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Occupy Providence to vacate Burnside Park after reaching agreement with the City

Snow - January 21, 2012

Press Release from the City of Providence (see below for details about this afternoon’s Occupy Providence Press Conference):

Peaceful End to Occupy Movement’s Burnside Park Encampment Distinguishes Providence Nationally

Mayor Taveras applauds Providence Diocese for opening day shelter

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence will open and staff a homeless day shelter in response to the identified need for such a resource. The day shelter makes way for the peaceful end of Occupy Providence’s encampment in Burnside Park.

The day shelter will be housed at the Diocese of Providence’s Emmanuel House in South Providence, which the Diocese established as an emergency winter overflow homeless shelter in December, 2010 at the site of the former Carter Day Care facility.

The City of Providence, though not in a position to open and resource a day shelter, was successful at convening homeless advocates and other community partners to reach a mediated resolution to Occupy Providence’s encampment in Burnside Park.

Mayor Taveras expressed his gratitude to Bishop Thomas J. Tobin and the Diocese of Providence for their efforts. The Mayor also thanked Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré and City Solicitor Jeffrey Padwa leading the city’s response to the encampment in Burnside Park, which nationally distinguishes Providence’s response to the Occupy movement.

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Snowblogging: Twice in one week!

I am going to try to not sidewalk rant here. It is still snowing, so by right, no one is required to have their sidewalks clear, but expect a little ranting to sneak in, I can’t help myself!

I was out between noon and 1pm and did a big loop through Downcity to Waterplace and back.

Snow - January 21, 2012

Right off the bat, a little rant, I told you I can’t help myself. Well not so much a rant as a surprise; the sidewalks at Dominica Manor have not been touched today. They do not need to be per regulations, but they are usually out clearing snow all day on a day like this. Budget problems?

I didn’t take a photo, but as always, Angelo’s was clear. Someone was out shoveling and salting as I walked by.

Again, dumbfounded here, my ranting is bearing fruit. Someone (I assume the City though it is a State bridge) dumped a metric ton of salt on the Atwells Avenue Bridge sidewalks.

Snow - January 21, 2012

Of course then the plows pushed snow up on top of it. The sidewalk on the other side faired better and was actually clear, even as I walked back and the snow was getting heavier.

Snow - January 21, 2012

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The Occupation and Public Space

Occupy Providence

Occupy Providence in Burnside Park. Photo © Jonathan Beller from Facebook.

Eventually, at some point, the current situation with Occupy Providence at Burnside Park is going to change. In this post I’m not trying to talk about what the movement is trying to accomplish, or to take a side, or to pass judgement, this is about what that next step could be and how the park can/might play a roll in the future.

As has been widely reported, the City has begun taking action to set up for removing the protesters from the park, Occupy Providence has a copy of the eviction notice from Commissioner Pare here. The notice basically tells protesters they are in violation of a number of city ordinances, most notably, remaining in the park after it closes at 9pm. The notice gives the protesters 72 hours to comply, which would result in them needing to be out by Sunday evening.

Occupy Providence is calling for people to join them on Sunday in the park in an action they are refering to as “Solidarity Sunday” to resist eviction. As the AP reports, Comissioner Pare has stated that the police will not forcibly evict protesters on Sunday evening if they remain in violation of the eviction notice.

Commissioner Steven Pare tells WPRO-AM the city won’t “physically remove them” from Burnside Park and instead will seek to force them out “peacefully and civilly” through the court system.

He said that could take several weeks.

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News & Notes: Parking Edition

Parking

News & Notes

→ Chicago Proposes “Congestion Fee” On Parking to Fund Transit [Streetsblog]

In last winter’s Chicago mayoral election, all the leading candidates made ambitious promises to increase funding for the city’s struggling transit agency. Now, with a proposed $2 “congestion fee” – really a downtown surcharge on the city’s parking tax – Emanuel plans to make drivers pay their fair share and use the proceeds to build a new rail station and the city’s first bus rapid transit line.

Under Emanuel’s plan, anyone parking in a downtown lot or garage would be required to pay an additional $2 on top of the existing parking tax. Drivers parking on the street or in residential garages wouldn’t be taxed, though according to the Chicago Tribune, some transportation advocates want to see the fee extended to downtown meters. According to the Sun-Times, the fee would raise roughly $28 million.

We don’t even have a parking tax, check out Chicago’s current parking tax.


→ It’s the Parking, Stupid: One Transportation Consultant’s Tough Love Approach [The Atlantic Cities]

Transportation consultant Jeffrey Tumlin figures that you’ve got to be colorful when you’re talking about the intractable problems of urban parking infrastructure. As such, he describes what he does this way: “Our business operates like a methadone clinic to get cities off their parking addictions,” he says. “And each addict goes through a different route.”

Tumlin starts with another great metaphor: What would happen if we gave all children free ice cream? They would, undoubtedly, be thrilled. But in the process we’d also be creating obesity, driving up the price of milk, and probably causing a cheese shortage. “And just as it would be very bad economic and social policy to provide free ice cream for all children,” Tumlin says, “it is also bad to provide free parking for all motorists.”


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