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→ ProJo: Pedestrian safety on Providence’s Federal Hill takes giant step forward

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In 2013 the state, in cooperation with the city, installed on Atwells 14 sidewalk “bumpouts,” 7 neon green crosswalk signs that are supposed to be more vivid than the standard highway orange, and other signs; upgraded some pedestrian-crossing signals; and restriped to create a 3-foot buffer zone on both sides of the avenue.

Nothing has been done to improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of Atwells and Dean, which is basically an extention of the Route 6/10 highway off-ramp.

Scheduled this year are the installation of additional traffic signal improvements, including 12 unusual pedestrian crossing signals; the painting of “25 mph,” the speed limit, and “PED XING” on the pavement; and the painting of 11 additional crosswalks.

The pedestrian crossing signal, called a “rectangular rapid flashing beacon,” would be unique in Rhode Island. It is a pedestrian-activated LED array attached to a pedestrian crossing sign that irregularly flashes an amber or white light that Urso said is impossible for a motorist to ignore.

Now if we can just stop people getting stabbed to death and drunks driving up on the sidewalks, it’ll be a nice place.

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Mayoral Candidate Brett Smiley statement on demolition of Adie House

Candidate for Providence Mayor, Brett Smiley sent us this statement on the demolition of the historic Alexander F. Adie House on Federal Hill.

brett-smileyYesterday, demolition began on the 1871 Alexander F. Adie House on Atwells Avenue, an historic building lining the streets of one of Providence’s most vibrant neighborhoods. There are supposed to be plans for a hotel in its place. As a community we need to remain vigilant to ensure that this site does not turn into another ‘temporary’ surface lot.

This is just the latest example of a repeated pattern – City Hall continues to turn a blind eye to the destruction of important historic buildings, and this disregard cannot continue. Too often, historic buildings are demolished or intentionally neglected until demolition becomes necessary and justified.

This isn’t just about preserving our history. It’s about strengthening our economy. Moving our economy forward doesn’t require bulldozing our history – it requires utilizing it. We should already have learned the lesson that historic preservation is economic development. Our significant and largely intact historic building stock is a critical part of what makes Providence a cultural center with a thriving tourism sector. Further, the upkeep, preservation and creative adaptive reuse of these buildings have a real multiplier effect throughout the local economy.

City Hall has a responsibility to step in to protect our history and to recognize its vital role in our economic well-being. But this responsibility, just like so many historic buildings throughout our city, has been neglected. As Mayor, I will make historic preservation an integral part of our city’s economic development strategy.

Brett Smiley
Providence

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Reported demolition happening now on Federal Hill

ArtInRuins reports via Facebook:

Could be the first “What Jeer” of 2014. ArtInRuins says the owner is building a hotel on the site, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Photos from Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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2014-0107-adie-house002

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What Cheer / What Jeer 2013

We’re running a little late this year but we’re finally ready to run down the What Cheers and What Jeers of 2013.

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WHAT CHEER: South Street Power Station (Maybe)

In 2013 we got another plan to redevelop the moribund South Street Power Station. While numerous plans for the building, which at one point was known as the Dynamo House, have come and gone, this latest plan engenders optimism as Brown University is involved now.

In January the New York Times and then The Brown Daily Herald reported on rumors of the university becoming involved in the project. Then in June Brown announced it’s plans for the building in a letter to the campus community.

Those plans include a home for the long talked about URI/RIC Nursing School, office space for Brown, and some sort of retail component in the former power station building. Brown also has a developer engaged in building a student apartment building in the neighboring parking lot along Point Street and the City is involved in plans for a parking structure across Point Street from that.

The latest news on the project comes from the ProJo just before Christmas with reports that the PRA is considering condemning the building so the project can move forward.

While this could all be looked at as another in a long line of proposals for the building, Brown’s involvement makes this proposal seem more promising. 2014 will show us if this project actually moves forward.

Continue Reading →

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2013 City of Providence Free Holiday parking starts Friday

Holiday Parking Program

City of Providence offers free holiday parking

To accommodate holiday shoppers and support local businesses during the busy holiday sales season, Mayor Taveras announced today that there will be two hours of free parking in designated commercial districts throughout Providence. Shoppers will be offered two hours of free parking from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. beginning Friday, November 29, 2013 through Wednesday, January 1, 2014 in the following commercial districts:

  • Atwells Avenue – Bradford Street to Knight Street
  • Broad Street – Public Street to Montgomery Street
  • Downtown Providence – bounded by Fountain Street, Memorial Boulevard, Weybosset Street, Empire Street and Pine Street (from Dorrance Street to Dyer Street)
  • Hope Street – Rochambeau Avenue to Blackstone Boulevard
  • North Main Street – Thomas Street to Park Row
  • Olneyville Square – Route 10 to Sydney Street and Delaine Street to Atwood Street to Magnolia Street
  • South Main Street – James Street to Packet Street
  • Thayer Street – Meeting Street to Bowen Street
  • Wayland Square – East Angell Street/Angell Street to Gano Street and Wayland Avenue from Angell Street to Pitman Street
  • Wickenden/Ives – Wickenden Street at Benefit Street to Ives Street at Preston Street

The holiday parking program is designed to make it easier for shoppers to patronize local businesses. The two-hour parking limit will be strictly enforced by parking enforcement officers. Cars parked illegally in prohibited areas, including crosswalks and tow zones, will be ticketed during this period.

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WaterFire, Columbus Day on Federal Hill, RIPTA detours

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Providence is overflowing with events this weekend.

  • Through November 3rd: Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo
    The acclaimed Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular presented by Citizens Bank will return this October 3 through November 3 with a breathtaking display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns representing regions of the U.S.A.
  • Friday: Providence Bruins opening night at the Dunk
  • Saturday: RISD Alumni Art Sale
    All artists participating in the sales are RISD alumni or current RISD students selling original work including prints, photographs, apparel, ceramics, glass, textiles, and more! 10am-4pm on Benefit Street.
  • Saturday: SoMa Autumn Fest
    The Merchants of South Main Street in Providence are having their annual Autumn Fest! That means lots of goodies: Beer Garden at Wild Colonial, Wine Tasting and tailgating party at Bin 312, Free Classes at Momentum Fitness, Designer Trunk Show at Dr. Karambelas, and Lots of Fashion Finds at Shoppe Pioneer and the Vault! Plus some of your favorite Food Trucks will be joining us. Come join the festivities! South Main Street, 11am-6pm.
  • Saturday: Providence Roller Derby
    5pm – Rhode Island Convention Center
  • Saturday: WaterFire Flames of Hope
    In collaboration with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, the bonfires in the basin will be lit at 8:15pm with a special 150 person torch salute in honor of those living with breast cancer and those lost to the disease. This event will be preceded by the lighting of the rest of the WaterFire installation at 6:30pm. The fires will remain lit until MIDNIGHT.
  • Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: Federal Hill Columbus Day Festival
    Opening Ceremonies Saturday at noon in DePasquale Square. Parade Sunday at 11am. Full Schedule.
  • Sunday: Gloria Gemma 5k
  • Monday: “Super Structures” at the Providence Children’s Museum
    10am-3pm – Explore an intriguing assortment of 3-D design and construction challenges big and small! Build huge Stick Structures from wooden dowels, rubber bands, fabric and other intriguing “loose parts.” Create structures that are large enough to climb inside and construct a giant cube that stands up on its own! Also invent elaborate Confection Constructions by connecting marshmallows and toothpicks, and join together spools and sticks to tackle clever Tinker Toy creations.
  • Monday: Providence HONK Street Band Festival (PRONK)
    “Reclaim the streets with brass, beats, and feet!” – Join 15 bands from around the country for a celebration of music and community! Featuring afternoon performances at India Point Park, a parade down Wickenden Street, and evening shows on the water by the Hot Club. Monday, October 14, 2013, 3pm-10pm. Starts at India Point Park, parade down Wickenden St, ends in the Hot Club area. FREE!

Traffic is expected to be very heavy throughout the weekend, especially on Saturday for WaterFire. RIPTA will have several service deviations to accomodate events and will be running on a Holiday Schedule on Monday. Check the RIPTA website for details.

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Curb extensions being installed on Atwells

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Atwells Avenue at Sutton Street.

It has been nearly three years since City Councilman Terry Hassett was struck and severely injured by a hit and run driver on Atwells Avenue; one in a long line of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the Avenue. Now, we are finally seeing some action on building pedestrian safety interventions.

After the Councilman was struck, we listed some recommended safety interventions including curb extensions such as those being installed now.

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Atwells Avenue at America Street.

Hopefully we’ll continue to see more of this type of infrastructure installed in the city to promote pedestrian safety.

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