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RIDOT announces start of work on Washington Bridge Linear Park

Washington Bridge Linear Park

Rendering of the Washington Bridge Linear Park. From RIDOT.

RIDOT is prepared to start work on the long awaited Washington Bridge Linear Park. The park is set to be built on remaining sections of the old Washington Bridge and will connect pedestrians and cyclists from Providence’s India Point Park to the East Bay Bike Path in East Providence.

As a result of work, the current passage over the bridge will be closed starting Monday, July 19th. RIDOT recommends recreational users of the East Bay Bike Path head to park in East Providence. Others are urged to use RIPTA to get to/from East Providence. RIDOT recommends that only “experienced cyclists” use the Henderson Bridge to cross the Seekonk River. Says a lot about RIDOT’s bikelanes on that bridge, don’t you think?

Full information about detours and closures can be found on RIDOT’s website.

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Jewelry District Association on the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission

The below letter was sent to House Speaker Gordon Fox by the Jewelry District Association regarding the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission:

27 June 2011

Dear Mr. Speaker and Providence Representatives:

The Jewelry District Association (JDA) strongly urges you to take no action on Senate Bill 114 as Amended.

JDA membership is made up of a broad cross-section of businesses and residents and institutions, including the largest employers in Providence. For the past six years the JDA has participated in all the City’s planning sessions on the Jewelry District along with interested parties from throughout the City and the State. Two and a half years ago the JDA and the Providence Foundation sponsored a study by the Cecil Group that outlined strategies for creating a thriving mixed-use community in the Jewelry District. Now we and others are engaged with the City and their consultants, Perkins + Will, in work that will result in I-195 parcel develop-ment plans, updated citywide zoning and a streamlined permitting process.

With no regard for these planning efforts, Senate Bill 114 proposes a Redevelopment Commission for the I-195 parcels that has sweeping powers and little or no checks and balances. As one critic said, it creates, “a city within a city,” which flies in the face of comprehensive planning.

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Fox Point Neighborhood Association opposes Route 195 Development Commission

The Fox Point Neighborhood Association has expressed their opposition to the 195 land commission; press release:

FPNA Asks House to Stop I-195 Redevelopment Commission

The Fox Point Neighborhood Association, (FPNA), has asked the House of Representatives to oppose Senate Bill 114 that would create a state-controlled commission with unprecedented powers over development of the I-195 parcels.

In two separate e-mails sent to their membership and other neighborhood associations, FPNA attached a link, which recipients could use to contact House Speaker Gordon Fox and Providence Representatives and ask them to oppose the bill.

FPNA President Ian Barnacle said allowing the Governor to appoint four representatives from the State and only three from the City, unfairly stacks the deck. “By a majority vote, this commission would decide everything about the sale, zoning and development of the 35 acres of land that will be freed up when old I-195 highway comes down,” Barnacle explains. “This obvious power grab ensures that no code of ethics, public meeting law, or detailed reports of the proposed commission’s activity will matter. It is blatantly unfair.”

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