Tag Archives | Parking

Local News & Notes


Proposed South Street Landing parking garage. Rendering by Spagnolo Gisness & Associates, Inc.

I’ve been quite busy offline the last few weeks. Here’s a selection of local stories I’ve been trying to catch myself up on: New MBTA ‘bullet trains’ will get riders from Worcester to Boston in less than an hour

Riding the rails from Worcester to Boston should take less time come May. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Wednesday announced the addition of a non-stop bullet train and two additional express trains on the Worcester/Framingham line.

“This is a game changer,” Polito said, referring to it as a quality of life issue. “For the first time ever, a non-stop train leaves Worcester and arrives in Boston in less than an hour.

Can the Providence line haz ‘bullet trains’ too pleaz?

The Providence Journal Fed-ordered drainage work will cost RIDOT $112 million

Faced with a consent decree requiring it to comply with federal clean water rules, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation has budgeted $112 million over the next decade to clean and repair its ailing network of drainage systems around the state.

DOT director Peter Alviti said the state agency plans to annually spend between $6.6 million and $16.8 million on drainage improvements as part of its 10-year strategic plan in a bid to correct years of inaction and reduce the amount of polluted stormwater that flows into Narragansett Bay and other local water bodies from state roads.

Look back to 2013 when Save The Bay highlighted the issue that surface run-off, not sewer overflow was what was most contributing to beach closures that year. RIDOT didn’t even know where it’s run-off was coming from, while we, the Narragansett Bay Commission rate-payers, are paying crazy sewer bills for a giant pipe to hold our poo.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – October 20, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from September 15 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3398 – 304-316 Branch Ave (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting that the properties at 304-316 Branch Ave and 19 Metcalf Street be rezoned from from C-1 to C-2 – for action (Charles, AP 71 Lot 563 and AP 74 Lots 1,3,8 and 9)

2. Referral 3399 – Zoning Ordinance Amendment – Flood Hazard Areas – Amendment of the zoning ordinance to delete Section 1105 Special Flood Hazard Areas and associated definitions in Section 200 – definition of general terms – for action

3. Referral 3400 – 19 and 21 Planet Street (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting to rezone AP 12 lots 32 and 303 from R-2 to C-2 – for action (College Hill)

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City Plan Commission Meeting – September 15, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from August 18 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3396 – 177 Everett Ave (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting that the property at 177 Everett Ave be included within the Historic District overlay and be included with the Providence Landmarks District – for action (Blackstone, AP 86 Lot 619)

2. Referral 3397 – 11 Biltmore Ave (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting that the lot at 11 Biltmore Ave be rezoned from R-2 to C-1 – for action (Elmhurst, AP 117 Lot 435)

Minor Subdivision

3. Case No. 15-034MI – 457-471 Angell Street (Preliminary Plan) – The applicant is requesting to subdivide the subject lot measuring approximately 22,891 SF into two lots measuring 16,799 SF and 6,093 SF respectively – for action (Wayland, AP 14 Lot 593)

Major Land Development Project – Public Hearing

4. Case No. 15-032 MA – 75 Virginia Ave (Master and Preliminary Plan) – The applicant is proposing to develop an 81 space parking lot to be used by neighboring businesses. Landscaping and drainage measures are proposed. The applicant is requesting to combine master and preliminary plan stages of review – for action (Washington Park AP 58 Lot 790)



News & Notes


Image (cc) by Barbara Gossett

CityLab: The Real Downtown ‘Parking Problem’: There’s Too Much of It

It’s not unusual for people to worry about parking in places where they totally don’t need to worry about parking. The consultancy Nelson\Nygaard recently surveyed parking availability in 27 mixed-use districts across the U.S. and found that parking supply exceeded demand by an average of 65 percent. In nine areas where parking was thought to be scarce, the oversupply ranged from 6 to 82 percent.

Vox: Houston just dramatically improved its mass transit system without spending a dime

How is Houston able to pull that off with no additional funding?

Well, as Jarrett Walker, one of the plan’s lead designers, explains, it’s all about prioritizing routes that will plausibly attract riders. The old system, like many bus routes in the United States, expended a lot of resources on very low-ridership routes for the sake of saying there’s “a bus that goes there.” The new plan says the focus should be to provide reasonably frequent service on routes where reasonably frequent service will attract riders. That does mean that some people are further than ever from a transit stop. But it means that many more Houstonians will find themselves near a useful transit stop.

Focusing transit planning on the goal of promoting transit services that are actually used strikes me as common sense. But it’s also the best way to create a virtuous circle of sound urban planning and transportation management. A system with a lot of riders is a system with a lot of advocates for expansion and improvement.

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ProJo: URI rescinds parking fee after graduate assistants launch protest


Photo from Graduate Assistants United Facebook Page.

About 25 graduate assistants at the University of Rhode Island rallied Tuesday afternoon to protest what their union leader says have been repeated attempts charge them for parking.

The students — some carrying a banner that read “Big Thinkers Deserve More” — stood outside a third-floor hallway in Roosevelt Hall where negotiators for the college and the union were scheduled to meet.

The protest followed a recent posting on URI’s website stating that graduate assistants who commuted to campus and were previously allowed to park for free would be charged $100 for a permit, said Danielle Dirocco, executive director of Graduate Assistants United, which represents over 500 of unionized teaching, research and departmental assistants. The union filed a grievance stating the fee violated their contract.

I’ve seen this news hailed by some as a great progressive victory over the man on social media. My view? Big thinkers don’t pave farm land for free parking.


City Plan Commission Meeting – July 21, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from June 16, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Development Review Regulations

1. Amendment of Development Review Regulations – A discussion on the amendments to the City Plan Commission’s Development Review Regulations – for discussion

Zoning Ordinance Amendment

2. Referral 3394 – Zoning Ordinance Amendment regarding student homes – Proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance to create regulations for student homes – for action

City Council Referral

3. Referral 3395 – Abandonment of DeWolf Street1 – The applicant is requesting to abandon the entirety of DeWolf Street, which lies between Audrey Street and Appleton Street to merge it with their abutting property – for action (Olneyville)

Minor Subdivision

4. Case No. 15-024 MI – 32 Luke Street (Preliminary plan approval) – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot measuring approximately 15,912 SF into two lots measuring approximately 5,000 SF and 10,912 SF – for action (AP 97 Lot 948, Charles)

5. Case No. 15-028 MI – 342 Eddy Street (Preliminary and Final plan approval)2


Rendering of proposed parking garage at South Street Landing by SGA.

The applicant is proposing to create a new lot measuring approximately one acre from Lot 429 which measures approximately 6.5 acres. The applicant is requesting to combine the preliminary and final plan stages – for action (AP 21 Lot 429, Downtown)

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ProJo: DOT seeks permission to move RIPTA commuter lot in North Kingstown


Image from Google Streetview

RIDOT is still discussing merging the RIPTA park and ride at Routes 2 and 102 with the parking facility at Wickford Junction MBTA station, a mile away.

“The property’s highest and best use is not as a parking lot,” said Paul Carcieri, the DOT’s real estate specialist. “It’s a very valuable property.”

Approximately $1.9 million dollars valuable.

Committee members are concerned about whether moving the Park-n-Ride roughly a mile to Wickford Junction would make it less convenient to RIPTA users, whether bus riders who park at the MBTA garage would be guaranteed free parking as they get now and whether the garage operator would keep the facility open as needed by RIPTA users — on weekends, for instance.

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News & Notes

A couple of red traffic lights against a blue sky

Photo (cc) Horia Varlan

Better Cities & Towns: The benefits of removing stop lights

In the 1990s, the City of Philadelphia removed 800 traffic lights. Traffic flow improved and accidents declined by 26 percent in these intersections.

Recently, Wayne State researchers recommended that Detroit remove 460 signals, or 30 percent of its total inventory. And that figure may underestimate removable signals, the researchers note.

For pedestrians, four-way stops are much better—because every automobile has to come to a complete stop and traffic is calmed.

For pedestrians, removing traffic signals also helps maintain their right-of-way. If one approaches a stop light and is unable to reach the beg-button before the light changes, the red hand tells pedetrains and motorists that the pedestrian is not allowed to cross, even if they are trying to cross with the green which they should be allowed to do by right. Even if the walk-light actuates, turning drivers interpret their green as their right-of-way and treat the pedestrian as secondary.

A non-signalized intersection gives pedestrians the right-of-way.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: One-way streets are failing their cities

In John Gilderbloom’s experience, the notorious streets are invariably the one-way streets. These are the streets lined with foreclosed homes and empty storefronts, the streets that look neglected and feel unsafe, the streets where you might find drug dealers at night.

“Sociologically, the way one-way streets work,” he says, “[is that] if there are two or more lanes, a person can just pull over and make a deal, while other traffic can easily pass them by.”

It’s also easier on a high-speed one-way road to keep an eye out for police or flee from the scene of a crime.

So all the streets that were made one way on Federal Hill to deter drug activity, actually made it worse? Thanks NIMBYs.

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Old Public Safety Building Memorial Parking Lot™ seeks 2-year extension


Image from Google Street View

The owners of the Old Public Safety Building Memorial Parking Lot™ are seeking a 2-year extension of the non-compliant use at Tuesday’s Zoning Board of Review meeting:

PRI XIV, LP: 197-209 Fountain Street (bounded by Empire St., Greene St. and Broadway), also known as Lots 116 & 436 on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 25, located in a D-1 Downtown District, filed an application requesting a USE VARIANCE seeking relief from Article 12 – Section 1201, Use Matrix Table 12-1, to continue the use the subject property for surface parking. The applicant seeks relief from the use restriction; whereby, surface parking lots are not permitted within the D-1 district. The lots in question together contain approximately 44,547 square feet of land area.


Jane’s Walk – May 2-3, 2015


Jane Jacobs in 1960. Photo by Phil Stanziola – New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection via Wikipedia

This weekend Providence has 6 walking tours and 1 biking tour scheduled for the 3rd annual Providence Jane’s Walk:

Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours.

Providence is one of America’s oldest cities, and thrived as an industrial and maritime hub in the 1800s and early 1900s. Today, the city is known for its quirky art and design scene, its food, its universities and hospitals, and its walkable historic urban fabric, among many other things. Join us as we explore this great city, either by leading or participating in a Jane’s Walk!

See the full schedule of walks planned for Providence or create your own.


City Plan Commission Meeting – April 28, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from February 24, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Approval of minutes from March 17, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Major Land Development Project – Public Hearing

1. Case No. 14-038MA – 181 Corliss Street (Preliminary Plan Approval) – The applicant is seeking preliminary plan approval to construct a four story, 124 room extended stay hotel on the former site of an abandoned Postal Service building. The lot measures approximately 2.01 acres. The applicant is seeking a waiver from the requirement that all state permits be acquired by the preliminary plan stage. Public comment will be taken. Continued from the February 24 meeting – for action (AP 74 Lot 376, Mt. Hope)

City Council Referral

2. Referral 3389—Amendment to Port Redevelopment Plan – The amendment proposes to change the boundaries of the redevelopment area by removing two properties. The amendment will be reviewed for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan – for action (Lower South Providence)

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PawSox Baseball Stadium News


Proposed site of PawSox stadium. Image from Google Maps

PBN reports on PawSox President James J. Skeffington’s tour of the riverfront land in the Jewelry District he proposes to build a new home for the PawSox on:

In a tour of the site, overlooking College Hill and the Providence skyline, attorney James J. Skeffington said consultants had determined the seven-acre proposed site will support the baseball park that team owners want to build.

In addition, he said, team owners have reached an agreement to use the parking garage planned for the South Street Landing project, now under construction on an adjacent site. Under the plan, the parking garage will be enlarged to 750 spaces, to accommodate the baseball traffic, he said, and the PawSox owners will contribute financially to its construction.

The parking garage at South Street Landing has sought relief from City Zoning requiring ground floor retail uses in parking structures. With the increased size of the structure and the increased diversity of visitors (they won’t mostly be Nursing School students presumably) there should be no reason for the garage developers not to conform to City zoning regulations.

ProJo also has a report:

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – April 8, 2015

featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Meeting
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 • 12:00 noon
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903


  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    2.1 Approval of Commission Meeting Minutes of December 10, 2014
    2.2 Acceptance of DRC Meeting Minutes of September 16, 2014, November 18, 2014 and December 2, 2014
  3. Election of Officers
  4. Internal Operating Procedures: Development Fees
  5. Parcel 15: Francis Street parking lot update
  6. Adjournment

Because Pawtucket doesn’t have enough parking


From The Valley Breeze, prepare for brain explosion:

Two old buildings that are part of the Downtown Pawtucket Historic District will be leveled to make way for parking.

The 1921 Adams Furniture building, at 65 East Ave., and the 1902 former Pawtucket Boys Club, at 53 East Ave., are both expected to be demolished to make room for a new parking lot for the Blackstone Valley Community Health Care.

Because you know what makes for a healthy community? Lots and lots of surface parking.

I can’t even.


Providence Station Plaza improvement work commences


RIDOT has begun work at Providence Station. This is improvements to the existing station area, the bus proposed bus terminal that had bond money approved for by voters last November is still in planning and development.


RIDOT Begins Work on Providence Station Improvement Project

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) started work this week to upgrade the southern entrance plaza (downtown side) of Providence Station. Through a $6.9 million contract with J.H. Lynch & Sons, planned improvements will enhance circulation for all users of the station as well as create an inviting civic space. Pedestrian enhancements will also be made along Gaspee Street, and damaged concrete and limestone areas on the building’s plaza will be repaired. Other planned improvements include adding amenities for bicyclists, updating signage, and landscaping.

This work, which will be broken out into two phases, will require temporary restrictions, including a closure of the top level of the parking garage, a relocation of the taxi stands, and a closure of portions of Railroad Street and Park Row West. Project completion is scheduled for spring 2016.

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Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting – March 17, 2015

Francis Street Presentation.pdf

featured-capital-center Design Review Committee of the Capital Center Commission Meeting
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 • 8:00am
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903


  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Meetings of November 18, 2014, December 2, 2014 and January 20, 2015
  3. Parcel 15: Francis Street Parcels
    Presentation of revised plans for a temporary parking lot on the site.
  4. Adjournment

Note the ridiculous 8am start time for this meeting, which is actually before this building is officially open.