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2014 Providence free holiday parking program starts Black Friday

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From the City:


Mayor Taveras Announces Return of Free Holiday Parking

City offers two hours of free parking for shoppers beginning November 28th

PROVIDENCE – 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 28, 2014 through Thursday, January 1, 2015 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 Friendship Street (from Dyer Street to Dorrance 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
  • Point St – From Eddy to East Franklin St
  • 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.


So no excuse not to Buy Local this holiday season.

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Rescheduled Broadway Cyclovía – August 17, 2014

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The Broadway Cyclovia which was scheduled for July 27th was postponed due to weather concerns. It has been rescheduled to August 17, 2014 • noon-4pm.
Broadway Cyclovía
Broadway from Dean St. to Courtland St.
Sunday, August 17, 2014 • 12noon – 4pm

Join Mayor Angel Taveras and the City of Providence on Sunday, August 17 for a car-free event that will open up Broadway for walking, skating, running, cycling and exercise. Free and open to the public! Featuring Zumba, bike activities, street vendors and more!

The event will take place on Broadway from Dean St. to Courtland St.

Local partners include the City of Providence’s Healthy Communities Office and Office of Sustainability, Walgreens, Zipcar, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission.

For more information visit ProvidenceRI.com.

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission.
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2014 Providence Cyclovía series starts this weekend on Broad Street

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Photo from Mayor Taveras’ Facebook page

Providence will have 3 cyclovía events this year, the first takes place this Sunday on Broad Street in South Providence. Details from the City:


Cyclovía is a car-free event that opens the street for people of all ages to walk, skate, run, bicycle, exercise, and socialize. The event is sponsored by Mayor Taveras in collaboration with the City’s Healthy Communities Office and the Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission.

“Cyclovía provides Providence residents with a safe and fun environment that promotes cycling, walking and community interaction – all elements of a healthy, balanced lifestyle,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “Residents from across the city will have the opportunity to enjoy their neighborhoods and to experience the great things that Providence has to offer.”

Providence held its first-ever Cyclovía in September 2012 on Broad Street. In 2013, the City of Providence expanded Cyclovías to Valley Street in Olneyville and Hope Street on the East Side.

2014 Cyclovía Providence Series

  • Sunday, June 29 • 12-4pm
    Elmwood: Broad Street (Thurbers Ave. – Prairie Ave.)
  • Sunday, July 27 • 12-4pm
    Federal Hill: Broadway (Dean St. – Courtland St.)
  • Sunday, September 7 • 12-4pm
    East Side: Hope Street (Lippitt Park/9th Ave – Rochambeau Ave.)
Full disclosure: I am a member of the Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission.
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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission meeting – May 21, 2014

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
May 21, 2014, 4:30 PM
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Agenda

  1. James Daley, Director of Training, RIPTA: Bus Operator Training and pedestrian/cyclist safety
  2. Pedestrian Safety project (Safe States)
  3. Broadway Bike Lane – recommendation of extension to frontage road
  4. Discussion: BPAC’s role, goals, priorities, accomplishments

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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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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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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Where Would Jesus Park?

WPRI: Store’s opening squashed by judge

Federal Hill and West Side friends and neighbors rallied on Sunday morning in support of Cluck!, an urban farm supply store that is trying to open at the site of a former gas station on Broadway.

The business was approved by Zoning to open but was challenged in court on a technicality and lost, forcing owner Drake Patten to begin the Zoning process from scratch. Read Drake’s commentary on what has happened.

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Mayor announces plans by the Omni Group to redevelop the C.J. Fox Complex

Mayor Taveras joined Omni Group CEO William L. DiStefano, Jr. and others this morning to announce that company’s purchase and plans to redevelop the C.J. Fox Complex on Federal Hill.


From the Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Taveras and The Omni Group Announce $1.6 Million Purchase of C.J. Fox Complex in Providence’s Historic Federal Hill

Anticipated $5 million renovation will transform vacant factory into upscale office space.

Mayor Angel Taveras joined The Omni Group President and CEO William L. DiStefano, Jr., and Dominic Shelzi, executive vice president of The Omni Group, Economic Development Director James S. Bennett and other city officials today to announce the developer’s $1.615 million purchase of the C.J. Fox Complex, at Two Fox Place in Providence.

The Omni Group will soon begin a $5 million renovation of the vacant manufacturing complex to transform it into upscale office space.

The C.J. Fox Complex includes 70,000 square feet in four buildings and accompanying parking lots, located on 2.17 acres of land in historic Federal Hill. The Complex was formerly owned by the C.J. Fox Company, which manufactured tags and boxes for the fashion jewelry industry.

“The Omni Group’s redevelopment of the C.J. Fox Complex shows confidence in our capital city and a recognition of the incredible opportunities that exist here,” said Mayor Taveras. “We look forward to The Omni Group’s work to transform the Complex into a vibrant new center of commerce in Providence.”

The Omni Group has restored a number of properties in the Federal Hill neighborhood, including nearly six acres of the West Exchange Center, with nine office buildings and several parking lots. The developer also owns several residential properties in the area. Last year, The Omni Group adopted Garibaldi Park on Atwells Avenue and improved it with landscaping as well as a bandstand area.

“We originally purchased West Exchange Center because we felt that this part of Federal Hill had a great deal of potential,” said William L. DiStefano, Jr., president and CEO of The Omni Group. “It is within walking distance to Downtown Providence and Atwells Avenue, there is an abundance of parking, and there is easy access to all major highways. The project has had continued success year after year, and that, along with our optimistic view of the City’s future, is why we have decided to expand once again.”

“When developers and site selectors travel through Providence and see the transformation of these properties, it will send a strong message that we mean business here in Providence and that there is great potential for growth and economic success in Rhode Island’s capital city,” said Mayor Taveras.

Of course you may recall that the Omni Group has proposed an office building with two levels of parking at 50 Cedar Street as well as a two-level parking structure along two blocks of Cedar Street. Neither of those projects have broke ground yet.

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