Greater City Providence

ProJo: Commission meets to discuss possible Garrahy Complex parking garage

A legislative commission began looking Wednesday into whether building a parking garage adjacent to the Garrahy Judicial Complex on Dorrance Street would be a useful public project.

Garages are easy to build, going up Erector set fashion in months, but expensive — from $30,000 to $35,000 per space, he noted.

“They don’t support themselves out of the gate,” [I-195 Redevelopment District Commission chairman Colin] Kane said.

So it sounds like Kane is setting up the expectation that the public will have to subsidize this parking. GrowSmartRI tweeted:


[box style=”alert”]Update: GrowSmartRI updated their status to indicate that Mr. Kane let them know that he “discussed the importance of transit, walking, and zipcars as part of the transportation equation.” We see the fact remaining that an entire Commission was created to ‘discuss’ parking at one specific location. A Commission where other transportation options may be mentioned, but are hardly the focus. Parking should be being discussed as a part of a transportation system. Parking should not be the focus where every other form of transportation is treated as, ‘oh, sure, that’s important too.'[/alert]

Previously: State to study Garrahy Courthouse Garage. Again.

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.


  • So doing the maths:

    1,200-1,500 spaces at $30-$35K Per Space totals a range of $36 to $52.5 million, which is in the ballpark of 40-50% of RIPTA’s operating budget. I’ll bet the amount of transit service for that amount of money would exceed 1,500 people per day.

  • I was just summoned for jury duty at Superior Court on South Main/Benefit. It came with a separate big notice proclaiming FREE PARKING which must have been at considerable expense as it involved a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the court and back. As it turned out, a RIPTIK was offerred for the ride home, few takers. It might be better to add $5/day or so compensation to the jurors and let them decide how to get there on their own. Such “unbundling” of parking might be applied to the Garrahy Court, state employee compensation, apartment rentals,… and it will surely reduce the need for parking spaces.

  • Other cities and states across the world continue to laugh in the face of Providence. How is it in 2013 are we having a potential debate on building a parking garage in an urban environment (non-historic) at this site and development of other lots and the 195 district? Just get it done already. The people of Providence are fed up of the slow pace and often lack of progress while other cities and municipalities lap us.

  • That is what happens when you have a Governor who is from the suburbs and appoints suburban folks to lead urban – big city projects!

  • Are there any recent studies on parking lot utilization; i.e. how full the lots really get within X-hundred feet of Garrahy, or the State House?
    Not that I think the Commission would care much about such data, just curious.

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