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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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City Plan Commission Meeting – November 15, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the October 18, 2016 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Minor Subdivision

1. Case No. 16-042 MI – 25 Balton Road (Final Plan) – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot in the R-1A zone measuring 40,750 SF into five lots. Two of the lots will measure approximately 8,750 SF. The other lots will approximately measure 7,727 SF, 8,024 SF and 7,500 SF – for action (AP 93 Lot 347, Blackstone)

Minor Subdivision

2. Case No. 16-052 MI – 598 Kinsley Ave (Preliminary plan) – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot measuring approximately 3.1 acres into two lots measuring 5,265 SF and 134,986 SF – for action (AP 27 Lot 258, Valley)

Development Plan Review

3. EDUCATIONAL FACILITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN – LINCOLN SCHOOL – The applicant, Lincoln School, is requesting approval of a campus master plan that details development scheduled to occur around campus. The subject plan will focus on an addition to the science building, redevelopment of a residence for academic use and a revised parking configuration. The applicant has also submitted a parking and traffic study for the campus – for action (301 Butler Ave, Wayland)

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RI Future: Spencer Grassie- Let’s reconnect Olneyville to the city’s urban fabric

olneyville-historic

As a current Providence College Friar and a native Rhode Islander, I am passionate about our state and capital city. As a millennial, I want to ensure that future generations have the building blocks necessary to thrive and make a living right here in the Ocean State. That is why the ProJo Editorial board’s piece, “Smart decision on bridges” is short sighted. The idea of turning the decrepit 6/10 Connector into a surface boulevard is about much more than safety.

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

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

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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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Fix the 6-10: City Forum Highlights Need for New Ideas to Fix the 6-10

olneyville-historic

Press release from Fix the 6-10:


Last night, August 30, over 100 residents, community leaders, business owners, and transportation and planning experts gathered for a public forum at Asa Messer Elementary School on the West Side to discuss the future of the Rt. 6-10 Connector.

Workshop participants gave voice to the many values other than just moving cars that are important to Rhode Islanders: fiscal sustainability; improved safety for people driving, walking, biking, or taking the bus; creating new opportunities for economic development and low-income communities that live near the highway; open space and beauty and innovation and climate change.

Many participants suggested replacing the highway with a connected network of boulevards and streets more like Memorial Boulevard in Providence or Blackstone Boulevard, or the Parkways in Boston’s Emerald Necklace; which would greatly reduce long-term maintenance costs and improve connections between neighborhoods.

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New Coalition Advocating for Cost-Effective Rte. 6-10 Redesign

6-10-1950s

6/10 interchange in the late 1950s. Image from RIDOT.

Press Release from Fix the 6-10


Fix the 6-10 believes that it is urgent for Rhode Island to replace the 1950’s-style 6-10 Connector with infrastructure more appropriate for a 21st-century city, balancing the needs of people driving with creating economic opportunities, connecting neighborhoods, and improving our state’s fiscal health.

In response to recent efforts by the City and State to repair the failing 6-10 Connector, a new grassroots coalition, Fix the 6-10, has formed to advocate for a cost-effective, sustainable, equitable, and innovative replacement.

The Route 6-10 Connector is broken. Every day, thousands of people drive over structurally deficient bridges held up by wooden braces. Congestion plagues the off-ramps. It separates neighbors and blocks economic opportunity. It’s time to Fix the 6-10.

Recent estimates by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) have placed the cost of an expensive, heavily engineered hybrid tunnel-highway at nearly $595 million dollars, not counting a bus rapid transit line with stations, making it one of the most expensive highway interchanges in the world.

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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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City Plan Commission Meeting – July 19, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 • 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building
1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the June 21, 2016 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

1. Proposed Expansion of College Hill Historic District – The Providence Preservation Society will introduce a petition to expand the College Hill Historic District to include an area bounded by Power, Hope, Governor and Angell Streets. The CPC is requested to form a subcommittee to investigate and oversee the process – for action

City Council Referral

2. Referral 3405 – Rezoning of 150-152 Carolina Avenue – The applicant is proposing to rezone two lots at 150-152 Carolina Avenue from M-1 to R-2 – for action (AP 101 Lots 280 and 281, Washington Park)

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PBN: State approves $8M for historic renovations across R.I.

The state Division of Taxation has approved nearly $8 million in state historic preservation tax credits to seven projects in several cities, including for works that will create new purposes for old industrial buildings.


This is quite a list of buildings, some pretty important to the streetscapes of the city. Let’s take a look at the ones in Providence:

Freedom City Properties LLC – 431 Harris Avenue, Providence

Image from the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

In Eagle Square, Freedom City Properties LLC is renovating the former American Brewing Co. building (better known as Capital Records Management) into artists workspaces, a theatre, and apartments.

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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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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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ProJo: Police: Driver headed for body shop after hitting pedestrian with stolen car

walkinpvd-iconAfter hitting a pedestrian with a stolen car Wednesday afternoon, a Providence man drove to an auto body shop less than a block away from the crash site, according to police.

A 21-year-old man was struck by a vehicle while trying to cross the intersection of Valley Street and Eagle Street at 2:40 p.m., according to a police report provided by Maj. Thomas Verdi.

The vehicle, which had been turning from Valley Street onto Eagle Street, drove off after the crash.


I better get my stolen car to the auto body shop stat! Damn pedestrians!

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UPDATED: City Plan Commission Meeting – September 16, 2014

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the August 19th meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3382 – Petition to abandon a portion of Stanhope Street – The applicant intends to abandon the portion of Stanhope Street adjacent to AP 97 Lot 12 to add to the area of the lot – for action (Charles)

The Orange Street abandonment has been removed from the CPC Agenda.

orange-street

Orange Street from Weybosset Street. Image from Google Street View

2. Referral 3384 – Petition to abandon a portion of Orange Street – The applicant intends to abandon the portion of Orange Street located between Weybosset and Middle Street and between AP 20 lots 131 and 135 – for action (Downtown)

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City Plan Commission Meeting – August 19, 2014

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from June 29th meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

adrianhallway

Adrian Hall Way – Image from Google Street View

1. Referral 3381 – Petition to abandon Adrian Hall Way The applicant, Trinity Repertory Company, is requesting to abandon the entirety of Adrian Hall Way including AP 25 Lot 179 – for action (Downtown)

2. Referral 3382 – Petition to abandon a portion of Stanhope Street The applicant intends to abandon the portion of Stanhope Street adjacent to AP 97 Lot 12 to add to the area of the lot – for action (Charles)

Minor Subdivision

3. Case No. 14-027 MI – 345 Harris Ave The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot at 345 Harris Ave measuring approximately 183,884 SF into two lots measuring 29,585 SF and 154,299 SF respectively – for action (AP 27 Lot 284, Valley)

Public Informational Meeting Major Land Development Project

4. Case No. 14-028MA – 345 Harris Ave (Master Plan Approval) The applicant is seeking master plan approval to develop the subdivided portion of the subject lot as a parking lot that will provide 86 parking spaces. Public comment will be taken – for action (AP 27 Lot 84, Olneyville)

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UPDATED: PPS: General Electric Base Plant Demolition Proposal

ge-plant

Image from Bing Maps

Update 4pm: The demolition has been approved on a technicality, we’re waiting on PPS to issue a statement and will post it when they do.
This post originally appeared on the Providence Preservation Society’s website. Reposted with permission.
Now I’m being told this afternoon’s meeting is canceled.

A special meeting of the Providence Historic District Commission will be held on Monday, May 5, at 4:15 pm at 444 Westminster to vote on a demolition application for the General Electric Base Plant complex at 586 Atwells Avenue. Built c. 1916, the GE Base Plant stands as a fine expression of post-World War I industrial architecture, and according to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission the plant was once the largest producer of lamp bases in the world – employing 500 people at the Atwells Avenue site.

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