These renderings are what it would look like if an episode of Star Trek was set in Providence.
These renderings are what it would look like if an episode of Star Trek was set in Providence.
Last week, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that, from July through the end of the year, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail service will be free for people traveling within the state. The intention of the pilot program is to attract new riders who, in theory, will then realize the convenience of the rail line and continue to utilize it in the future. However, unless you are commuting to and from Boston, commuter rail service in Rhode Island is not very useful. Despite offering three MBTA stations in the state, service proves to be infrequent and unreliable. Lack of coordinated policy in solving transportation problems is a major cause. Large expenditures for highways and extending MBTA service to South County, albeit solving some traffic problems, have failed to eliminate growing traffic congestion throughout the Providence metropolitan area. If some action is not taken, rising immobility may erode the basic economic fiber of the state.
To become more economically independent from Boston and promote more local sustainable development, Rhode Island must develop a stronger public transit system. For example, looking to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor connecting Providence with Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C., it is one of the region’s most important transportation arteries. Yet, most Rhode Islanders associate the route only with long-distance commuting, which is an unfortunate association falling far short of its full potential.
The suspect in a Pawtucket crash pleaded not guilty after police say her car struck a boy and crashed into a Newport Avenue building on June 13.
Olayemi Mayowa, 61, pleaded not guilty to reckless driving and other offenses to public safety in District Court Thursday. The charge is a misdemeanor and Mayowa was released on personal recognizance.
‘It wasn’t me your honor, it was my car.’
The Pawtucket Red Sox yesterday released plans to build an $83 million ballpark at the Apex site along Route 95 in Pawtucket. The plan envisions funding for the ballpark coming from the team, the State, and the City of Pawtucket.
The Pawtucket Red Sox and the City of Pawtucket, with substantial advice and direction from the leaders of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, have reached agreement on a proposal that would keep the team in Pawtucket until at least 2050 with a 30-year lease extension if a plan for a ballpark that is designed to revitalize downtown and the riverfront is approved by the Governor and the State Legislature. The plan is today being presented to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate for further review and consideration.
The PawSox would pay $45 million, the largest private investment in the history of Pawtucket, according to city officials. The ballpark is estimated to cost $73 million; thus, the club would pay 61.6% of ballpark construction costs. In addition, the minority investment by the State of Rhode Island would be paid back by revenues that are generated by the ballpark and the ballclub, enabling the project to proceed with no new taxes or increases in tax rates. The project will effectively pay for itself from the revenue that it generates. Taxpayers also will be protected by the PawSox, who will take on all ballpark construction cost overruns.
A “Ballpark at Slater Mill” will be part of a larger downtown re-development project. Together, the ballpark and land are expected to cost $83 million; thus, the PawSox would pay about 54% of the entire ballpark and land cost. Even so, the public would own the ballpark and the land, continuing the city’s 75-year practice of providing a public facility. In turn, the PawSox would then pay the highest rent in the International League, increasing their rent in 2020 to $1 million, with annual increases, and devote $500,000 annually from naming rights to help finance the ballpark.
WPRI reports today that the proposed stadium plan for the PawSox in Pawtucket includes a hotel and housing. What struck me about the plans though, was the parking
As reported by The Valley Breeze:
Hose Company No. 6, a former popular restaurant at 636 Central Ave., could be coming down to make way for a new Family Dollar store, city officials confirmed this week.
On April 7, the Pawtucket Historic District Commission received an application from Barone Capital LLC for a certificate of appropriateness associated with the proposed demolition of former Fire Station #6, said Jay Rosa, senior planner for the city.
The property has no local or national historic designation, said Rosa, but the Historic District Commission does review all proposals in which 25 percent or more of a structure that is at least 50 years old is scheduled for demolition.
The building was constructed in 1895. There is a public meeting of the Historic District Commission in May 9th at 7:30pm at Pawtucket City Hall.
This is a rendering of the proposed Family Dollar store:
The rendering indicates they plan to use the existing surface lot that sits next to the fire house, so why do they need to tear down this gem exactly? As I said on Twitter, Family Dollar is a menace.
Anthony Burns, 43, was struck by a commercial van on Benefit Street near Kenyon Avenue early Saturday morning. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Pawtucket police told Eyewitness News Monday that Burns was not in a crosswalk when he was struck.
Detective Sgt. Christopher LeFort said it appears he stepped onto Benefit Street to see if his bus was coming.
Police have not determined the cause of the crash, and are waiting to hear from the Rhode Island State Police Accident Reconstruction Team to determine if there were any contributing factors, such as speed.
State transportation officials this week started accepting proposals from construction firms to design and build a new commuter rail station to serve Pawtucket and Central Falls.
The state expects to award a design-build contract in early summer, with ground being broken in late 2017.
Owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox are analyzing the Apex property on the city’s riverfront as one of several possible sites other than McCoy Stadium for a future new baseball venue.
Three sources confirmed this week that discussions about the Apex site are happening. Though the existing stadium is part of an ongoing feasibility study, they say the owners are also considering a location with more development potential around it.
I think it is a great site for a stadium and would have a better opportunity for spin-off effect on businesses in Pawtucket than the current McCoy location. However, we’ll have to see what the public funding ask is. Also, as with the Providence proposal, a big question is, what would happen to the empty McCoy?
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation kicked off construction Monday morning for the Pawtucket Central Falls Commuter Rail Station.
It’s slated to open in 2020, and will serve as a stop on the MBTA commuter rail between Rhode Island and Boston,
State officials say it will also function as a busing hub.
I obviously have not been paying enough attention. I knew this was closer to reality than it has been in decades, but I still thought we were going to be talking it to death for another year or two at least. Wow, great news!
Dozens of Amtrak and commuter trains pass through the two forlorn Rhode Island mill cities of Central Falls and Pawtucket, every day without stopping.
In more prosperous times, both had direct rail service to Boston and New York. But, in 1959, the historic Beaux-Arts station on the border between the two cities closed and train service ended for good 22 years later. Now, local leaders are betting that building a new train station will help both cities latch onto economic forces that have left residents struggling with poverty, unemployment and even a municipal bankruptcy.
A report on the state’s economy from the Brookings Institution, championed by Raimondo and released in January 2016, urged the state to focus on its competitive advantages, including its historic urban centers. It prioritized a new Pawtucket-Central Falls station to both improve access to Boston-area jobs and spur development in the heart of the two mill cities.
A long-discussed plan to expand passenger rail service to Pawtucket and Central Falls got a boost on Wednesday from a $13.1 million federal TIGER grant which will help build a new commuter rail station here, something the mayor of Pawtucket called a “game changer.”
The station, expected to cost $40 million, will be located between Dexter and Conant streets. It is within and adjacent to the Amtrak-owned railroad right-of-way between the Conant Street bridge and Dexter Street bridge, in the northwest corner of the city of Pawtucket, near its border with Central Falls.
The Pawtucket Foundation is hosting a public forum about the proposed station, Wednesday, August 3rd at 8:30am at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center. Details on Facebook.
In wee-hours of Saturday morning, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a bill to speed the construction of a parking garage in Providence, but failed to provide funding for a proposed commuter rail station in Pawtucket / Central Falls.
The Providence Journal: R.I. House passes bill to speed garage project by Providence courthouse
A bill speeding construction of a $45 million parking garage next to the Garrahy Judicial Complex downtown passed the House Friday night and is one step from clearing the General Assembly.
Requested by the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission to advance a planned life sciences development, the bill would eliminate a requirement that the commission reach agreements to sell three parcels of the property it controls on the former interstate highway land before the garage would be built.
Instead of requiring three purchase-and-sales agreements on the I-195 land before the garage could be built, the bill would require Wexford/CV to lease at least 400 parking spaces.
Rhode Island is making its strongest push yet for a Pawtucket commuter rail station long-sought by the city and neighboring Central Falls.
The Department of Transportation late last month applied for a $14.5-million federal grant for the project, which would be built between Dexter and Conant Streets and cost an estimated $40 million.
According to the application to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “TIGER” grant program, the state would contribute $3.6 million to the project and the two cities would combine to chip in another $3 million. The remaining $18.9 million would come from Rhode Island’s annual appropriation of federal transportation dollars.
The station could be completed as soon as late summer 2019, more likely early 2020.
There 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.
Peregrine Group LLC and city officials expect to announce Tuesday a proposal for a commercial and residential development on nearly 11 acres of prime waterfront property along the Seekonk River and bounded by Division, Water and School streets.
Kane and his business partner, Samuel Bradner, another principal at Peregrine who is the lead on the project, expect the medical office and residential apartments to cost about $40 million to $45 million to build. Plus, Kane said, they expect the project needs as much as $8 million more in other costs, including parking, walkways and public access to the riverfront.
Headline from WPRI: Developers break ground on Pawtucket LA Fitness club
or, you could say, “Developers break ground on Providence surface parking lot.” Yay! WOOHOO! As Mayor Grebien said, “Today is a terrific day for both our cities.”