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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – August 20, 2014

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
August 20, 2014, 4:30 PM
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
  • 4:35 – Katie Goodrum, Congress for the New Urbanism – CNU and impacts on bike/ped in Providence
  • 4:55 – Sidewalk access during construction – Continued discussion
  • 5:10 – Road and sidewalk conditions in the Wickenden/South Main area – RIDOT communication
  • 5:20 – Butler Ave. at Waterman and S. Angell signal timing
  • 5:25 – Roadwork Report, Nate Urso, Providence DPW
  • 5:40 – James Kennedy, Providence (Park)ing Day
  • 5:55 – Safe States Pedestrian Injury Prevention Program – Providence proposal update (staff)
  • 6:00 – Adjourn

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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RIFuture.org: Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition: Reclaim our streets for people

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South Main Street at the bus tunnel. Image from Google Street View.

We believe that as proposed, these plans do little to increase access to all users; moreover, the decision to start this work at James Street even as the I-195 Commission has issued specific developer criteria for that stretch of road and riverfront is unfortunate in the extreme. It demonstrates yet again a failure to implement both the city’s and the state’s goals for complete streets and integrated transportation into the actual operations of their agencies.

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – February 19, 2014

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 4:30pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Agenda

  • 4:30: Introductions
  • 4:35 South Main/North Main St. ADA Project/Improvements – Kate Wilson, RIDOT and Todd Brayton, Bryant Associates
  • 5:30: PSAs and Public Education – Despina Metakos-Harris, RIDOT Office of Highway Safety
  • 5:55: Commission/Staff Updates
  • 6:00 Adjourn
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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WaterFire, Columbus Day on Federal Hill, RIPTA detours

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Providence is overflowing with events this weekend.

  • Through November 3rd: Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo
    The acclaimed Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular presented by Citizens Bank will return this October 3 through November 3 with a breathtaking display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns representing regions of the U.S.A.
  • Friday: Providence Bruins opening night at the Dunk
  • Saturday: RISD Alumni Art Sale
    All artists participating in the sales are RISD alumni or current RISD students selling original work including prints, photographs, apparel, ceramics, glass, textiles, and more! 10am-4pm on Benefit Street.
  • Saturday: SoMa Autumn Fest
    The Merchants of South Main Street in Providence are having their annual Autumn Fest! That means lots of goodies: Beer Garden at Wild Colonial, Wine Tasting and tailgating party at Bin 312, Free Classes at Momentum Fitness, Designer Trunk Show at Dr. Karambelas, and Lots of Fashion Finds at Shoppe Pioneer and the Vault! Plus some of your favorite Food Trucks will be joining us. Come join the festivities! South Main Street, 11am-6pm.
  • Saturday: Providence Roller Derby
    5pm – Rhode Island Convention Center
  • Saturday: WaterFire Flames of Hope
    In collaboration with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, the bonfires in the basin will be lit at 8:15pm with a special 150 person torch salute in honor of those living with breast cancer and those lost to the disease. This event will be preceded by the lighting of the rest of the WaterFire installation at 6:30pm. The fires will remain lit until MIDNIGHT.
  • Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: Federal Hill Columbus Day Festival
    Opening Ceremonies Saturday at noon in DePasquale Square. Parade Sunday at 11am. Full Schedule.
  • Sunday: Gloria Gemma 5k
  • Monday: “Super Structures” at the Providence Children’s Museum
    10am-3pm – Explore an intriguing assortment of 3-D design and construction challenges big and small! Build huge Stick Structures from wooden dowels, rubber bands, fabric and other intriguing “loose parts.” Create structures that are large enough to climb inside and construct a giant cube that stands up on its own! Also invent elaborate Confection Constructions by connecting marshmallows and toothpicks, and join together spools and sticks to tackle clever Tinker Toy creations.
  • Monday: Providence HONK Street Band Festival (PRONK)
    “Reclaim the streets with brass, beats, and feet!” – Join 15 bands from around the country for a celebration of music and community! Featuring afternoon performances at India Point Park, a parade down Wickenden Street, and evening shows on the water by the Hot Club. Monday, October 14, 2013, 3pm-10pm. Starts at India Point Park, parade down Wickenden St, ends in the Hot Club area. FREE!

Traffic is expected to be very heavy throughout the weekend, especially on Saturday for WaterFire. RIPTA will have several service deviations to accomodate events and will be running on a Holiday Schedule on Monday. Check the RIPTA website for details.

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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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195 Wickenden Street exit to close temporarily this weekend

RIDOT will be closing Exit 2 (South Main Street) off of Route 195 westbound this weekend. The closure will allow RIDOT to reconfigure the ramp and prepare for further demolition of the old Route 195.

RIDOT:

On Friday night, June 4, RIDOT will begin a weekend-long operation to relocate the ramp for Exit 2 (South Main Street) from I-195 West. The ramp’s entrance and exit point will be changing, and for the first time there will be a traffic signal at the end of the ramp.

In order to complete the work necessary to relocate the ramp, RIDOT will close Exit 2 for the entire weekend. The ramp will be reopened before the morning commute on Monday, June 7. Motorists seeking access to the East Side of Providence should use Exit 3 (Gano Street) or Exit 1A (Point Street) during this time.

Exit 2 currently carries motorists on a bridge over Wickenden Street and then merges into South Main Street. The new off ramp will meet Wickenden Street at a traffic signal. The new intersection will feature three lanes, and allow access to Wickenden Street, Point Street and South Main Street in the following manner:

  • Left lane is for left turns onto Point Street. Motorists also can proceed straight onto South Main Street.
  • Center lane allows through traffic onto South Main Street only.
  • Right lane allows right turns onto Wickenden Street only and provides access to Benefit Street.

Images from RIDOT

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195 Street Grid Part 5: A look at lot sizes

In Part 4 much of the discussion revolved around lot sizes.

Comment by Corey

Call me naive, but personally, I would take some of the parcels not targeted for institutional use, subdivide them, and then sell the subdivided lots individually; much more in line with what would have been done in the 18th or 19th centuries. [...] It also allows a lot of building form regulations to be relaxed without risking so much insensitive development.

  • By allowing room for numerous property owners to have building facades on the same block, you’re almost guaranteed not to have a block-long dead space in any part of the district, because a variety of different uses and architecture occupy each street front.
  • By encouraging buildings with smaller footprints, building heights and proportions tend to be harder to abuse, decreasing the need to spend the time and money on the exhaustive specific zoning regarding height, mass, and proportion which tends to scare away developers. If anything should be exhaustively regulated, it’s materials and energy efficiency.
  • Multiple tenants on each block = greater density, and greater variety of uses, which means:
  • A more constant street life at all times of day, as well as greater walkability, and demand for mass transit expansion.

If anything has been proven to work in Providence, it’s the repetition of historical development patterns. There’s plenty of evidence to support that, and plenty of wiggle room for dynamic new buildings within those patterns. The 195 relocation project in and of itself reflects the fact that the city planners realize this. It just needs to be taken one step further in order to really work well here.

Read through the discussion to see more of the conversation.

The massing renderings below show several different configurations of lot sizes on the east side parcels of the 195 redevelopment area:

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Large full block lots • Click image to enlarge

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Small lots, some combined • Click image to enlarge

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Mixed lots after development pressure • Click image to enlarge

195_iconThis is the fifth of a series of posts we will be doing about the 195 Street Grid. To view all the posts and more information, please visit our 195 Relocation Project page.

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195 Street Grid Part 1: Wickenden Street area, Ron Henderson

View Larger Map

As the Iway project moves along, RIDOT and the city are looking at the rebuilt street grid below where the highway now stands.


See the RIDOT plans here:

Download RIDOT Street Grid Plan (east of Providence River)
Download RIDOT Street Grid Plan (west of Providence River)


While the rebuilding of the grid may seem to be a simple project of reconnected streets that were removed by the highway, there many issues to consider. The City held two meetings recently to give the public an opportunity to view and comment on the plans. We will be looking at some areas of concern that we have for the proposed grid here at Greater City: Providence. We start off on the east side of the Providence River looking at the Wickenden Street area and looking at an alternate plan proposed by Landscape Architect Ron Henderson of L+A Landscape Architecture of Providence.

First let’s look at RIDOT’s proposal.

Continue Reading →

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