the trees that had their tops sheared off was Elmer, who survived both the widening of Elmwood Avenue, which resulted in the removal of most of its namesake trees, and the construction of Route 95. The photo below was submitted by our reader and shows Elmwood Avenue during the construction of Route 95 in 1966. Elmer is visible at right past the bridge abutments.

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Elmwood Avenue Enhancement Report

From Community Works Rhode Island comes the Elmwood Avenue Enhancement Report . RIDOT has been planning for the rebuilding of Elmwood Avenue, and their proposals were typical RIDOT move as many cars as possible in the least amount of time designs. Community Works and others got out ahead of RIDOT and asked the community what they wanted and came up with this report which incorporates many Complete Streets paradigms and takes into account not just the automobile traffic, but pedestrians, cyclists, school children, open space, and the needs of the residents of the neighborhood.

From Community Works:

As many of you are aware, Community Works Rhode Island has been working with neighbors, elected officials and RIDOT for several years to make sure that the upcoming re-pavement of Elmwood Avenue meets the needs of this community. Starting in 2005, we held numerous public design meetings to create neighborhood-based recommendations for improving Elmwood as our neighborhood main street and historic Avenue. Through our meetings, it became clear that the neighborhood priorities are to make the Avenue a safer place to walk and bike, a more appealing place to do business, and a greener, more accessible route to Roger Williams Park, including “bringing the elms back to Elmwood.”

After much work by our elected officials, especially Senator Juan Pichardo, many neighbors and local organizations and our landscape design consultant L+A Landscape Architecture, we are pleased to release the final report of recommendations that was created out of this lengthy process. This report was delivered to RIDOT this week. Community Works Rhode Island will continue to advocate for the recommendations of the report as RIDOT moves forward with their design process for the Avenue, and asks for your support in distributing the report to the larger community and advocating for the recommendations.

Community Works Rhode Island thanks all of you who participated in the process over the years, and looks forward to continuing to work together to transform Elmwood Avenue.

The report looks at the street as a whole, but divides it into seperate areas with different needs. The southern end is the “Bikeway to the Park” with seperated bike lanes and enhancements to the roadway to slow highspeed traffic and allow for a better environment for cyclists and pedestrians, with an emphasis on making a pleasant experience for people heading to Roger Williams Park.

In the area around the Knight Library and Gilbert Stewart Middle School there is a “Hyper Zone” which makes large scale interventions to slow traffic and increase the safety of children in the area. Techniques such as raised cosswalks, textured pavement, and corner bump outs are recommended.

A pedestrianization scheme is recommended for Columbus Square (the area where Reservoir Avenue splits off Elmwood). Northbound traffic on Reservoir would be diverted to Adelaide Avenue making a right angle intersection with Elmwood instead of the highspeed race to make the green light and merge which happens now (we’ve all done it). Atlantic Avenue, immediately south of the triangular park, would be closed to traffic and pedestrianized, making the park connect to the block to the south and having it now function as a usable public space, and not as a glorified traffic island as it is now. Other pedestrian enhancements are recommended.

As is the case in Olneyville, Elmwood and South Elmwood are neighborhoods with a low level of car ownership and a high level of transit use. The current configuration of Columbus Square is all about the car and even the retail in the area is auto oriented, if not shops that sell things for cars, or sell actual cars, they are shops set back from the street with massive parking lots not at all catering to the many people in the community who arrive on foot. A better pedestrianized Columbus Square will encourage retails to cater to pedestrians and will attract new development that is suitable to the neighborhood.

I encourage you to download the full report and review it for yourself. It is a good template for other street redesigns in the city. If you support the report’s recommendations, especially if you live in the study area, be sure to contact RIDOT and let them know.


Elmwood Ave Repaving Meeting (04/07)

Update: Meeting has been postponed due to an electrical problem at the library.

Via Bike Providence

When: Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 6:00-7:30pm
Where: Knight Memorial Library Auditorium (downstairs), 275 Elmwood Avenue

As many of you know, Community Works Rhode Island, our elected officials and other community partners have been working with RIDOT to make sure that the changes coming to Elmwood Avenue reflect the needs expressed by neighborhood residents and others. Through meeting with neighbors, we know that those needs are:

  • Pedestrian, bike and car safety
  • An improved environment for all using the street
  • Better access to Roger Williams Park
  • Returning Elmwood Ave to a beautiful neighborhood avenue rather than a car-dominated “combat zone”

We have been working with L+A Landscape Architects to produce designs reflecting what the community wants Elmwood Avenue to become. These designs will be presented to RIDOT in the next few weeks. We have presented the designs to a number of you already, but want to get more community input before creating final recommendations to deliver to RIDOT. Please come give your comments on the proposed changes and add your perspective on what needs to happen to make Elmwood Avenue the street it could be!


Community Works Rhode Island Open House (02/25)


Community Works Rhode Island has completed the renovation of a significant historic residence on Parkis Avenue, for affordable and energy efficient rental units.

February 23, 2010, Providence, RI – Community Works Rhode Island (CWRI) will celebrate the completion of its newest housing at 14 Parkis Avenue, on Thursday, February 25, from 5:00pm-8:00pm. The public is welcome to attend this open house and enjoy the beautiful space, local ethnic food, and music by guitarist Noah Andrade, a ten year old musician of Cape Verdean descent. The open house will be sponsored by Stand Construction.

The building at 14 Parkis has been redeveloped with 10 studio and one bedroom units. A total of three historic homes on Parkis Avenue are currently being redeveloped for a total of 22 energy-efficient, income-restricted rental units. These buildings will all be complete in Spring 2010.

CWRI has owned 18 properties on Parkis Avenue. The organization is transforming a street of Victorian-era urban mansions into an award-winning new community with nearly 100 rental and homeownership units which serve a mix of incomes. The Parkis Avenue redevelopment has won two awards from the Providence Preservation Society for neighborhood revitalization, and also the prestigious national MetLife Award in 2008 for a community safety initiative.

Parkis Avenue is adjacent to the Broad and Elmwood business corridors, and several major bus routes. Neighborhood amenities, schools, social services and downtown Providence are within walking distance. All units have access to convenient laundry, outdoor space, and parking.

Carrie Marsh, Executive Director of CWRI, said “We are thrilled with the renovation of this significant building into bright, beautiful and energy-efficient living spaces, at an affordable level. It is a key piece of the transformation of Parkis Avenue as an anchor of the neighborhood. It allows us to continue to provide stable and well managed housing in a difficult economy.”

The project team for the Parkis Historic Properties is as follows:

  • Developer: Community Works Rhode Island
  • Architect: David Presbrey Architects
  • Contractor: Stand Corporation
  • Consultant: Barbara Sokoloff Associates
  • Attorneys: Chace Ruttenberg & Freedman
  • Financing: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, State of Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission, Rhode Island Housing, City of Providence, the Chestnut Fund, Citizens Bank, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Rhode Island, NeighborWorks America, and Community Housing Capital.
  • Leasing: First Realty Management

About CWRI: Community Works Rhode Island was formed by the merger of the Elmwood Foundation and Greater Elmwood Neighborhood Services (GENS) which served Providence’s Elmwood neighborhood for over 30 years, and undertook numerous community development initiatives, created hundreds of units of affordable housing and mixed use development, and invested more than $60 million in to the local community. CWRI is located at 693 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02907, 401-273-2330,


City Plan Commission Meeting (12/01)


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2009 – 4:45 PM
Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Auditorium 400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903


Call to Order
Roll Call
Approval of Meeting Minutes: November 3, 2009


1. Brown University Institutional Master Plan Amendment # 2
Amendment to the Brown Institutional Master Plan (IMP) for the purposes of including development plans for Jewelry District properties and streetscapes, as well as updates on plan implementation and clarifications of previously proposed plan details.


2. Neighborhood Plan Presentations
Presentation of the Upper South Providence/Lower South Providence/Elmwood neighborhood plan by DPD staff. The plan will be reviewed by the Commission and public comment will be taken.




City Plan Commission Meeting – September 15, 2009

Notice of Regular Meeting • Tuesday, September 15, 2009 • 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: August 18, 2009

Director’s Report

Discussion with commission members to determine schedule and dates for presentation of future neighborhood plans.

Land Development Project

1. Case No. 09-002MA – 175 Broad Street (Public Informational Meeting) Request for Master Plan stage approval for the proposed commercial development of the property located at 175 Broad Street. The subject property is bounded by Service Road No. 7, Broad Street and Cahir Street (AP 24, Lot 603). (Upper South Providence) Continued from the CPC meeting on July 21, 2009.

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Providence Tomorrow

2. Neighborhood Plan Presentation Presentation of College Hill/Fox Point/Wayland and Upper South Providence/Lower South Providence/Elmwood neighborhood plans by DPD staff. The plans will be reviewed by the Commission and public comment will be taken. Public comment on the Olneyville/Valley/Smith Hill and Elmhurst/Mt. Pleasant plans will also be taken. The items were continued to allow more time for public review. Comments on the Hope/Mt. Hope/Blackstone plan will be taken at the October meeting. The Commission may choose to act to adopt one or more of the neighborhood plans under consideration.



City Plan Commission Agenda – April 22, 2008

The City Plan Commission meets today at 4:45pm in the Planning Department’s 4th Floor Conference Room at 400 Westminster Street.

Opening Session

  • Call to Order at 4:45 p.m.
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of March 18, 2008
  • Director’s Report

Minor Subdivisions

  • Case No. 08-009MI 36 and 42 Wilna Street (AP 77, Lots 871 and 872)
    Request to subdivide two lots (zoned R-1) into one lot of 6,000-sf and two lots of 5,000-sf. The subject property is located on the south side of Wilna Street near the intersection of Milano Street. (Charles)
  • Case No. 08-013MI Silver Lake Avenue (AP 110, Lot 480)
    Request to subdivide one lot of 15,931-sf (zoned R-3) into two lots of 6,352-sf and 9,579-sf. The subject property is located on the south side of Silver Lake Avenue between Union Avenue and Prudence Avenue. (Silver Lake)

Land Development Projects

  • Case No. 08-004MA 539-551 Smith Street (Public Informational Meeting/Public Hearing)
    Request to combine Master Plan and Preliminary Plan stages of review and for Preliminary Plan stage approval of a new commercial development. The project consists of the renovation of an existing commercial building and the construction of two new commercial buildings. The subject property is located on the north side of Smith Street between Ruggles Street and Oakland Avenue (AP 69, Lots 13, 14, 22, 37 & 352). (Smith Hill) This item was continued from the CPC meeting on March 18, 2008.
  • Case No. 08-006MA 705-735 Elmwood Avenue, RIPTA Para-Transit Storage and Maintenance Facility (Public Informational Meeting)
    Request to combine Master Plan and Preliminary Plan stages of review and for Preliminary Plan stage approval for the construction of a new storage and maintenance facility for Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s (RIPTA) para-transit bus fleet. The subject property is located on the west side of Elmwood Avenue adjacent to Russell Street (AP 60, Lots 37, 123, 131 & 136). (Elmwood) This item was continued from the CPC meeting on March 18, 2008.
  • Case No. 08-011MA 340 & 350 Kinsley Avenue, Nicholson File Complex (Public Informational Meeting)
    Request for Master Plan stage approval for the redevelopment of the complex into a mixed-use development consisting of 98 residential units and 81,000-sf of commercial space. The subject property is located on the south side of Kinsley Avenue near the intersection of Acorn Street and Tingley Street (AP 27, Lots 5 and 16). (Valley)