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Tag Archives | RIDOT

ProJo: Long-awaited pedestrian bridge taking shape over Providence River

Photo from RIDOT’s Facebook page

The bridge is expected to be completed by the end of October 2018, said Charles St. Martin, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, the agency in charge of the $16.97-million project.

[…]

The pedestrian bridge now being built on the piers that once carried the highway will eventually connect a nearly 5-acre park on the west side of the river with a nearly 2-acre park to its east. The DOT is responsible for constructing the bridge and parks, among the final elements of the highway realignment.

[…]

The DOT expects to put parks construction out to bid by the end of this year, start work in the spring and conclude the work by summer 2019, St. Martin said.

The new bridge will a key link in the CityWalk project currently under development.

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Barry Schiller: It’s time to re-assess that proposed train station bus hub

Do you remember that in 2014 Rhode Islanders approved a vaguely worded $35 million bus hub transit bond? However, at this point, with that much money at stake, I think our state should re-examine the need for the proposed Providence train station area bus hub.

A news report indicated no Boston area developers were interested in leveraging the voter-approved bond money for a public-private partnership in the train station area. I suspect state leaders support for the bus hub project was predicated on drawing that investment, and so maybe now they are less interested. Recall the hub was a Chafee administration initiative that Raimondo, RIDOT Director Alviti, RIPTA Board Chair Kezirian, etc. inherited so they may not be all that committed to implement it. Further, now that it has apparently been deemed too expensive to build over the railroad tracks, the alternative of taking some of the State House lawn has engendered opposition from historic interests and maybe the Capital Center Commission too. In addition there are concerns the roads in the area are already often congested and adding many more buses can make it worse.

However, downtown interests may still want to eliminate or reduce the buses (and the low income people it transports) in Kennedy Plaza and hope a train station bus hub will be an alternative. They seem to have the ear of the Mayor who never much seemed interested in bus transit. Unions and contractors will also tend to favor spending the money on a new bus hub, for the construction jobs.

Though needs of the homeless and downtown business owners are both important, they are secondary to the interests of taxpayers who approved the money for transportation. Bus and rail passengers have nothing to gain from building a new bus hub at the train station. The relatively few transferring to/from trains already have 5 bus lines (50, 55, 56, 57, and R) to connect them to Kennedy Plaza and the bus network, plus a place to wait indoors get information, access to bathrooms, even coffee, at an intermodal facility called the “train station.” We don’t need another building, or to add un-needed buses to the already congested area.

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – September 20, 2017

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
September 20, 2017, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Introduction of New Commission Members (For Discussion)
  3. Approval of July 2017 Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  4. Election of Commission Chair and Vice Chair (For Action)
  5. Recommendations for improving Allens Avenue – Upper South Providence, Lower South Providence, Washington Park – Wards 10 and 11 (For Action) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, in coordination with the City of Providence, has conducted a Road Safety Assessment (RSA) for Allens Avenue. The final recommendations of the RSA have been submitted to the City. This review will allow the Commission to provide comment on these RSA recommendations. If advanced in the future, this project will come back to the Commission for preliminary plan review.
  6. “Elmwood Avenue Road Safety Assessment” – South Elmwood – Ward 9 (For Action) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, in coordination with the City of Providence, has conducted a Road Safety Assessment (RSA) for Elmwood Avenue south of Rose Avenue. The final recommendations of the RSA have been submitted to the City. This review will allow the Commission to provide comment on these RSA recommendations. If advanced in the future, this project will come back to the Commission for preliminary plan review.
  7. “Dean Street/Pleasant Valley Parkway/Oakland Street Corridor Discussion” – Federal Hill, Smith Hill, Valley, Elmhurst – Wards 12 and 13 (For Discussion) — The City seeks comments from the BPAC regarding possible bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the corridor between Atwells Avenue and Eaton Street known as Dean Street, Pleasant Valley Parkway, Raymond Street, and Oakland Ave. Such improvements would come back before the BPAC at least twice before construction.
  8. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  9. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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PBN: The state’s 2012 bet on commuter-rail service has yet to pay off. Is it time to privatize?

Wickford Junction Station, image from RIDOT.

“We started a few months ago, doing a deep dive looking into what the MBTA can do, what it can’t do and why,” [RIDOT Director Peter] Alviti said. “Peak periods [are] quite a challenge for them to be able to give us more frequency during rush hours.”

The constriction relates to the design of the MBTA hub at South Station in Boston, according to Devine. It becomes a choke point during rush hours. “Without an expansion in additional capacity and trackage there, it really limits increasing the trains [to Rhode Island], particularly in the peak period,” he said.

Taking over the services themselves, however, would allow RIDOT to contract out the operations to a company that only has to cycle between Wickford Junction and Providence, and which might allow for future expansion.

The article goes on to discuss the need to add housing to the stop at Wickford Junction to provide a built-in client base for the service (true TOD, not a Home Depot and a Walmart) and also the potential for service to Quonset, which is an expanding jobs center.

We’re not going to tear down the $40 million station at Wickford Junction, so how do we make it work?

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Free in-state train service, July 3rd through the end of the year

Wickford Junction Station. Photo from RIDOT’s Facebook Page

Press Release from RIDOT:


RIDOT Offering Free In-State Commuter Rail Trips Between Wickford Junction, T.F. Green And Providence Stations

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is encouraging Rhode Islanders to leave their cars at home for the daily trip to work, catching a flight, or a visit to the capital city by making in-state travel free on trains between Wickford Junction, T.F. Green and Providence stations.

RIDOT is making commuter rail service free for a limited time, beginning on July 3 and running through the end of the year. The promotion will raise awareness of this convenient transit service, encouraging more people to use the train instead of the busy Route 4 highway corridor and the subsequent challenges of driving into and parking in Providence.

“Rhode Island ranks on the bottom when it comes to the percentage of travelers who use transit as opposed to cars, yet we have the infrastructure and train service to make it easy for people to get around our state without a car,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “Making it free for a period of time will make more people aware of this great service and provide them an opportunity try it and use it on a regular basis.”

Parking at Wickford Junction Station is free year-round. The facility – located minutes from Exit 5 on Route 4 in North Kingstown – includes covered garage parking, restrooms, a climate-controlled indoor waiting area, electric car charging stations and vending machines.

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6/10 Final Plan Released

Rendering of proposed Westminster Street crossing

Some commentary on the final plans released by the State for the 6/10 Connector rebuild.

Download RIDOT’s Presentation on the 6/10 Connector

RI Future: 6-10 Connector plan is way better than it could have been, by Alex Krogh Grabbe Ellis

I’ve been talking up a progressive, urban solution for the 6-10 Connector almost as long as James Kennedy has. So I was excited and cautious and skeptical yesterday at the press event revealing the compromise plan for the corridor negotiated between RIDOT and the City of Providence. There were words from Governor Raimondo, Mayor Elorza, Providence Planning & Development Director Bonnie Nickerson, and RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.

As it turns out, I left the room more optimistic than I went in. If everything in the plan gets built as laid out yesterday, I will be pretty pleased. Here are some pros and cons as I see them:

Visit RI Future to read Alex’s full list if Pros, Cons, and Conclusions on the plan.


Transport Providence: Demand a Mile to Get an Inch

The governor used autocratic power to block the fully realistic aspirations of the city, not just to the city’s detriment, but to the state’s. She has failed to be a leader on climate change or racial justice, the two major struggles of our time. The Cheonngyecheon highway-removal in Seould was a success despite carrying 60% more vehicles than 6/10. Any statement on this agreement must acknowledge the ways that Gov. Raimondo has failed future generations of Rhode Islanders by being so obstructive.

I would have liked the mayor to fight a bit harder and more publicly, but that is a sin of omission. His administration, and especially his planning department, deserve more credit for working as hard as they did. I hope the mayor will consider state office someday.


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WPRI: Construction underway to new commuter rail station

pawtucket-station

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!

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City of Providence 6-10 Connector Draft Plan Release – October 3, 2016

planning-6-10-meeting

From the Department of Planning & Development Facebook page:


Please join us on Monday, October 3 at 6:00pm at 444 Westminster Street to review our draft plan for a better 6-10 Connector. The 6-10 Connector is an aging highway that cuts through several Providence neighborhoods and is slated for immediate replacement. Similar to the I-195 relocation, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest wisely, reconnect neighborhoods, and improve our city.

Over 250 community members attended a City-led public workshop on August 30th.

At the workshop, community members were asked to help identify goals for the project and to begin brainstorming about ideas to improve the area surrounding the 6-10 Connector. Click here to view photos of the ideas that community members presented at the event. Click here to view the presentation that was given by City staff at the meeting.

More information on Facebook

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WPRI: 6/10 inspection reports reveal close-ups of potentially dangerous dilapidation

ridot-6-10-huntington-bridge

Huntington Bridge photo from RIDOT’s Facebook page

Among the new issues revealed, a horribly rusted temporary support beam.

“This was decaying to the point of possibly falling over onto the high speed rail that’s next to it,” [RIDOT Director Peter] Alviti explained.

OK, should I not ride the train through this area then?

Alviti, who admitted the condition of the various structures keep him awake at night, said the fact that the reports are available is one of RIDOT’s most important, recent changes.

If the Director literally cannot sleep at night about it, shouldn’t the roadway be closed? What exactly is keeping him from sleeping if not the fear of an imminent collapse?

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ProJo: State to fast-track Route 6-10 connector project, abandon surface boulevard

ridot-6-10-original-design

RIDOT’s Original Design for the 6/10 interchange

Governor Raimondo has ordered a fast-track reconstruction of the Route 6 and 10 interchange and the abandonment of plans to rebuild the highway under an earthen cap, state officials said Wednesday.

The decision to rebuild the highways in their current footprint — and scrap a design favored by Department of Transportation leaders just this spring — was prompted by safety concerns and the deteriorating condition of the overpasses, said DOT Director Peter Alviti Jr.

I.E. the public hates how we’re spending thier money, so let’s spend it faster.

Along with abandoning the capped highway plan, Raimondo’s move all but dismisses the possibility of replacing the highway with a surface boulevard, a design that drew overwhelming support from attendees of a public forum on the 6-10 held last week by the city of Providence.

[…]

Alviti said the disruption to commuters that a boulevard would create was unacceptable.

Translation, people in the suburbs are more important than people who live in the city next to the suburban infrastructure.

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6/10 Connector Public Workshop – August 30, 2016

route-6-10-label

From the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development:


My vision for the 6-10 Connector is…

Please join us on Tuesday, August 30th for a Public Workshop to discuss your ideas for the 6-10 Connector.

The City of Providence is launching a public process to bring community members and decision-makers together to craft a design proposal for the 6-10 Connector, a portion of state highway that runs through numerous Providence neighborhoods including Olneyville, West End, Federal Hill, Silver Lake, Hartford, Valley, and Smith Hill.

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ProJo: Pedestrian bridge moving forward in Providence

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-001

The fate of a long-delayed pedestrian bridge across the Providence River is back on track, after a flurry in recent weeks of negotiations, meetings and budget deliberations.

The Department of Transportation expects to award a bid in October so the bridge can be completed by November 2018, spokeswoman Lisbeth Pettengill told The Providence Journal.

The DOT and the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission are pledging to spend about $6 million more than the DOT’s earlier estimate to build the bridge.

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PBN: Long-sought Pawtucket-Central Falls commuter rail station gets $13.1M boost

pawtucket-central-falls-station

Location of proposed Pawtucket-Central Falls train station. Image from Bing Maps

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.

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Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – July 20, 2016

Providence Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
July 20, 2016 • 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of June Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. Olney Street Restriping – College Hill, Mount Hope (For Action) – The Department of Public Works intends to restripe Olney Street from Camp to Hope streets. DPW seeks comment from the BPAC at this initial scoping phase of the project.
  4. Allens Avenue Restriping – Upper South Providence, Lower South Providence, Washington Park (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has developed preliminary design plans for the restriping of Allens Avenue from Blackstone Street to New York Avenue. The City of Providence DPD and DPW seek comment from the BPAC regarding RIDOT’s preliminary plans.
  5. Francis Street Mid-Block Crossing – Downtown (For Action) – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has developed preliminary design plans for a new mid-block crossing across Francis Street to improve pedestrian safety between Providence Place Mall and Station Park. The City of Providence DPD and DPW seek comment from the BPAC regarding RIDOT’s preliminary plans.
  6. Potential Improvements to Tobey and Ridge streets – Federal Hill (For Discussion)
  7. Potential Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements to streets surrounding the new LINK District waterfront parks and Providence River Pedestrian Bridge – Downtown, Fox Point (For Discussion)
  8. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  9. Adjournment
Full Disclosure: I am a member of this commission.
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ProJo: Feds reject $175-million grant for 6-10 interchange project – City Workshop Scheduled on July 19, 2016

route-6-10-label

Plans to rebuild Routes 6 and 10 were dealt a setback Friday as Rhode Island’s bid for a $175-million federal grant for the project was passed over, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation said.

[…]

“While we are disappointed that we did not receive the FASTLANE grant funding for the Route 6-10 Interchange project, we remain committed to moving this long-delayed project forward,” said DOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. in the release. “RIDOT will move quickly to evaluate our options to tackle this problem and present a recommendation for next steps.”

[…]

The state and its consultants are refining a design for the 6/10 project, which is estimated to cost $959 million, in anticipation of seeking federal environmental approval for construction.


ONE BILLION DOLLARS is just a kookoo bananas amount of money for a highway interchange.

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