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Tag Archives | Kennedy Plaza

PBN: State approves $8M for historic renovations across R.I.

The state Division of Taxation has approved nearly $8 million in state historic preservation tax credits to seven projects in several cities, including for works that will create new purposes for old industrial buildings.


This is quite a list of buildings, some pretty important to the streetscapes of the city. Let’s take a look at the ones in Providence:

Freedom City Properties LLC – 431 Harris Avenue, Providence

Image from the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

In Eagle Square, Freedom City Properties LLC is renovating the former American Brewing Co. building (better known as Capital Records Management) into artists workspaces, a theatre, and apartments.

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Boo City at Burnside Music Series + Beer Garden – July 7, 2016

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Boo City – Image courtesy of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy © Curt Allan

Canceled due to the imminent risk of severe weather.

The weekly Music Series + Beer Garden kicks off for the season this Thursday at Burnside Park in Kennedy Plaza:


You’ve earned it, Providence: an entire season of afternoons in the park. The sun on your face, the breeze in your hair, a well-deserved drink in your hand, and FREE MUSIC!

Every Thursday this summer from July 7th to September 8th, Burnside Park will be transformed into your favorite restaurant, your family outing, your afternoon date, and your patio bar. Lounge on the grass, grab a bite from your favorite food truck, or sidle up to the tables and chairs at Trinity Brewhouse’s beer garden (open from 4:30-7:30 every Thursday!). Live music from 5:30-7 ensures that your personal dance hall, showspace, and musician’s salon is but a stroll downtown away.

Whether you’re wrapping up work, heading in for your shift, cavorting with friends, or just reveling in something other than winter, join us by the fountain Thursday afternoons. You work hard. You deserve it.

Facebook event page

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ProJo: R.I. begins moving on RIPTA bus hub project at Providence Amtrak Station

Rhode Island officials have taken the first small step toward building a multimillion-dollar bus hub at the Providence Amtrak Station, potentially as part of a larger real estate project with a private developer.

On Monday, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Board approved hiring Chicago-based real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle to talk to developers, promote the project and help put together bid documents to seek private investment.

[…]

A memo from Commerce Corporation Senior Project Manager Michael Walker given to the Commerce board described Jones Lang Lasalle’s task as: “…to assist with the outreach to the developer community to identify and promote the development opportunity, structure the data requirements that a successful solicitation will require in order to be favorably received by developers, and to draft the Request for Proposals that [the Department of Transportation] will issue to solicit the private investment in this first-of-a kind transit project in Rhode Island.”

I’m all about public/private partnerships, the land around the station is far too valuable to be just a bus station. And bringing in a private developer to team up on this project is the definition of Transit Oriented Development. But boy do I fear concessions to the developer whittling away at the benefits to transit riders that this project could realize.

Please oh please Rhode Island, don’t f*ck it up!

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ProJo: RIPTA turns focus to expansion near Rhode Island Hospital

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Rhode Island Hospital area. Image from Bing Maps

Although RIPTA still expects to create a bus stop or stops at Garrahy, transit planners don’t envision a “hub” or terminal there and actually see more potential for expansion farther south, near Rhode Island Hospital.

“Rhode Island Hospital is a huge ridership area for us,” said Amy Pettine, RIPTA’s executive director of planning. “Garrahy emerged as an opportunity, but with the hospital as a key anchor, we will probably need something further south.”

RIPTA is working with the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, which is building the Garrahy garage, on determining what kind of mass transit presence makes sense, from a regular stop, to a “super stop” with passenger amenities and a place for drivers to take a break.


We need to consider the 195 Land and the Jewelry District as part of downtown. Operationally, I think it could work out better to have hubs on the periphery of downtown (Train Station Hub and Hospital Hub) rather than one on the edge and one kind of in the middle (Garrahy Garage). Hubs on the edge with routes from north and south converging at them allows for through-routing buses on narrowly defined corridors through downtown, creating corridors with high-frequency service.

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – January 13, 2016

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Capital Center Commission Meeting Notice
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – 12:00 noon
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

ccc-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    2.1 Approval of Commission Meeting Minutes of September 9, 2015
    2.2 Acceptance of DRC Meeting Minutes of June 16, 2015, August 4, 2015, October 6, 2015, and November 3, 2015
  3. Acceptance of 2016 CCC Meeting Schedule
  4. Election of Officers
  5. Parcel 12: Public Hearing
    Application for Development and Deviations from the Development Review Regulations related to the construction of a new hotel building. The applicant will also be seeking variances from Section 604 of the Zoning Ordinance from the Zoning Board of Review.
  6. Parcel 12: Action
    Action on the Application for Development and Deviations from the Development Review Regulations related to the construction of a new hotel building, and on the request for variances from Section 604 of the Zoning Ordinance.
  7. Adjournment

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Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting – December 15, 2015

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Capital Center Commission Meeting
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 • 8:00 am
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

ccc-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Meetings of August 4, 2015, October 6, 2015 and November 3, 2015
  3. Acceptance of 2016 CCDRC Meeting Schedule
  4. Parcel 12
    Continued design review of plans for the construction of a new hotel on the property. (The DRC made a recommendation to the Capital Center Commission for the application for development and deviations, and to the Zoning Board of Review for zoning variances, at a public hearing held on November 3, 2015).
  5. Adjournment
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Rhode Island Transit Future: A Strategy for Economic Growth, the Green Way

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Hudson-Bergen Light Rail vehicle operating on the street in Jersey City, NJ. Photo (cc) Wally Gobetz

This post was submitted to Greater City Providence by Roger Leaf.

walkinpvd-iconThere were two important takeaways from last week’s symposium on making mass transit work for Rhode Island. The first, made by Grow Smart RI’s Executive Director, Scott Wolf, was that only 2.7% of Rhode Islanders use public transit, about half the national average, despite being the second most densely populated state. According to the U.S. Census, only 8% of commuters in Providence took public transit in 2010, compared to 33% in Boston, 27% in Cambridge, and 21% in Hartford – even New Haven has 50% more transit commuters than Providence does.

The second key takeaway, made by leaders from the Minneapolis, Denver, and Hartford transit systems, was that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to public transit. Here again, Rhode Island seems out of step, with a bus-only network that only meets the needs of a small percentage of its citizens. With nearly 80% of the state already living within 10-minutes of a transit stop, it seems unlikely that RIPTA will be able to really move the needle on ridership unless it is willing to consider other approaches.

Bus transit offers many benefits: up front costs for infrastructure are low, and rerouting bus routes in response to changing rider demand is relatively easy. But RIPTA’s single-hub bus network hasn’t worked well for Providence. Kennedy Plaza feels like a barren, bus parking lot, adding to congestion and discouraging downtown development, and it is nearly impossible to get from one place in the region to another without passing through Kennedy Plaza. Other modes of transportation have been considered, most notably a downtown streetcar system and BRT along the 6-10 corridor, but both of these are expensive for the limited benefit they provide. In addition to growing its ridership, RIPTA should be looking for new ways to reduce congestion and pollution, to stimulate and support targeted development, make the region more competitive for jobs, and improve the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders. It needs to seriously consider light rail.

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RIPTA Riders Alliance: Suggestions on how to really make transit work

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This post was submitted to Greater City Providence by the RIPTA Riders Alliance.

walkinpvd-iconIn consideration of how to “make transit work,” the subject of the December 1st CTC conference which was to address the relatively low rate of commute-by-transit in Rhode Island, the RIPTA Riders Alliance distributed this list of challenges and possible strategies to deal with them.

Mostly it is about operational and promotional improvements rather than big infrastructure capital projects.


Challenge

1. Lack of operating funds to implement key Strategic Plan goals including increased frequency, route improvements, real-time bus info.

Response

Work with stakeholders, the Governor’s office, and legislators to really establish a funding stream that grows with inflation and need.


Challenge

2. Very inadequate snow removal from bus stops and shelters after storms.

Response

Convene stakeholder group including Governor’s Office, RIDOT, RIPTA, Lamar, municipalities, snowplow operators, police, DPWs, and advocacy groups to work out plans and responsibilities to address this issue.


Challenge

3. Bus trips often slow.

Response

Expand signal priority/green light extension to more key lines (e.g. Chalkstone, Elmwood, Cranston Street, etc); make preloaded smart-cards widely available to speed boarding, with discount incentives for their wide use; investigate BRT opportunities and new express services (e.g. Providence-Pawtucket, Newport limited stops)


Challenge

4. A very significant 30% to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the northeast come from transportation, but this is slower to be addressed than energy and commercial sectors.

Response

Addressing climate change is a reason to enhance and promote transit and should be part of the discussion at the task forces that address climate change. Legislation that proposes assessments or taxes on greenhouse emissions should provide funding for public transit operations or infrastructure.


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Rhode Island Transit Future: Ideas – Late Night Bus Routes – RIPTA-24

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RIPTA bus at night. Photo (cc) .sanden.

This post was submitted Greater City Providence reader Peter Brassard. If you’ve written something you’d like us to consider posting, please contact us and let us know.
This is second of a series on ideas for Rhode Island’s transit future.

walkinpvd-iconIn recent articles and comments to posts, people have suggested that RIPTA might do better if it offered 24-hour service. Twenty-four hour transit would serve a population that is generally forced to drive, which includes nighttime service workers, hospital employees, restaurant, bar and nightclub goers, and travelers.

I started looking at what night service might look like, but before this Boston Globe article came out about the MBTA late night service being on the chopping block.

Regarding the Boston area transit system, besides being more extensive than Rhode Island’s, they have the challenge of providing both nighttime bus and subway service. With the subway the costs go up dramatically, especially if trains are mostly empty. The Providence area is nowhere as complicated as in Boston, so a simpler strategy is possible for providing an affordable late night service.

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2015 Burnside Music Series + Beer Garden starts Thursday, July 9, 2015

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The Kennedy Plaza Beer Garden is back! Starting this Thursday, July 9th and every Thursday through September 10th in Burnside Park. More information from Greater Kennedy Plaza:


2015 Burnside Music Series + Beer Garden

The time is nigh, friends, and not a moment too soon! Join us every Thursday this summer for beautiful times in Burnside Park, replete with delightful bevs by Trinity Brewhouse, delicious food by Rhode Island’s greatest food trucks, casual jams by celebrity DJs, and of course, the finest tunes Rhode Island has to offer, courtesy of a kaleidoscopic array of astounding musicians.

Each and every Thursday, July 9 – September 10, the Trinity Beer Garden will open for business at 4:30 pm. Mill about and sip sangria to the melodious sounds of DJ LaRochelle from 4:30 – 6pm, and enjoy live music from 6 – 7pm.

We are getting our groove on just thinking about our first act SALSA Y GAITAS, who graced us with their sultry music during the Providence International Arts Fest! Salsa with Sangria, what better way to kick off the Summer Season?!

Rendezvous in front of the fountain! Treat yourself, Providence! You’re worth it!

See the Facebook event page for the full summer line-up of music.
Full disclosure: I am on the Board of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and my employer, Cornish Associates, is sponsoring this week’s Beer Garden.
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Downtown Farmers Market in Kennedy Plaza starts today – July 7, 2015

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The Downtown Farmers Market in Kennedy Plaza is back starting today and every Tuesday through the end of October. More information from Greater Kennedy Plaza:


Welcome back, Downtown Farmers Market!

Downtown Farmers Market + Kidoinfo Play in the Park
Tuesdays 3 – 6PM
July 7th – October 27th

Welcome back to the Downtown Farmers Market with Farm Fresh Rhode Island! Stroll the outskirts of Burnside Park for all of your fresh veggie and locally produced comestible needs! Bring your appetite as well, because this dinnertime market has food trucks to feed you!

Concurrently, Kidoinfo Play in the Park will offer family friendly activities and playspace. The Imagination Center will be open, with the Open Air Reading Room and Imagination Playspace! Bring friends and family to make an afternoon of it!

Featured Play in the Park partner for July & August is playScience
with Miss Katie bringing you fun, interactive music and science activities each week! This week, in honor of Independence Day we bring you Marching Music!

2015 Downtown Farmers Market Vendor Lineup!

  • Pezza Farm
  • Mello Farm
  • Barden Family Orchard
  • Blackbird Farm
  • Ellie’s Bakery
  • Cafe Havav
  • Farm Fresh & Co.

This weeks featured Food Truck: Rocket Fine Street Food!

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Providence Bike to Work Day – May 15, 2015

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From the Facebook event page:


Friday, May 15, 2015
7:30am – 9:30am
Burnside Park

With spring in the air, the City of Providence and the RI Bicycle Coalition invite you to celebrate Bike to Work Day as part of National Bike Month.

Free coffee and food will be provided to participants. Other activities include:

  • Bike demos
  • Raffles
  • Bike-powered charging station for your electronics
  • Photo booth
  • Information from community organizations and local vendors

Mayor Elorza is excited to demonstrate his support for bike commuting by leading one of the six bike trains to Bike to Work Day! Join one of these 1-3 mile trains starting in different locations across the city. Meet your bike train leaders at one of the following stops at 7:30am to bike downtown together.

  • Train 1 starting location: Neutaconkanut Recreation Center – Mayor Elorza’s train!
  • Train 2 starting location: Mount Pleasant High School
  • Train 3 starting location: Lippitt Park
  • Train 4 starting location: Roger Williams Park
  • Train 5 starting location: Wayland Square
  • Train 6 starting location: Coventry Bike Path– intermediate level – captains will also lead a ride home at the end of the work day
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Traffic changes coming to Exchange Terrace

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From the City:


Changes to Traffic Pattern around Kennedy Plaza Beginning December 22

The City of Providence today announced upcoming changes to the traffic pattern on Exchange Terrace. Beginning Monday morning, December 22, Exchange Terrace (East Approach to Exchange Street) will be changed to accommodate 2-way traffic. The remainder of Exchange Terrace will allow two-way traffic later in 2015 when improvements to Emmitt Square are completed.

In preparation for this change, the southern portion of Exchange Terrace (East Approach to Exchange St.) will be barreled off Thursday morning, December 18, to allow westbound traffic to become used to driving on the northern part of Exchange Terrace prior to the switch.

There is a variable message board facing the westbound approach at the Exchange Street/Steeple St. intersection alerting motorists of the change in traffic pattern.

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Kennedy Plaza bus stops to re-open January 17, 2015

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Kennedy Plaza re-opens this Saturday, check where to find your new bus stop. Winter service schedules also go into effect on Saturday, visit RIPTA to see your schedule.

From RIPTA:


RIPTA Announces January Reopening of Kennedy Plaza Transit Hub in Downtown Providence

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will welcome passengers back to the newly-renovated Kennedy Plaza transit hub on Saturday, January 17, officials announced Tuesday.

The plaza has been closed since the summer as RIPTA and the City of Providence worked to enhance the safety and aesthetics of the plaza located in front of Providence City Hall. The enhancements – which include new lighting, improved signage and trees – will make it safer and easier for passengers to make their bus connections while also creating a pedestrian-friendly plaza in downtown Providence.

RIPTA staff will be reaching out to riders and distributing information on the new bus stop locations between now and the January reopening.

While some earlier projections had targeted late fall for the plaza reopening, the work took longer than initially expected and there were also some design modifications made during the process.

“When passengers and pedestrians see the new plaza, we think that they’ll feel it was worth the wait,” said Barbara Polichetti, Director of Public Affairs for RIPTA. “What once was a congested traffic area is now a plaza with trees, easy-to-read signs, and plenty of room for bus passengers and pedestrians alike,” she said. “We really appreciate the patience of our riders, the public and surrounding businesses.”

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Providence Rink opens Saturday, November 15, 2014

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From the City of Providence:


The Providence Rink Opens Saturday, November 15th for the 2014-2015 Season

The Providence Rink will be open for ice skating season starting on Saturday, November 15th at 10:00am. Regular hours of operation during the week are Monday through Friday, 10am until 10pm and new hours for Saturdays and Sundays are 10am until 10pm. The Rink is open on all winter holidays.

General admission is $7 for adults, $4 for seniors, $4 for children (12 and under), and $4 for military. Skate rentals are $5 and skate sharpening is $7. Season passes are available and priced as $90 for an adult, $200 family of four, $50 children and seniors. Special rates are available for birthday parties, school groups, business and social groups, and for full ice rental for private events. Visit www.providencerink.com for details and to make your reservations.

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CNU New England: Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza Walkabout and Panel Discussion – October 15, 2014

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Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza: Walkabout and Panel Discussion

Providence, Rhode Island
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Please join CNU New England for a walkabout in Providence’s Kennedy Plaza and panel discussion at Aurora to review the progress, programming, and next steps for the Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza. Through a public-private partnership between the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and the City of Providence, this project seeks to create a pedestrian-friendly environment, encourage transit ridership, bolster economic well-being, promote arts and culture, and encourage tourism. The first steps toward implementation of the long-term vision are under construction, so please come join us to discuss what’s next. “Ideas for admission” are encouraged at the door – provide your walkabout observations and thoughts regarding next steps toward implementation of the vision.


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