Governor Chafee and RIDOT Announce Free Parking at Commuter Rail Stations for Rest of Winter
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that parking at the garages at the Interlink at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick and at Wickford Junction Station in North Kingstown will be free for the reminder of the winter.
“As we have seen over the past couple of days, travel conditions and parking in Providence have been anything but normal because of the blizzard,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “In consideration of what has happened, and the expectations of future storms in the coming weeks, we have decided to provide free parking at our commuter rail stations to make it easier for people to get to work for the rest of the winter.”
Commuters taking advantage of the free parking will receive validated tickets allowing them to exit the parking garages at T.F. Green and Wickford at no charge through Friday, March 29, 2013. Fares from Warwick and Wickford to Providence are $3 and $3.25, respectively, each way. Fares to from these stations to Boston’s South Station cost $10.50 and $11, respectively. Full schedule and fare information can be found on RIDOT’s website at www.dot.ri.gov.
“While we can clear roads in a relatively short time following snowstorms, major weather events such as the blizzard leave huge volumes of snow that create hazardous situations for many days with slick and narrowed roadways, snow-covered breakdown lanes and less parking,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “These problems are being experienced all across Rhode Island, but are greatly exacerbated in a dense, urban environment such as Providence.”
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This scandal at RIPTA is just what the agency doesn’t need. Although, maybe if a thorough cleaning of the house results, it will turn out to be exactly what it does need. Let’s hope politics can keep out of the way of truth and sanity.
Governor Chafee Asks State Police to Secure RIPTA Records, Launch Investigation to Ensure Proper Handling of State Resources
State Police Second-in-Command to Assist with Management of Agency
Need for Intervention Discovered as Result of Governor Chafee’s
Request for Performance and Accountability Review
Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Steven G. O’Donnell, and Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) Board Chairman Mayor Scott Avedisian today announced that they have asked the State Police to look into the possible mishandling of public resources at RIPTA. Thursday night, Governor Chafee asked the Rhode Island State Police to secure RIPTA’s internal records in an effort to protect potential evidence of wrongdoing within that agency.
Colonel O’Donnell has assigned Lieutenant Colonel Raymond B. Studley, Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Field Operations for the State Police, to coordinate the investigation and assist with the management of the agency.
“Serious allegations of wrongdoing have been made in the course of RIPTA’s top-to-bottom review,” Governor Chafee said. “Mayor Avedisian and I believe that these allegations are serious and that in order to preserve the public trust an investigation by the State Police is warranted.”
“I want to make clear, though, that these allegations involve only a small, small portion of the total population employed by the State of Rhode Island, and should in no way reflect on the vast majority of hardworking, honest state employees,” Governor Chafee continued.
“Mayor Avedisian and I have asked Lieutenant Colonel Studley to work with RIPTA to coordinate the investigation and assist with operations, identify process improvements, and generally assist the organization. He is a proven leader and manager and a man of unwavering honesty and integrity. He is there to be a resource and an asset,” Governor Chafee concluded.
This morning the Providence Performing Arts Center was joined by Mayor Angel Taveras and Governor Lincoln Chafee in officially unveiling the new PPAC Square, otherwise known as the intersection of Weybosset and Mathewson Streets.
At the event, PPAC’s President Lynn Singleton presented Governor Chafee with a Founder’s Award in recognition of work he did as a U.S. Senator to secure funding for the roadway project. PPAC Square is part of Providence’s Traffic Circulation Improvements project.
The Downtown Providence Traffic Circulation Improvements Phase, of which the PPAC Square work was included, began in April 2011. The $5.5 million project restored two-way traffic on Weybosset and Empire Streets for the first time since the 1970s, while maintaining curbside parking on both sides of Empire Street. The PPAC Square project installed a dedicated drop off lane immediately in front of the theater and built out a functional traffic median that includes new sidewalks, 25 trees, granite planters, bike racks and new benches. The downtown project was supported with $4.7 million of federal funding, $700,000 of matching funds from the state and a nearly $1 million appropriation secured by PPAC for improvements within PPAC Square. An additional $800,000 was procured through a Providence Public Building Authority Bond.
Though Governor Chafee made a great show of improving the DMV early in his term, we still hear no end of complaints about the agency. Below is an email a reader sent us about her recent experience:
I spent an hour on hold where a single sentence repeats over and over and over just to get to a voicemail box of an employee in the communications department?
I need my vehicle title returned. There seems to be an online database that I could use to accomplish this task, but can’t access without paying a huge amount of money. Why restrict it? So many of your customers could be using online tools instead of perpetually unavailable personnel to solve their problems.
I paid to register my car and my title was sequestered. Now I need to pay to recover it? And waste hours of my time to get no service whatsoever?
Your service is so terrible that dealing with you is the most dreaded errand of any errand. I’d rather spend a day cleaning toilets with a toothbrush than visit your offices. At least I would know that my goal was something that could be accomplished.
You have a new building, and NOTHING has improved except for your lobby. You should have stayed in Pawtucket, hired 10 more people for customer service, and 5 people to put any service possible online for FREE.
How have your experiences at the DMV been of late? Better? Worse? You wish you were dead so you’d never have to go there again?
Governor Lincoln Chafee’s State of the State and budget address:
Remarks as Prepared
January 31, 2012
Mr. Speaker, Madam President, members of the General Assembly, fellow General Officers, members of the Judiciary, distinguished guests, and my fellow Rhode Islanders.
This evening represents an important chance for us to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in the upcoming year. But it also offers an opportunity to reflect on where we have been, and to remember those who came before us. In that spirit, I’d like to pay homage to a friend who died last week, Governor Garrahy, and honor him with a moment of silence.
[Moment of silence.]
Throughout Governor Garrahy’s long and distinguished career, as a legislator, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor, he always put the people of Rhode Island first. That was the key to his phenomenal success in politics and as a person.
I especially want to remember one aspect of his leadership. Governor Garrahy was a true gentleman. He treated everyone – including his political foes – with dignity. The highest official of our state was completely down to earth, and always approachable. As we prepare to debate the issues of our time, and work to address our daunting challenges, let us learn from Governor Garrahy and treat one another with respect. Like him, we are all Rhode Islanders, and we all want what is best for the people of our great state.
We’re taking a look back at 2011. What Cheering the good and What Jeering the bad.
You guys all know there are like a dozen cities all over the country that are insanely jealous that we tore down our downtown expressway, right?
Putting aside what happens with the 195 Commission (we’ll talk about that in a minute), it is so totally awesome that the highway is gone. Even without any development happening yet, the Jewelry District has been transformed. Suddenly, with the highway gone, people realize the Jewelry District is on the edge of Downcity. And while the sidewalks aren’t exactly jammed, it is certainly noticeable how many people now choose to walk between Downcity and the Jewelry District, who would not before.
Broadway Bike Lanes / Gano Street Sharrows
We also saw the city’s first sharrows show up on Gano and other streets, helping to connect the East Bay and Blackstone bike paths.
Let’s hope we see more bike infrastructure sprouting up on streets all over town in 2012.
35 Weybosset Façade
It is going to mean a parking lot, but a parking lot was in the cards all along, we’ve saved the façade for future use and that is going to greatly blunt the impact of the parking lot.
Thanks to the Providence Preservation Society, the Providence Revolving Fund, and all others involved in saving the façade.
The Boston Globe reports on plans by Harvard University to jump start development on its land in North Allston by teaming up with private partners. The University’s plan would bring in private investors to develop a life sciences complex in the Boston neighborhood across the Charles River from their main Cambridge campus.
Does any of this sound familiar, a large institution, crossing a river, developing life sciences”¦ Of course we’re obsessed right now with the Route 195 land, but the fact is, Brown already has numerous holdings in the Jewelry District, chiefly along Richmond Street, before even going after Route 195 parcels.