Greater City Providence

If you could buy a city street, what would you do with it?


Photo (cc) Marcin Wichary

After Brown University and then RISD made agreements with the City to acquire parts of public streets for private parking in exchange for increased payments in lieu of taxes; GoLocal Providence reports that the City will make an annoucement tomorrow that Providence College has now made a similar agreement.

So all this begs the question, if you could buy a public street, which one would you want to buy and what would you want to do with it?

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.


  • Put in a bus rapid transit line from one end of my street to the other.

    If my street runs up College Hill, I’d build a funicular.

  • Speaking of transit – I would hope RIPTA doesn’t serve any of those streets. I object to tax and fare money being used to support any street.

  • I’d buy it and leave it open to the PUBLIC! I’ve noticed Park street by Vets is now a giant parking lot. Has this also been bought?

  • I definitely wouldn’t use it for parking. That’s for sure.

    I’d like to make a woonerf out of Thayer street. I’d probably just eat there all day

  • I’d buy Washington St between Exchange and Dorrance and would open it only to food trucks and other street vendors. Second choice would be buying Harris Ave and planting some trees on the sides.

  • RIPTA runs up Huxley Ave, one of the street PC bought (though they only bought a portion of it from Eaton to the end of their property on the east side of the street). However, I think PC actually pays RIPTA to adjust their Admiral St route to go around campus rather than straight up Admiral.

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