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Tag Archives | Road Bond

City proposes $40 million Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond

cone-down

You may remember in 2012, the Taveras administration proposed, and voters passed a $40 million bond to fund road work within the city; with the City Council trying to politicize the process along the way.

It looks like this time around, the bonding will be for infrastructure beyond just road paving, which could be a worthy investment. I’d like to see how the City plans to prioritize spending and am hopeful we can avoid messy politics with the City Council this time around.

From the City of Providence:


Providence Seeks $40 Million for Stronger Neighborhoods, Infrastructure

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza today announced the city’s plan to seek a $40 million Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond to make needed investments and build stronger neighborhoods throughout the capital city.

“Making the necessary long term investments in our infrastructure is an essential component of building stronger and more vibrant neighborhoods across Providence,” said Mayor Elorza. “The Neighborhood Infrastructure Bond will work to improve every neighborhood, and will continue to lay the foundation for a long term capital improvement plan that invests in repairing our streets, sidewalks, parks, recreation facilities, and other critical infrastructure.”

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – February 20, 2013

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Agenda
February 20, 2013, 4:30 PM, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Note: Meeting is Wednesday instead of Monday due to the President’s Day holiday.

  • 4:30 – Bike Providence Master Plan update – Bill DeSantis, VHB
  • 5:00 – Snowstorm follow-up/issues
  • 5:15 – Communications update – Jef Nickerson, Jenn Steinfeld
  • 5:25 – Walk Lights (beg-button) – Jef Nickerson
  • 5:35 – Road Bond/Bike Improvements coordination
  • 5:40 – Public Comment
  • 5:55 – Approval of Minutes (December 17, January 23)

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.

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Providence 2013 State of the City Address


Mayor Angel Taveras

2013 State of the City Address

Providence Is Recovering

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 • (as prepared for delivery)

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor's Office.

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor’s Office.

Governor, Mr. President, honorable members of the Providence City Council, distinguished guests, and my fellow residents of our great Capital City –

One year ago I stood before you in this Chamber with an urgent message for our City and the entire State of Rhode Island. Providence was in peril. Despite many difficult decisions and painful sacrifices made to pull Providence back from the brink, we were still $22 million short of closing a $110 million structural deficit.

Crucial steps necessary to navigate our City safely through our Category 5 fiscal hurricane had not yet come to pass. We still needed to reform our unsustainable pensions. And we needed Providence’s large, tax-exempt institutions to contribute more.

As I stood before you on February 13, 2012, Providence was running out of cash, and running out of time. In the months that followed, there were some who said Providence could not avoid filing for bankruptcy.

BACK FROM THE BRINK

Today it is my privilege to deliver a much more hopeful report on the State of our City: Providence is recovering.

Through collaborative efforts and shared sacrifice, we have all but eliminated our City’s $110 million structural deficit, and we expect to end this year with a balanced budget. Working together, we have accomplished what few believed possible.

We were determined to address the root causes of Providence’s fiscal emergency and prepared to act unilaterally if necessary. And we knew our City would never achieve a lasting recovery without addressing our unsustainable and spiraling pension costs.

In April, following months of actuarial analysis and public testimony, this City Council unanimously approved a pension reform ordinance that put Providence’s pension system on a sustainable path.

We recognized that passing the ordinance would likely lead to a high-stakes lawsuit with no real winners – because a decision in favor of the status quo would push our City over the brink. However, faced with the challenge of negotiating pension changes with more than 2,000 retirees who were not represented by a single entity, we saw no alternative.

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – January 23, 2013

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
January 23, 2013, 4:30 PM
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
Note: Meeting is Wednesday instead of Monday due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday. Also, meetings start at 4:30pm now rather than 4 o’clock.
  1. 4:30 – Nate Urso, Providence Department of Public Works: Crosswalks, Street Repaving, Policy, and Safety (Nate will also give a brief update on the status of the Road Bond repaving in general)
  2. 4:55 – Dave Everett: Bike Plan Update and BPAC input on potential road bond bicycle improvements (Melrose, Prairie, Potters, Olney) and review of typical sections. Also plans for draft report and stakeholder meeting in Feb.
  3. 5:05 – Public comment.
  4. 5:20 – Discussion/letter re DOT bikeway plans (master list for bike plan)
  5. 5:25 – Jef Nickerson: S. Main St. merchant issues re pedestrian access/movement relative to I-Way parcels
  6. 5:30 – Jenn Steinfeld/Jef Nickerson: BPAC communications update/protocol for receiving input
  7. 5:40 – Bridge detours update
  8. 5:45 – Zip Car spaces and potential bike lane conflicts
  9. 5:55 – Rescheduling BPAC meetings now scheduled for May 20, August 19, November 18, December 16
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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ecoRI News: New Providence Bike Plan Wants Safer Routes

This new bike plan, spearheaded by the city of Providence and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. (VHB), an engineering firm headquartered in Waltham, Mass., is being funded with a $33,000 challenge grant from the state Department of Transportation, and will guide the investment of future funding into the city’s bicycle network through a program of recommended short-, medium- and long-term capital improvements.

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City of Providence 2012 Ballot Questions

election-2012-newlogo

Update: Information from the Mayor’s Office about these ballot questions. 2012 Providence Ballot Question and Charter Amendment Summaries
Update: All the ballot questions in the City of Providence passed.

Do you ever get to the polling place on election day and wish that there were more things for you to vote on? Perhaps a long list of issues for you to read and decide about? Well if you live in Providence then November 6th is you lucky day, the City has 11 questions on the ballot in addition to the 7 questions the state has.

Perhaps one should think about these questions before election day, so here are those ballot questions.


City of Providence November 6 Ballot Questions

8. Finance the Design, Construction, Repair, Rehabilitation and Improvement of Streets and Sidewalks $40,000,000
“Shall an Ordinance of the City Council effective on July 31, 2012 authorizing the issuance of up to $40,000,000 general obligation bonds of the City to finance the design, construction, repair, rehabilitation and improvement of streets and sidewalks in the City, including but not limited to, drainage, traffic control devices, safety improvements and landscaping, pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws § 45-12-2 and § 807 of the City’s Home Rule Charter, be approved?”

Question 8 YES
Question 8 NO


QUESTIONS 9 – 18 AMENDMENTS TO THE PROVIDENCE HOME RULE CHARTER

9. Shall the terms used in the Charter be defined as follows for clarity and consistency? [Adds Section 107]

  1. “City” shall mean the City of Providence, in the County of Providence, and the State of Rhode Island.
  2. “Council” shall mean the duly elected city council of the City of Providence.
  3. “Domiciled” shall mean that place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment, and to which whenever he or she is absent has the intention of returning.
  4. Mayor. Whenever the word “mayor” is used, it shall mean the mayor of the City of Providence.
  5. “Quorum” shall mean a majority of the members of a public body or duly appointed committee.

Question 9 YES
Question 9 NO

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – October 22, 2012

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission
October 22, 2012, 4:00 PM
Providence Chamber of Commerce Board Room
30 Exchange Terrace, Providence, RI

Note new location

  • 4:00: Review of bicycle regulations
  • 4:20: Discussion of snow removal issues and solutions
  • 4:35: Discussion of Complete Street issues related to the proposed Road Bond
  • 4:45: Bike parking: developing a citywide strategy to increase parking infrastructure [Guest James Baumgartner]
  • 4:55: Allens Ave bike lane sweeping and parking enforcement [Guests from JWU]
  • 5:05: Enforcement issues related to: Intersection blocking and Crosswalk encroachment Enforcement of No Parking in Bike Lanes/Crosswalks Tickets/Citation criteria for bicycle/automotive incidents [Police invited]
  • 5:20: Open forum
  • 5:30: Adjourn

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.

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City publishes list of planned street improvements tied to November Road Bond

From the City of Providence:


City of Providence Publishes List of Planned Street Improvements

Roads throughout the capital city will be fixed if voters approve $40 million bond on Nov. 6; Mayor’s Office to hold series of informational meetings

road_bondPROVIDENCE, RI – Starting today residents of Providence can view the list of planned street improvements in the capital city. Voters will decide on November 6, 2012 whether or not to approve the $40 million roads bond to fund these improvements. The list of planned street improvements and accompanying maps can be viewed at Providenceri.com/roadbond.

In addition, the Office of Mayor Angel Taveras will hold informational meetings throughout the city in the coming weeks to explain the scientific, merit-based process that was used to identify roads for repair and to explain how the bond will work if voters approve the measure.

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City Council moves to politicize proposed roads bond

dean-street-2009

Dean Street re-construction in 2009. The City of Providence proposes a $40b bond to finance repairs to 62 miles of roads and sidewalks in the City.

As reported by Ian Donnis on RINPR, the City Council is meeting tonight to put a provision in the proposed roads bond bill that would give them control over what streets and sidewalks get repaired in their Wards:

RINPR quotes Councilman Terry Hassett:

That was one of the concerns among the council members — making sure that anything that is distributed through a bond for infrastructure that the council member has a direct and specific role in terms of what streets would get done, what sidewalks, and where the emphasis should be. That was the concern.

Dan McGowan of GoLocalProv Tweets the move could result in a Mayoral veto:


Why? Because there has already been a systematic review of roadways in the city that need attention and 62 miles of roadways have been identified as the ones which will be worked on should this bond pass (I hope to see that list before I’m asked to vote on the bond). The Council argues that they know best what their Wards need. What they know best is which streets getting paved get them the most votes towards reelection.

There’s also the simple matter that the bond money should not be equally dispersed among the 15 Councilors. There are Wards that are in more need than others based on trucking, bus routes, sheer road miles, and other factors that mean they should get more or less money than other Wards.

The City has created a formula to rate roads and determine which need working on, there is no reason the Councilors need any more say over that. If they don’t agree with the formula, then address that, don’t say you get to pick and choose what needs doing under some, “trust me, I know what’s best for my Ward,” song and dance.

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