ProJo reports this morning that new RIPTA CEO Charles Odimgbe has informed the RIPTA Board that parts of Kennedy Plaza will need to be repaved, again.
You may remember it was only the fall of 2009 that we last repaved Kennedy Plaza at a cost of $1.4 million. Odimgbe says the repaving was done wrong and there should have been concrete pads under the paving at the bus bays to support the weight of the buses. I agree with this and am glad that Mr. Odimgbe sees that this is the right way to do it. Too bad he wasn’t on the job in 2009 to tell everyone they were doing it wrong.
Odimgbe proposes redoing the paving at the bus bays, with the needed concrete pads, as they fail and as money is available. I say stop!
A lot of thought has been going into the future of Kennedy Plaza. How we should balance open space, transportation, and commerce in the plaza. These plans had some endorsement from the previous mayor and it remains to be seen how the current mayor feels about them. Certainly Mayor Taveras has a full plate and has likely not yet given too much thought to the Plaza, even though it sits right outside his office window. But let us not repave the plaza again before we know where the buses will be in 5 or 10 years.
The Planning Department is working on a downtown traffic circulation system that should see several major streets turned from one way to two way flow, including streets within the Plaza area, which will allow us greater flexibilty in moving buses out of the center of the Plaza. Let us finalize and then fund those plans, and then determine where, when, and how the area streets need to be built or rebuilt to support buses.