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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – June 15, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission
June 15, 2016, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of May Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Francis Street Modifications – Downtown (For Action) – Providence Place Mall intends to make improvements to the Francis Street side of the mall, including the sidewalk area and street. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the plans.
  4. Harris Avenue Modifications – Smith Hill, Valley, Olneyville (For Action) – The Department of Public Works has proposed striping for Harris Avenue. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the conceptual plans.
  5. Potential Bicycle Improvements through Downtown to improve access to Classical High School – Downtown (For Discussion)
  6. Potential Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements to streets surrounding the new LINK District waterfront parks and Providence River Pedestrian Bridge – Downtown, Fox Point (For Discussion)
  7. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  8. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – May 18, 2016

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 4:45 PM
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of April Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Waterman Street Modifications – Wayland (For Action) – The City of Providence intends to restripe Waterman Street between Butler Avenue and the Henderson Bridge. This restriping will include the relocation of on street parking from the south side to the north side of Waterman and installation a crosswalk near the ramp to the Henderson Bridge. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding the preliminary plans.
  4. Eddy Street Restriping – Upper South Providence (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation intends to restripe Eddy Street from Willard Avenue north to the I-95 Eddy Street underpass. RIDOT’s restriping plan includes bike lanes along portions of Eddy Street in both directions. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC regarding RIDOT’s preliminary striping plans.
  5. Bicycle Infrastructure Improvements to Connect to New Waterfront Parks and Pedestrian Bridge – Downtown and Fox Point (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will soon begin construction on the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge and two new waterfront parks to be placed on the former I-195 land on either side of the Providence River. DPD seeks ideas from the BPAC regarding new bicycle infrastructure to improve access from Downtown and Fox Point to the new parks and bridge.
  6. DPW Report on Status and Outcomes of Autotmatic Pedestrian Signal Pilot Project (For Discussion)
  7. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  8. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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Local News & Notes

sga-south-street-landing-parking-garage

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:


masslive.com 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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WPRI: Downtown parks, pedestrian bridge on track after setbacks

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-001

Plans to build two public parks and a pedestrian bridge in downtown Providence have resumed now that a proposal for a waterfront baseball stadium has fallen through.

State and city officials say they’re refocusing on developing the land, which was cleared after Interstate 195 was relocated. The project, which includes building a pedestrian bridge across the Providence River with a park on each side, has faced several setbacks.

On again, off again, on again…

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News on the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-001

The Providence Journal: Pedestrian bridge over Providence River being ‘reevaluated’ by RI transportation officials

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is now “reevaluating” the bridge project, RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said in a statement in response to questions from The Providence Journal.

“Given our current funding levels, RIDOT is reevaluating this project given the availability of funding,” Alviti wrote. “RIDOT must take into consideration the many needs for Rhode Island’s deficient bridges and deteriorated roadways. With reliable, predictable funding provided through the RhodeWorks program, RIDOT would be in a better position to schedule and fund projects such as the pedestrian bridge.”

The Feds let us use the money we’d save on not removing the piers in the river on the new highway. Will the Feds make us remove the piers if we don’t build the bridge?

Salisbury said his association would be “really disappointed” if the bridge isn’t built — plus, he questions what would happen to the old highway piers that once carried Route 195 over the river and now remain in the river, intended to carry the pedestrian bridge along the highway’s old path. Seven years ago, the DOT agreed to build the pedestrian bridge on those piers — and said the $2 million it would save by not demolishing them would go toward building the bridge. The DOT has already paid $1.4 million to design the pedestrian bridge, which was expected to cost $5.5 million.


Also, last week, PBN reported on possible changes to the design of the bridge.

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PBN: Would dredging return bustle to riverfront?

Last dredged in the 1990s, the river is now so shallow in places that even the Proud Mary has to dance around obstructions and can’t reach Waterplace Park at low tide. “I know where all those difficult places are, but north of Point Street you can run aground virtually any time,” McGinn said. “I just have to be careful and cannot go into Waterplace Park basin when it’s real low.”

Preventing the river from filling in with natural sediment requires periodic dredging, something neither the city nor state has been eager to finance in recent years. The federal government declined to tap a pool of funds set aside for dredging projects that maintain cargo shipping channels.

As a result, much of the center and eastern side of the river is too shallow for boats even at midtide and the WaterFire lightings must be planned around tidal schedules and closures of the hurricane barrier to keep water inside.

Now the depth of the river and role marine traffic should play in the revitalization of downtown has become a discussion point again as the state begins construction of new public spaces on the former Interstate 195 land.


What if traffic in the Woonasquatucket looked like this?:

“Amsterdam Canals: It’s busy on the Prinsengracht” © Peter Eijking

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PBN: Long-planned pedestrian bridge closer to reality

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-original-design

The original winning design scheme for the Providence River Bridge.

The first permanent structure to rise from Providence’s Interstate 195 lands almost certainly won’t be a new office or apartment building, but the long-planned pedestrian bridge crossing the Providence River.

After four years of planning, the 330-foot-long arc connecting new parks planned for both sides of the river is now nearly ready for bids from construction contractors.

[…]

“We are at 30 percent design and on schedule for the project to be bid out by the end of this year,” Bonnie Nickerson, Providence director of long-range planning, said last week. “The details being worked out now are very technical, such as levels of lighting. The structural elements and design decisions have been made and those are solid.”

The Providence Planning Department is having a public informational meeting about the bridge today (Sept. 29th) at 5pm.
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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – July 9, 2014

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 2014, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

195-roundPublic Session

Call to Order

  1. Pavilion: Discussion and Recommendations for Program of Uses for the built structure in the West Side Park and Proposed Design of the structure.
  2. East Side Park: Discussion and Recommendations for Interactive Features and Overall Proposed Design.
  3. West Park and Pedestrian Bridge: Discussion and Recommendations for Design Plans.
  4. Water Feature: West Side Park water feature options for Ship Street Triangle.
  5. Historic Markers: Discussion and Recommendations for design of inset Historic Markers at key locations in the District.
  6. Vote to Adjourn.
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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – June 30, 2014

West Side Park Pavilion

Conceptual design of pavilion on West Side park.

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2014, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

195-roundI. Public Session

Call to Order: The Chairperson

  1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Two Weeks and Proposed Future Activities.
  3. Presentation by CDR Maguire of West Side Park, East Side Park and Pedestrian Bridge Design Plans and Discussion.
  4. Discussion of Latest Interim Use Submissions for District Property and Vote to Select Interim Installations.
  5. Discussion of Pending Liquor License Applications for New Nightclubs Near District Property and Vote Regarding Position of District with Respect to Those Applications.
  6. II. Executive Session

    To consider and act upon such matters as may be considered at a meeting closed to the public pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws, Section 42-46-5(a) (the Open Meetings Law), specifically matters permitted to be so considered under subsection (5) (acquisition and disposition of public property).

  7. Discussion and Review of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property.
  8. III. Public Session

  9. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Two Weeks and Proposed Future Activities/ Tentative Agenda for July 21, 2014 Meeting.
  10. Vote to Adjourn.

195 Parks

West Side Park Design
East Side Park Design

Find further items related to this meeting and minutes of past meetings on the 195 District website.
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Video: “Executive Suite” 195 Commission

This week on Executive Suite: Colin Kane, chairman of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, and Jan Brodie, the commission’s newly named executive director.

Kane and Brodie discuss the commission’s role in redeveloping the land, their vision for the area and their estimates of how long it will take to make significant progress. They also tackle questions about the interim use of the land and the possible broader impact on Rhode Island’s economy.

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“Reevaluating” the pedestrian bridge

Update: The Planning Department has clarified for me what went down.

When the Mayor was elected, some people reached out to him to allege that the competition process was unfair, and that Team 3 should have won. The Mayor reviewed the process and determined that it was fair. When asked to re-open the design process, the Mayor said, “no.” Contrary to the consternations of some, Team 10 remains the winning team and the Planning Department will work with the team to finalize the design.


You may remember there was a competition to choose the design for the proposed pedestrian bridge over the Providence River. Well, I’ve heard rumblings that some on the design committee were not happy with the winner that that committee was tasked with choosing. And today the Brown Daily Herald reports this:

Now, Mayor Angel Taveras is reevaluating the decision between the competition’s two close finalists. “The new mayor wants to reexamine that and make sure it’s the right decision,” [Michael] McCormick [Brown University assistant vice president for planning, design and construction] said.

So, I’m not even going to get into the ridiculousness of going through the theatre of having a design competition, picking a distinguished judging panel, inviting a winner here and telling them they have the commission, only to wait for an election and ask the new mayor to ‘reevaluate’ that decsion. I mean good luck getting any remotely qualified candidates next time you hold a ‘design competition’ (OK, so I’m getting into it a little bit).

As of yet, I don’t think the public has been invited into this ‘reevaluation’ so, let’s have it out here. What say you?

Team 10, the chosen winning design inFORM studio/Buro Happold (visit Flickr to see their full proposal):

-or-

Team 3 by Studio Providence, the runner up (visit Flickr to see their full proposal):


Reevaluating the Pedestrian Bridge, what do you think?

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What Cheer/What Jeer 2010

What Cheer/What Jeer was originally supposed to be a monthly, or a quarterly thing, but you know what, it is a lot of work putting a list like this together, so it has become an annual thing. So join us as we take a look back at 2010, What Cheering the good and What Jeering the bad.

whatcheerProvidence River Pedestrian Bridge

Whether you love it or hate it, Providence will soon be getting a new pedestrian bridge over the Providence River. Design firms large and small from around the world entered the competition that led to the winning design. And the competition got people around the city interested in transportation and design.

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-original-design

whatcheerRIPTA

Last year we declared that 2010 would be “The Year of RIPTA” and not to be too smug about it but, we were kinda right.

In December 2009 RIPTA and the City of Providence released the Metro Transit Study, which drew a lot of attention to its proposal to run a streetcar line through Providence. This year, RIPTA embarked on their Core Connector Study, the first step toward bringing streetcars back to Providence. In June, U.S. Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood visited Providence and was very excited about our future plans. RIPTA also took delivery of a new fleet of hybrid buses and trolleys in October. This year also saw RIPTA unveil a 5-year plan for the future of transit in Rhode Island. Finally, RIPTA hired a new CEO, Charles Odimgbe. It is early days yet in Mr. Odimgbe’s tenure, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be What Cheered or What Jeered next year.

Certainly all was not good for RIPTA this year, 2010 saw the continuation of an annual tradition wherein RIPTA’s budget falls short resulting in the agency looking to cut routes and/or increase fares. This year they went with increasing fares yet again. Here’s hoping the incoming Governor and General Assembly can work to address the issues surrounding RIPTA’s budget.

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The winner is Team 10, inFORM studio/Buro Happold

DesignTeam10Slides_Page_01


Mayor’s Press Release:

Award-winning Design Firm Selected to Shape the Future of Providence’s New Pedestrian Bridge

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
inFORM Studio has been chosen to design the pedestrian bridge that will replace the old I-195 bridge and link Fox Point and College Hill to downtown

PROVIDENCE – Mayor David N. Cicilline announced that the design submitted by inFORM Studio in association with the engineering firm Buro Happold has been selected as the winner of the Providence Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition. inFORM Studio, whose website states the firm takes an environmentally sustainable approach to every project, is an award-winning design-based practice with offices in Michigan, New York and South Carolina.

“I want to thank the members of the Pedestrian Bridge Design Selection Committee for their extraordinary commitment, passion and dedication to this process,” said Mayor Cicilline. “We received incredible designs from all over the world and I want to commend the Selection Committee for creating a fair, transparent and inclusive selection process that encouraged input from the entire community.”

The bridge, which will be a defining landmark on Providence’s waterfront, will be used by pedestrians and cyclists alike and connect Fox Point and College Hill with downtown and the Knowledge District. Key elements of the winning design include a boardwalk that would provide information about the local habitat, a café, outdoor seating with a view of Providence’s waterfront, a cascading terrace and sundeck, sculpture and gardens.

“We are both delighted and humbled by the Competition Committee’s selection of our concept,” said Michael Guthrie, InFORM Studio. “It is a great privilege to serve the community of Providence considering the many outstanding designs submitted.”

inFORM Studio was among 11 finalists selected from 47 firms from Rhode Island and around the world for consideration by the Pedestrian Bridge Design Selection Committee. The Committee spent the entire month of November reviewing design proposals in a blind competition which included written comments from the public, who viewed the designs at Providence City Hall and online. “Public engagement has played a major role in the selection process and resulted in some of the proposed designs being viewed online more than 3,000 times,” said Mayor Cicilline. The Providence-based architectural design firm Studio Providence was the runner-up.

The new pedestrian bridge will be constructed by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation based on inFORM Studio’s design specifications. It will replace the I-195 bridge after it is dismantled as part of the highway relocation project.

Members of the Pedestrian Bridge Design Selection Committee included Jessie Shefrin, Rhode Island School of Design; Michael Lewis, Director, DOT; Robert McMahon, Providence Parks Superintendent; Thomas Deller, Director Planning and Development for the City of Providence; Michael McCormick, Brown University; Joseph DiBatista, private business representative; Michael Warner, VP Rhode Island Chapter of AIA; Ian Barnacle, President Fox Point Neighborhood Association; Arthur Salisbury, VP Jewelry District Association and Edward Sanderson, Executive Director, RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.


More details/info as it becomes available.

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Planning Department all a-Twitter

For those of you not down with Twitter, I thought I’d share some of the tweets coming out of the Planning Department this morning:

ProvPlanning
Stay tuned: Mayor is expected to announce the winning design for the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge on Tuesday morning. (!!!)

ProvPlanning
We will also be revealing the names of all 11 design teams from the Providence Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition on Tuesday afternoon.

ProvPlanning
Did you know: there are approx. 46 acres of vacant/underutilzed parcels in the Jewelry District (that’s >45% of the land in the district)!?!

ProvPlanning
Throughout the entire Core Connector Study area there are approx. 106 acres of vacant/underutilized land.

ProvPlanning
Planned New Orleans streetcar line spurs development on surface parking lots: Nola.com

Good stuff.

Follow the Planning Department on Twitter @ProvPlanning and follow Greater City: Providence on Twitter @gcpvd.

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Providence River Pedestrian Bridge Design Finalists

Last night at City Hall the design finalists for the new Providence River Pedestrian Bridge were unveiled. The designs are on display for public comment at City Hall. They are also online at Flickr (how web2.0 of the city, I like!). Let’s run them down here, but also be sure to visit the links for each design as I am not hyperlinking all that is available to read over on Flickr (and there is a lot!).

WaveNet Bridge

Design Team 1

DesignTeam1Slides_Page_01

DesignTeam1Slides_Page_03

More renderings and detailed information here.

Pedestrian Bridge

Design Team 2

DesignTeam2Slides_Page_3

DesignTeam2Slides_Page_4

More renderings and detailed information here.

Three Pier Bridge

Design Team 3

DesignTeam3Slides_Page_06

DesignTeam3Slides_Page_02

More renderings and detailed information here.

The Uncovered Bridge

Design Team 4

DesignTeam4Slides_Page_07

DesignTeam4Slides_Page_10

More renderings and detailed information here.

Team 5

Design Team 5

DesignTeam5Slides_Page_06

DesignTeam5Slides_Page_07

More renderings and detailed information here.

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