Greater City Providence

PPAC Square: Good, bad, and ugly

The Good: Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets
DID Clean & Safe Team workers clearing snow

As always, the DID Clean & Safe Team workers were out in force today clearing snow. The Yellow Jackets are probably out of practice this year, but they got right back into the swing of things laying salt and clearing snow and slush out of the crosswalks.

The Bad: I didn’t know this was a parking lot

Who do you gotta know to park here?

When plans for PPAC Square were unveiled I was under the impression that PPAC’s driveway would double as sidewalk space when there wasn’t any event happening at PPAC. Apparently I was wrong as the driveway was full of parked cars this afternoon. I don’t know who these cars belong to, but those are some sweet parking spaces they got.

The Ugly: National Grid doing their National Grid thing

National Grid
Ooh, fresh pavement, let’s rip it up!

No sooner has the paint dried on the double yellow lines than National Grid is out ripping up the pavement on Weybosset Street. This is not actually PPAC Square, it is down in front of Johnson & Wales, but close enough.

Let’s just assume that contrary to every other street National Grid has ever torn up, they will properly patch this street. I can assume that, right? RIGHT?

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.


  • National Grid has a BIG problem with their natural gas service. The system was laid in the very early part of the 20th century and it’s rotting away.

    And it’s ALL underground.

    And that PPAC parking thing, is it posted No Parking? If so why the hell aren’t the parking enforcement folks doing their job?

  • I was in favor of installing retractable bollards for the PPAC “driveway”.. That way, cars could only access the space during performances. It’s disheartening, but not surprising, to see it used as a parking area.

  • National Grid having problems with their natural gas service isn’t an excuse for them doing a really terrible job at patching up the street. They patch it, the patch sinks, then there’s a hole that remains for years and years. Ever driven down Harris Ave from Broadway to Atwells? It’s full of the square holes National Grid makes to access their stuff… and it’s worse than driving through Northern New Hampshire in the winter (frost heaves are annoying, but this is worse).

  • I don’t get it with National Grid. On some previously smooth streets they’ve created whole new potholes — as if we needed help creating those. Surely the laws that prevent the kind of shoddy patch-up jobs they and other utilities do? Is it that they aren’t actually required to do any better, or that there isn’t enforcement?

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