Categories

Tag Archives | Interlink

→ PBN: Free parking has done little to spur commuter-rail use

Until more people need to get to Providence, [Wickford Junction garage operator Robert] Cioe said, those who do go will be able to drive in and find parking at rates that make it difficult for “park-and-ride” from the suburbs to compete.

Johnson & Wales University is preparing to open a 700-space parking garage downtown, the state is expanding a surface lot near the capitol while adding another, Brown University’s plans for redeveloping the South Street Power Station include a city-financed, 600-space parking garage and the Interstate 195 Commission wants the state to build a new parking garage next to the Garrahy Judicial Complex.

We don’t have enough parking but we have too much parking?

William Lawrence, a transportation consultant in South Kingstown who used to manage real estate for the MBTA, said there are currently a number of barriers standing in the way of commuter-rail ridership to Providence, in addition to the economy.

They include the inconvenience of getting from the Providence train station to many offices and the comparatively cheap cost of parking in or taking a bus into the city.

If we expect people to leave their cars at home, or at a park n’ ride, we need to make moving about the core better. We can’t put people on trains, let them off, and say, ‘good luck!’

10

USDOT issues Rhode Island more discretionary grants

Interlink

Interlink in Warwick

Recently, the Federal Transportation Adminstration issued two grants for RIPTA and now RIDOT is recieving Federal Highway Administration grants for three projects.

Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment (IBRD) Program • $360,000

Browning Mill Bridge carrying Arcadia road over Roaring Brook: The project uses relatively new bridge replacement technology known as “Bridge in Backpack.” Construction time for this innovative construction method is much faster than the conventional cast-in-place construction technique, improving safety and minimizing traffic impact.

Interstate Maintenance Discretionary (IMD) Program • $3,341,000

I-95 Pawtucket River Bridge Reconstruction Project in Providence*: The project will replace a structurally deficient interstate bridge (between exits 27 and 28 in Pawtucket) that was constructed in 1958 to carry 60,000 vehicles per day but now carries approximately 162,000 vehicles per day.

Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program (TCSP) • $400,000

Warwick Station Transit Oriented Development Economic Development Implementation Plan: TCSP funds will help advance the economic development outreach for a proposed transit project in Warwick.

* This is actually for the Pawtucket River Bridge in Pawtucket, I don’t know why it says Providence, maybe Providence County.

Via: Transportation Nation

0

RI receives $1.6 million in grants from the Federal Highway Administration

Interlink

View from the Interlink in Warwick.

Governor Chafee, RIDOT, announce Federal transportation grant award

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded $1.6 million in grants to Rhode Island for a series of road and bridge projects. The grants are among a nationwide distribution of funds which RIDOT applied for earlier this summer.

The grants include:

  • $847,860 for projects related to transit-oriented development in the area of the train station at the InterLink facility at T.F. Green State Airport.
  • A waiver of the customary 20 percent state match (valued at approximately $600,000) for replacement of the East Shore Expressway Bridge in East Providence.
  • $350,000 for replacement of three structurally deficient bridges in and near the Arcadia Management Area in Exeter.
  • $250,260 for training to help disadvantaged business enterprises prepare to compete for Federal highway contracts.
  • $225,000 to provide additional training to help individuals prepare for careers in highway construction.
  • “I believe that one of the most valuable investments our state can make is in our infrastructure,” Governor Chafee said. “These federal grants will help Rhode Island plan for the future, in addition to strengthening our infrastructure-related construction economy. I am particularly pleased that a significant portion of the funds will go toward further developing Warwick’s Station District. As Mayor and U.S. Senator, I fought to make the InterLink project a reality and I look forward to seeing the advancements and improvements these funds will enable.”

    The largest of the grants for projects near the T.F. Green Station is provided under FHWA’s Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program. The funds will be used to advance and implement the Warwick Station Development District Master Plan developed by the City of Warwick. The Plan is expected to guide approximately 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly development. It envisions a highly-visible, mixed-use, transit-oriented growth center within walking distance of a full range of transportation and live/work options. The City is seeking to capitalize on the public investment in multimodal transportation infrastructure by promoting high-value, mixed-use development to attract visitors and business people who use the station and airport while providing a center of opportunity for new development.

    “Having well-developed streets and sidewalks is a key component of integrating the InterLink into the City of Warwick and supporting the District for future development,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “The end result is a better connection between the City, the Airport, the InterLink and the T.F. Green commuter rail station.”

It is great to see RIDOT and the Governor value mixed-use development in the Warwick Station area. Jefferson Boulevard and the areas around the train station and the airport have great potential to be a second city for Rhode Island. It has to be developed to be a place where people want to be, that is scaled to people, not their cars. Otherwise it will be just another soul-sucking office park.

The rest of the Press Release:

Continue Reading →

1

What Cheer/What Jeer 2010

What Cheer/What Jeer was originally supposed to be a monthly, or a quarterly thing, but you know what, it is a lot of work putting a list like this together, so it has become an annual thing. So join us as we take a look back at 2010, What Cheering the good and What Jeering the bad.

whatcheerProvidence River Pedestrian Bridge

Whether you love it or hate it, Providence will soon be getting a new pedestrian bridge over the Providence River. Design firms large and small from around the world entered the competition that led to the winning design. And the competition got people around the city interested in transportation and design.

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge

whatcheerRIPTA

Last year we declared that 2010 would be “The Year of RIPTA” and not to be too smug about it but, we were kinda right.

In December 2009 RIPTA and the City of Providence released the Metro Transit Study, which drew a lot of attention to its proposal to run a streetcar line through Providence. This year, RIPTA embarked on their Core Connector Study, the first step toward bringing streetcars back to Providence. In June, U.S. Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood visited Providence and was very excited about our future plans. RIPTA also took delivery of a new fleet of hybrid buses and trolleys in October. This year also saw RIPTA unveil a 5-year plan for the future of transit in Rhode Island. Finally, RIPTA hired a new CEO, Charles Odimgbe. It is early days yet in Mr. Odimgbe’s tenure, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be What Cheered or What Jeered next year.

Certainly all was not good for RIPTA this year, 2010 saw the continuation of an annual tradition wherein RIPTA’s budget falls short resulting in the agency looking to cut routes and/or increase fares. This year they went with increasing fares yet again. Here’s hoping the incoming Governor and General Assembly can work to address the issues surrounding RIPTA’s budget.

whatcheerElection 2010

What an exciting year that was. New Mayor, new Governor, new Congressman from Providence (even if he is a freshman and in the minority party, that’s good for us!), many new City Councilors, Shoveitgate, The Uncaucas, Chris Young… Let’s do that again real soon (well, not too soon).

whatcheerThe Interlink & MBTA to Warwick

October saw the opening of the long awaited Interlink. The skybridge connects T.F. Green Airport to a parking garage, rental car facilities, and a train station via a skybridge with moving sidewalks over Post Road. The Interlink opening was followed in December by the extension of MBTA Commuter Rail service from Providence to the station at the Interlink facility. Next year that service will be expanded and will go further south to a new station currently under construction at Wickford Junction.

Interlink

whatcheerThe Box Office

The Box Office was completed this year. The building, made out of shipping containers brought national attention to Providence within the construction and design communities for its innovative design. Developers from near and far want to replicate the building in their communities.

whatcheerThe Arts

We What Cheered the arts last year, and we’re What Cheering them again this year. Woonsocket’s Riverzedge and Providence’s Community Music Works each took home one of fifteen 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards (after Providence’s New Urban Arts won the same award last year (go Rhody!)). AS220 celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year, commissioned RISD alum Shepard Fairy to create a mural on Aborn Street, and is wrapping up renovation on its third Downcity Building, The Mercantile Block. And basically, art in Providence just continued to be pretty damn awesome. Buy Art!

Last year, we weren’t really in the mood to What Jeer, we had jeered enough I guess. But this year, oh, here go hell come, are you ready? Let’s do it.

whatjeerRIDOT

RIDOT, seriously, you’re killing us here. While we’ve said it time and again, we really like what Director Michael Lewis has to say about not being able to build more highways to end congestion and needing to be multi-modal and what not… the Director’s words have not been matching the agency’s actions.

From the craptacular original design of the Wickenden Street intersection related to the 195 Relocation, to the ridiculous placement of signs on the sidewalk on the Friendship Street bridge, to the utter disregard for any mode other than automobiles in the planning of the new Union Avenue Bridge, and more, RIDOT has proven that they have a long way to go in understanding how to build infrastructure in an urban environment and serve a multi-modal population.

Governor-elect Chafee has decided to keep Director Lewis on at RIDOT, a decision we agree with. Let’s hope that the Director can make the agency’s actions match his own and the Governor’s visions for how our transportation system should look. We’re hoping next year we might be able to What Cheer RIDOT.

whatjeerThe Arcade/35 Weybosset

Though these are separate properties, they are linked in the public consciousness and the destiny of each may best be served by thinking of them together. The What Jeer here is pretty obvious, the Arcade still sits empty and the facade at 35 Weybosset Street remains neglected.

The neglect of the 35 Weybosset facade is the clearest example available of a developer attempting a demolition by neglect, and he is beginning to get a lot of support for that option, though we clearly think there is a better way.

As for the Arcade, we might have to agree with one of our commenters that the best course of action is eminent domain.

whatjeerGrove Street School

Seeing as the Grove Street School’s current owner, Michael Tarro won election to the General Assembly, the school’s future seems more tenuous than ever.

Grove Street School

The good news is, the new City Councilor for Ward 13, Bryan Principe is an ardent supporter of the building. Let’s hope Bryan and the new Mayor can work on an arrangement with Mr. Tarro on the building’s future.

whatjeerCVS

While in the end, CVS agreed to some minor concessions on their initial proposal for a CVS in Edgewood, they’re still basically dropping a box from the sky into the middle of a parking lot. We still don’t know why CVS hates Rhode Island.

whatjeerUnion Wadding Mill Fire

Did they ever catch the bastard who did this? There’s a $10,000 reward you know.

Photo from Pawtucket Foundation Facebook Page

whatjeerParkinglotification

Last year we What Cheered the Smith-Mathewson Building proposed for where the Downcity Diner used to be. This year it is a parking lot. Sigh.

whatjeerAtwells Avenue

As if enduring 14 months of construction at the intersection with Dean Street wasn’t bad enough, at the other end of the Avenue we had a girl who works at a Salon and a City Councilor run down by errant drivers within weeks of each other. We all know which one got the most attention from the media, including us.

After years of people getting hit on Atwells, to the point where those of us who live up there see it as part of life, the hit and run of Councilman Hassett did serve to jolt us all out of our malaise on the topic. After years of inaction we now have some repainted crosswalks, more signs, and a speed bump at the western end of the Avenue (where most of the pedestrians have been struck). Much more needs to be done to improve the safety situation not just on Atwells, but on roads throughout the city.

Let us not fall back into our malaise where we accept people being struck by cars as an inevitable part of city life, it is not. Let us make sure that we follow through on the outrage that followed the Councilman’s injuries and act to do all we can to ensure that it does not happen again.


We could probably go on, but let’s wrap up the What Cheering and What Jeering there. Feel free to add you own in the comments.

Thank you to everyone who reads and contributes to Greater City: Providence. It was a great year discussing the city we all love.

Happy New Year!

4

Ride on the Interlink

Yesterday I decided to return my rental car early to the airport, rather than today to Dorrance Street (glad I did). So after dropping off the car, I took a ride on the Interlink:

Interlink

Interlink

The rental car area is like an airport check in. It looks quite nice actually.

Interlink

Interlink

Interlink

I actually walked most of the way, but some people took the moving sidewalks as an opportunity to relax (and enjoy the view?).

Interlink

Interlink

Interlink

Interlink

I thought it was nice and shiny and clean, and importantly yesterday, warm.

2

For realz this time. Commuter rail to T.F. Green Dec. 6


Photo (cc) Mr. Ducke

It is not a trick, RIDOT issued a press release and everything. Commuter Rail service to T.F. Green starts on December 6th.

Trains will depart from T.F. Green, inbound to Providence/South Station, at the following times:

  • 6:13 a.m.; 6:52 a.m.; 7:15 a.m. – To Providence and South Station
  • 6:27 p.m.; 7:36 p.m.; 7:51 p.m. – To Providence only, change train at 8:12 p.m. to continue to South Station

Trains will arrive at T.F. Green, outbound from Providence/South Station, at the following times:

  • 6:01 a.m.; 6:25 a.m. – Arriving from Providence only
  • 6:17 p.m.; 6:53 p.m.; 7:26 p.m. – Arriving from South Station and Providence

The one-way fare between Providence and the airport it only $0.25 more than it costs to take the bus.

Ticket fares will vary by distance traveled. Travel between T.F. Green and Providence constitutes travel in two zones and costs $2.25 each way. Travel between T.F. Green and Boston costs $8.25 each way. Seniors and persons with disabilities get 50 percent off. Children age 11 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Monthly passes for unlimited travel between Providence and T.F. Green cost $77. Monthly passes for unlimited travel between T.F. Green and Boston cost $265, which also includes travel on all MBTA buses and subways and the Inner Harbor Ferry.

Schedule information can be found on the MBTA website. Fare information can be found at here.

7

…It says it does, but it really doesn’t


Photo (cc) Eric Kilby

So, I’ve been hearing from all around town that MBTA service to T.F. Green starts on Monday. There is even a schedule [.pdf] posted on the MBTA website. So I posted about it.

Then PBN posted about it. Then I got an email from Ted Nesi. Ted tells me that the Governor’s spokeperson said, “no.” Service is not starting on Monday.

Then I email RIDOT for a statement and got this response from Charles St. Martin:

While the entire schedule (for all stops from Providence to Boston) goes into effect on Nov. 22, the service to and from the Airport is not starting on Monday.

So that sounds weird, but what it basically means, is that the new MBTA schedule is out, they change from time to time just as RIPTA’s do, and while the T.F. Green run is listed on this new schedule, the service will not actually start on Monday.

This is all well and good, and I understand that, but check out the schedule the MBTA has posted. All I see is this:

Notes: This schedule is effective from November 22, 2010 and replaces the schedule of January 11, 2010.

And the schedule lists service running to/from T.F. Green. No disclaimer anywhere about that service not being active yet. No asterisk, no notation, no thought-bubble. So you can see the confusion.

I’ve heard from a number of people who were under the impression that the trains were running Monday. I wonder how many people will be on the platform at 6:13am Monday morning waiting for a train.

I did also ask Mr. St. Martin if there was any update on when service actually will start and it is still set to start, “sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Update:

The MBTA just updated the Providence line page.

4

Commuter Rail service to T.F. Green starts…


Image from RIDOT

No train service Monday, it was all in our imagination, and in a .pdf schedule released by the T. See all the details on the drama here.

It is not the perfect schedule by far, but it is a start. Trains will begin running to the new station at T.F. Green on Monday.

Weekday only service is scheduled as follows:

T.F. Green to Providence and South Station
T.F. Green Providence South Station
6:13am 6:33am 7:45am
6:52am 7:12am 8:16am
7:15am 7:35am 8:51am
6:27pm 6:42pm N/A
7:36pm 7:51pm N/A
7:51pm 8:06pm N/A


South Station and Providence to T.F. Green
South Station Providence T.F. Green
N/A 5:41am 6:01am
N/A 6:00am 6:25am
5:00pm 6:06pm 6:17pm
5:40pm 6:42pm 6:53pm
6:10pm 7:11pm 7:26pm



As expected, these hours are largely beneficial for a commuter from the Warwick/South County area to Boston. There are also reverse commuting options from Providence to the airport. I believe those are partially intended to allow airport workers to reverse commute down to the airport and may serve some utility for passengers grabbing shuttle flights in the early morning.

But I suspect looking at this schedule most will complain about the cost of the station for such a meager offering of service. All that can be said is this is preliminary service; service will expand when the Wickford Junction Station opens late next year.

Download the full Providence Line schedule as effective Nov. 22nd at MBTA [.pdf].

4