Do we have an innordinate amount of surface parking around our State House. Let’s see what our neighbors and peers look like.
Archives For Hartford
→ Will pay-per-mile be a buzzkill for American road trips? [CNN]
During the next 20 years, projections show average vehicle fuel efficiency nearly doubling.
Revenues from the fuel tax will be slashed by half, according to the Iowa study.
Meanwhile, the cost of safe roads, bridges and transit systems will skyrocket. By 2020, says the American Society of Engineers, the price tag could be as high as $1.7 trillion.
Bottom line: two cents per mile would be enough to pay for the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs. That’s according to a 2009 nonpartisan commission headed by two former U.S. transportation secretaries.
→ Bring Back the Rooming House? [CitiWire]
Is it time to restore the old-fashioned rooming house – or something akin to it – in America’s cities?
Candidate strategies for more compact urban housing units abound. Smith suggests, for example, basement or attic flats that use the “excess” space in larger homes in which an aging homeowner wants to remain but has rooms that are idle and chores that need to be done. “A bargain can be struck,” he suggests, with a younger tenant who pays reduced rent in exchange for upkeep and light maintenance. The net result: “to turn an over-housed, under-maintained single-family dwelling into a multi-household home that benefits both parties.”
Update 07/11/2012: Amtrak has released an updated vision for the Northeast Corridor which happily does not by-pass Providence. Read the report. (.pdf)
Amtrak released A Vision for High-Speed Rail in the Northeast Corridor [.pdf] today. The Vision is as of yet unfunded, would not be complete until 2040, and the alignment analyzed for this report would by-pass Providence (there’d be a station in Woonsocket though).
A number of possible alignments were initially analyzed for their potential to meet these goals.
New York City to Boston
In the New York City-to-Boston segment, the study team examined a variety of potential alignments, including a “Shore Alignment” paralleling the existing NEC; a “Long Island Alignment” heading east of out New York and traversing Long Island Sound; and “Highway” alignments paralleling all or portions of major interstate highways, including I-84, I-90 and I-91, through Connecticut and Massachusetts. It is important to note that virtually all of the alignments considered pose a variety of construction and environmental challenges. It was beyond the scope of this study to analyze all potential alignments in significant detail. However, a representative alignment was chosen for analytical and costing purposes. This “Analyzed Alignment,” as shown in the figure, parallels the existing NEC from New York to just north of New Rochelle, then follows a combination of highway, rail and overland routes through Connecticut and Massachusetts, before rejoining the existing NEC south of Rt. 128 in Massachusetts and paralleling it into Boston. A route substantially paralleling the existing NEC between Boston and New York was not chosen for initial analytical purposes because of a combination of capacity constraints on MetroNorth’s New Haven Line between New Haven and New Rochelle. Curvature restrictions and design requirements to meet environmental concerns on the Amtrak-owned “Shore Line” from the Massachusetts state line to New Haven would make it extremely difficult to meet the travel time targets of approximately one hour and 30 minute service.
Now, this is a preliminary report, and nothing has been engineered or officially picked yet, so it is not exactly time to panic about being bypassed. Also, this is a plan for a 240mph corridor between Boston, (Woonsocket??), New York, and Washington, plus other cities; highspeed rail of somesort, just not as fast, would still run between Boston, Providence, New Haven, and New York City.
Pink and green lines, new Next-Gen Highspeed rail, service Bos-DC in under 4 hours. Blue line, existing regional and Acela routing. Yellow line, Next-Gen route, Acela-like speeds Boston to NYC (stopping in Providence) and Next-Gen speed south of NYC.
However, it is never too soon for our Governor, Mayor, Congressional Delegation, and everyone else to start working to ensure that we’re on that line.
If the highspeed line were routed south to Providence then west to Hartford it would finally establish the mythical Providence-Hartford connection that was canceled out of the Interstate Highway plan.
Thinking about how a line to Hartford would branch off our current section of the Northeast Corridor (presuming that the existing Providence Station would be our highspeed rail station), a branch along Route 6 out of Olneyville makes sense as the starting point for the Providence-Hartford line. This Next-Gen Highspeed route is still 30 years from reality, but we should not do anything now to preclude it. As we look toward re-engineering the 6/10 interchange for example.
Nothing against Woonsocket, but if we’re going to lay new track (which is what this plan calls for) between Boston and Hartford, it would be ridiculous for it to serve Woonsocket, but not Providence.
View the entire report here. [.pdf]
At the Travelers Companies, Inc. – an insurance company in the downtown where employees are charged between 70 and 125 dollars per month for parking – only 71 percent of employees choose to drive alone to work. In contrast, at enterprises where employee parking is free and ample (including the both the city and the state government offices in Downtown), between 83 and 95 percent drive alone to work.
Read more at Planetizen.
Photo (cc) Daniel Case
RIDOT is getting $1.2 million from the stimulus to study a third track at Kingston Station. The third track would provide a siding, allowing MBTA commuter rail trains to serve the station while highspeed Acela trains are able to move through without stopping.
- R.I. gets $1.2M for Kingston MBTA stop [PBN]
- Update: $1.2M to explore third track at Kingston station [ProJo News Blog]
However, though we are getting stimulus love for Kingston Station, New England gets the shaft on the $8 billion federal high speed rail stimulus porgram. New England is getting under $200 million dollars or about 2% of the total funds.
Massachusetts really lost out, no money for New Bedford/Fall River commuter rail, no money for the “inland route” which would have upgrade tracks between Boston and Springfield and improved service on the Worcester commuter rail line, and no money for the $1.9 billion north/south rail link in Downtown Boston (that last one is no surprise, no one wants to open the PR pandora’s box of spending more federal money in the Central Artery corridor post-Big Dig).
New England did get money to move forward on improvements in the New Haven – Hartford – Springfield – Vermont corridor, and to expand Amtrak’s Downeaster service north from Portland to Brunswick, Maine.
PROVIDENCE CITY PLAN COMMISSION NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2010 4:45 PM
Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Auditorium 400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903
Call to Order
Approval of Meeting Minutes: December 1st and 15th, 2009
Approval of the CPC meeting schedule for the 2010 calendar year
Designation of Recording Secretary
CITY COUNCIL REFERRAL
1. Referral 3321 – Petition to abandon a portion of Penrose Avenue
Petition to abandon the unimproved portion of Penrose Avenue. (Blackstone)
LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
2. Case No. 09-050MA – 395 Promenade Street (Master Plan Approval)
The applicant is seeking Master Plan Approval to reuse approximately 2,600 SF of the southwest portion of an existing 2 story building and construct a new 23,000 SF one story laboratory building. The building will be used as a blood bank. Onsite parking will be provided. The property abuts Promenade and Bath Streets. (AP 67 Lots 341, 522 and 523) (Smith Hill)
The applicant has requested that this item be continued to the February 23, 2010 meeting.
3. College Hill, Wayland & Fox Point Neighborhood Plan
Continuation of the discussion between Commission members and staff regarding the development potential of the “Shooters” site based on the approved neighborhood plan. The discussion will also address the legal issues surrounding downzoning the site. No additional public comment will be taken.
4. Neighborhood Plan Presentations
Presentation of the West End/Federal Hill/ Reservoir, Charles/Wanskuck and Hartford/Manton/Silver Lake neighborhood plans by DPD staff. The plans will be reviewed by the Commission and public comment will be taken. The Commission may choose to act to adopt one or more of the neighborhood plans presented.