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Tag Archives | Kennedy Plaza

ProJo: RIPTA review to examine Providence bus ‘hubs’

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The RIPTA board unanimously agreed to ask a consultant to expand a “comprehensive operational analysis” to include a look at how shifting bus routes to Providence Station and to the Garrahy Judicial Complex would affect service and the agency’s finances.

I’ve heard some talk about this in recent weeks. Without knowing too many details (and the consultant’s analysis will actually be bringing out more details), I think a hub in the Jewelry District helps with the fact that Kennedy Plaza is so far removed from the potential jobs district at that end of the city, and a hub at the train station helps with connectivity to rail. Done right, these hubs could help mitigate the mistake of moving the train station further from the Central Business District and the fact that our Central Business District is less centralized at Kennedy Plaza than it has been through history.

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Champlin Foundation grant to fund gateway project at Burnside Park

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From the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy:


$395,000 Champlin Foundations Grant Awarded to Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy’s Kennedy Plaza Project

Funds will build a pedestrian gateway within Burnside Park

The Champlin Foundations recently granted $395,000 to the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (DPPC) and The Providence Foundation to create a pedestrian gateway within Burnside Park. This significant investment will fund a detailed design and reconstruction of the park’s northeast corner, which is a critical element of capital improvement in Greater Kennedy Plaza. An attractive new entrance by the Burnside statue and a corresponding footpath will encourage more varied, healthy activities in our downtown public spaces. By ensuring that the passageway remains safe, clean and well-lit, this project will allow travelers to easily walk through the park on their way from the train station to the RIPTA bus hub, strengthening this connection. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring, with completion expected in late summer 2014.

First proposed during a community charrette led by international placemaking experts at the Project for Public Spaces in 2008, this gateway improvement project is one of several transformative changes planned within Greater Kennedy Plaza next year. The city of Providence has committed $1.7 million from its downtown circulator project to reconfigure traffic patterns around the parks. With support from RIPTA, plans call for the relocation of bus berths to the outside of Kennedy Plaza to make way for a pedestrian plaza and market.

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Christmas tree lighting in Kennedy Plaza – December 7, 2013

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All the details on this Saturday’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony and other festivities from the City of Providence:


Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 6pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Families and residents are invited to kick-off the festive season of shopping and homecomings in the Capital City on Saturday, when Mayor Angel Taveras hosts the City of Providence’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting festivities.

The ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m. at the Bank of America Skating Center. It will be emceed by Mayor Taveras and NBC 10’s Morning anchor, Barbara Morse Silva. Tony the Dancing Cop will be stationed at Washington Street and Dorrance Street at 5:30pm to welcome guests.

The ceremony will include performances by RPM Voices of Rhode Island featuring RPM Youth Voices, the Brown University Skating Band and the 4th and 5th grade chorus from the Lillian Feinstein at Sackett Street Elementary School. A figure skating demonstration by regional award winners will follow the ceremony, and Santa will be on the ice when public skating resumes.

Members of the Johnson & Wales University chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa will provide refreshments and sell ornaments to benefit Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Stanley Tree Service is donating crane service for the trees.

The event is sponsored by the Providence Department of Parks and Recreation, the Providence Tourism Council, Whole Foods Market University Heights, Dave’s Coffee and Zipcar Providence.

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Greater Kennedy Plaza summer season programming Survey

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Greater Kennedy Plaza is seeking your input on the outdoor programming that takes place there, see information below:

Many thanks for a great outdoor programming season in Greater Kennedy Plaza! Many of you have told us all season how much what we do improves the place we all share – and your ideas for improving on it – here is your chance to help us learn how to continually improve our programming and our public spaces downtown by filling out this quick online survey. Completing a survey gets you a chance to win one of two Prize Packs which include a membership to the Providence Children’s Museum, Fourpack for free ice skating & rentals to the Providence Rink, and a Dave & Buster’s power card. First winner will be drawn on Friday.

Take the Survey

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy Board.
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Last Burnside Park Beer Garden of the season

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Photo from Greater Kennedy Plaza

After being extended for two more weeks, tonight is for real the last Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series event of the year.

We’ve had a great season featuring a wide array of local music–clearly Providence has a wealth of talent! We have one more night for you on Thursday, Sept 19.

Grupo Sazon, is an amazing Latin band featuring master percussionist Jesus Andujar. This high energy band, with Latin and Cuban influences, have lit up the WaterFire stage twice this season to rave reviews! What a great way to end the park series and usher in Fall.

As always, relax before the show at the Trinity Brewhouse + Revival beer garden – serving locally brewed beer and wine starting at 4:30PM (music at 5:30PM)! Lawn games + food truck fare throughout – including Fancheezical, Lotus Pepper, Noble Knots, Panino Express + Like No Udder.

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Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series extended!

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Due to popular demand, and the generous support of our sponsors, the Burnside Park Music Series has been extended two more weeks!

We’ve had a great season featuring a wide array of local music–clearly Providence has a wealth of talent! We extend the series with two fabulous bands:

  • September 12, 2013: Justin Breault Jazz Trio featuring special guests including Miss Wensday whose powerful voice will get everyone’s attention!
  • September 19, 2013: Grupo Sazon, an amazing Latin band featuring master percussionist Jesus Andujar. This high energy band, with Latin and Cuban influences, have lit up the WaterFire stage twice this season to rave reviews! What a great way to end the park series and usher in Fall.

As always, relax before the show at the Trinity Brewhouse + Revival beer garden – serving locally brewed beer and wine starting at 4:30PM (music at 5:30PM)! Lawn games + food truck fare throughout – including Fancheezical, Lotus Pepper, Noble Knots, Panino Express + Like No Udder.

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Last Burnside Park Beer Garden of the season – Today at 4:30pm

Don’t miss the last show of the SUMMER SEASON!

beer-gardenDon’t let the morning showers fool you – great forecast for tonight as Mark Cutler and the Men of Great Courage & Sara Azriel take the Burnside Stage. Plus the Trinity Brewhouse & Revival Brewing Company beer garden, and delicious dinner from Fancheezical Providence, Lotus Pepper and Like No Udder! It’s the last show of the summer season – Beer Garden at 4:30, music at 5:15!

See the event page on Facebook.

See you there!

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Ribbon-Cutting of Burnside Park ‘Imagination Station’ – August 22, 2013

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Ribbon-Cutting by Mayor Taveras of the new ‘Imagination Station’ in Burnside Park kicks off a day of events.

Mayor Angel Taveras, the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and Southwest Airlines will unveil and open a new ‘Imagination Center’ in Burnside Park on Thursday, August 22. The Imagination Center, created with a grant from Southwest Airlines, will serve as a new place for children’s activities within Burnside Park.

The Imagination Center is a fun destination for arts and crafts, interactive play and more, bringing the local community together and enriching the current activities in Burnside Park. The Center will be surrounded by picnic tables, beanbags and a wood deck, and will also include book carts, planting beds, and an Imagination playground play set.

Mayor Angel Taveras and representatives of Southwest Airlines and the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy will hold a ribbon-cutting for the new Center at 10 a.m., kicking off a day of scheduled activities at Burnside Park.

Activities include:

  • 10am–10:30am: Official ribbon-cutting
  • 10:30am–11:30am: Join Kidoinfo Storytime with Mayor Taveras, who will read his book, How to Do Well in School, along with guests local illustrator Jen Corace and author/illustrator Alison Paul
  • 11:30am–12:30pm: Participate in a Kidoinfo Art in the Park project based on Dr. Suess’ Yertle the Turtle
  • 12:30pm–1pm: Enjoy complimentary PVD Pops popsicles for participating children, participate in additional art projects and receive complimentary blank books and instructions for how to make your own book
  • 1pm–2pm: Experience the Imagination Playground with free play and table games for children
  • 4:30pm–7:30pm: Listen to a musical performance at the Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden, while enjoying beverages from Trinity Brewhouse

Full disclosure, I am a member of the Board of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy.

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Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series is a go for this evening

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Careful, if you ask me to hold your beer, I might drink it.

Slight change of plans. The band will be playing and the beer will be flowing, but it will be taking place inside at Trinity Brewhouse, see you there!

There is a chance of a passing shower this afternoon, but the surprising fall-like chill in the air makes it a perfect evening to drink beers in the park and listen to great music.

Come on out and hear the Criss Cross Orchestra perform in Burnside Park, 4:30pm-7pm. See you there!

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NEA grant to support effort to build “cultural corridor” along Washington Street

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Washington Street. Photo (cc) Sean_Marshall.

Mayor Angel Taveras, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, the Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and FirstWorks announced yesterday that the City of Providence will receive a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant. The $75,000 grant will support a community design effort to create a cultural corridor in downtown Providence along Washington Street, and to establish the FirstWorks Festival on the Plaza as a biennial signature event in Providence.

The city’s Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and cultural partner FirstWorks will use the award to continue the transformation of Kennedy Plaza, a key component of Mayor Taveras’ economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work.

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Barry Schiller: Providence Planning Hosts Meeting on Kennedy Plaza, Downtown Circulation

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Barry Schiller, a retired Rhode Island College math professor, is a long-time member of the State Planning Council’s Transportation Advisory Committee. He also was on the RIPTA Board of Directors 1995-1999.

Overall: good ideas on the parts of the project about 2-way streets and pedestrian and bike improvements around downtown, but on Kennedy Plaza, a net loss for bus riders, but not as much as once feared.

The project: extend 2-way on Empire, 2-way on Dorrance in front of the Biltmore, and on Exchange Terrace on north side of Burnside Park; narrow Fountain Street by widening sidewalk, maybe include a bike lane and add “public space” at the squares on both ends (La Salle Square, Emmet Square) to slow traffic and be much more pedestrian friendly;

Kennedy Plaza: no change in RIPTA waiting room but the adjacent plaza will have much more public space by eliminating the inner berths and bus lanes. Thus we’d go from 8 bus-only lanes to 4; possible amenities added such as more seating, plantings, public art, and maybe more shelters if funding permits. The 16 current bus berths there now (4 sets of 4 each) would be reduced to 10 – 4 eastbound on the north side, 5 (one more than now) westbound on the south side, and one new one on Exchange Street across from the court house. The loss of berths would be partly made up by another bus berth up the hill on the little street where the trolleys now stop, and another new berth behind the Q stop on Exchange St where the Newport buses stop. Thus there is a net loss of 4 berths. If more berths are ever needed, likely to be on north side of Burnside Park on Exchange Terrace, or up Exchange Street near Memorial Blvd by the undeveloped triangle of land there.

Unresolved issues: what to do with intercity Peter Pan/Greyhound buses; whether there will be a fence separating the bus lane from Washington Street traffic which could help direct pedestrian crossings; funding for more shelters; who is in charge of snow removal.

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