Greater City Providence

195 Demo, Chestnut Street

Route 195 Demolition

Work has been moving right along to remove the Old Route 195 (we need that land available for taxable development). This week they started removing the wood from under the deck on the overpass at Chestnut Street. It has been suggested to me that the wood is in place to keep chucks of the bridge from falling down onto the streets and sidewalks below. Now that they are removing it, I’m wondering if I should still be walking under the bridge.

Yesterday they closed part of Chestnut to start removing the wood from that section. I was impressed to see at least a thought about pedestrians in the form of that sign indicating that they needed to move over, the sidewalk on that side was closed due to work.

Of course, as you can see in the photo, there is no crosswalk at this spot, and even if there were, the snow mound precludes all but the hardiests of folks from crossing. Later in the day, it got worse as the work moved further into Chestnut Street, the far side was plowed to keep traffic flowing, pushing giant chunks of ice onto the sidewalk that remained open, making it all but unpassable.

I have to cross under Old Route 195 everyday as part of my commute and have been dreading the tearing down of the overpasses and what effect that will have on me as a pedestrian. RIDOT, time to show that you understand urban mobility and ensure that you make provisions for bikes and pedestrians equal to the provisions made for drivers as you tear down the highway over the coming year.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

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