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Double Yellow Line

Empire Street

Empire Street

A double yellow line is one of the most basic traffic control devices we have, yet… I watched driver after driver get it to a point, then move across the double yellow into the oncoming traffic lane.

Pay attention on Empire and Weybosset, because some people aren’t grasping the concept.

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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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Crossing is safer without the light

The traffic lights have been removed at the intersection of Weybosset, Broad, Empire, and Chestnut Streets.
Traffic lights at the intersection of Weybosset, Broad, Empire, and Chestnut Streets on Weybosset Hill have been removed.

As part of the Downtown Circulator Project, the traffic light at the intersection of Weybosset, Broad, Empire, and Chestnut Streets (Weybosset Hill for short) have been removed. The roads will be rebuilt (with Weybosset and Empire both becoming two-way) and new lights will be installed, probably sometime this fall. Curiously, the intersection, which I walk through multiple times a day, has become much better without the lights.

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Video: I almost drowned!

This was me walking swimming back to the office after lunch today.

The guy running into the red pick up at the end of the first part… yes, he did have a pot bellied pig under his arm.

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Downcity Design Review Committee Meeting, June 13

DOWNCITY DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE
NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
Monday, June 13, 2011 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development
4th Floor Conference Room
400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

AGENDA

OPENING SESSION

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of April 11, 2011

NEW BUSINESS

   
1. DRC Application No. 11.05: 108 Weybosset Street/88 Dorrance Street (Teste Block)
Continued review of the proposal to remove an existing CMU stairwell on the north and east elevations of the building, and to construct a 2″story glass atrium.

2. DRC Application No. 11.08: 98 Dorrance Street (Narragansett Hotel Garage)
Proposal to create new window openings on the south elevation of the garage building.  

3. DRC Application No. 11.09: 198 Dyer Street (Kaiser”Frazer Showroom, now City of Providence Department of Inspection and Standards)
Proposal to create an expanded entryway and to install a new entry canopy on the west elevation, install new windows, replace existing glass block with new storefront system, reconfigure opening at loading area, and conduct site improvements.    

4. DRC Application No. 11.10: One Empire Plaza (Office Building)
Proposal to replace the existing entry canopy with a new canopy, and to complete plaza site
improvements.  

ADJOURNMENT

Agenda [.pdf]


Full disclosure, my employer is involved with items 3 and 4.

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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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Snowblogging: Miracle Edition

Snow - January 27, 2011

THAT my friends is a shoveled sidewalk on the Atwells Avenue Bridge over Route 95. Yes, it is true.

But wait, don’t think I’m gonna be all sunshine and moonbeams. A for effort to get this thing cleared so soon after last night’s snowicane, but I have complaints.

Every winter, at some point this sidewalk does get cleared. But this is never cleared:

Snow - January 27, 2011

The traffic island on the Downcity side. If I walk all the way over the bridge, the crosswalk drops me on this traffic island, which now has about 3 feet of snow on it. Even on the miraculous day when the bridge sidewalk is cleared, this never is, so it is into the street with me.

But there’s some equal opportunity non-snow clearing at work this morning:

Snow - January 27, 2011

The right turn turbo lane from Atwells to the 95 ramp is not touched at all, which was surprising to see. Guess what, the traffic works just fine with out it. Drivers pull up to the light, turn on their directional, and make a right. I say let’s just get rid of that stupid turbo lane, I say we ban all turbo lanes.

Let’s take a look at the rest of my commute.

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38 Studios to settle at One Empire Plaza


Image from Google StreetView

PBN reports that Curt Schilling’s controversial 38 Studios company will be calling One Empire Plaza home. One Empire is located at the corner of Empire and Washington across from AS220 in one of the buildings formerly occupied by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

In a press release announcing the move, 38 Studios said it hopes to create a Rhode Island video game cluster and:

“The staff at 38 Studios is incredibly excited about our relocation to Providence and we expect to be the first of many relocating knowledge-economy companies that will take advantage of the opportunities Rhode Island provides,” said Jen MacLean, Chief Executive Officer of 38 Studios. “Providence has some of the best students in the nation, a vibrant arts community, and a dynamic urban environment with easy access to public transportation. We look forward to working closely with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and local businesses in the months ahead to plan how our company’s growth can also benefit the state of Rhode Island.”

AS220’s Bert Crenca was quoted in the release saying:

Said Umberto Crenca, Artistic Director, AS220, “I am very excited about the commitment of 38 Studios to locate in downtown Providence. The clustering of creative and digital industries so close to internationally recognized schools such as RISD, Brown, JWU, and URI can be the trigger that propels Providence into its future. The city’s diversity, historic architecture and strong arts and culture have helped it to create a high quality of life that is attractive to creative types. Richard Florida’s predictions are coming to pass: Creative people are drawn to interesting, dynamic and diverse communities; creative industries are drawn to talent and a new economic model is born.”

For more on the politics and economics of the 38 Studios deal, look through Ted Nesi’s blog at WPRI for some great reporting on the topic.

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