Greater City Providence

Strasbourg, France


Photo (cc) michallon

Imagine if this street in Strasbourg, France was Route 2 in Cranston or North Main Street in Providence. Le sigh.

[alert type=”muted”]Via: Greater Greater Washington[/alert]

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.


  • Note: they don’t build rail projects without rights-of-way. We should medianize and give bus lanes to the R-Line now, since it doesn’t require big ticket items to achieve. So much stalling… :-/ (Le sigh indeed).

  • Merci Jef.
    With little oil and lots of nuclear power, France has new electric trams in most major cities – e.g. Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon, Angers, Montpellier, and even Le Mans of auto racing fame, and Orleans too (for that matter we could see a similar scene in Nouvelle Orleans aka New Orleans) Many of the SNCF intercity lines are also electrified, even very long distance routes such as Paris to the Spanish and Italian borders on the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Indeed a French expatriate living here whom I know is amazed the mbta Boston-Providence commuter line, largely under electric wire, is still using diesels with all their smoke in the Boston tunnels. In the state rail plan, electrifying this is mentioned, but it seems a distant dream, and the environmental movement big on electric cars, has mostly ignored this too.

  • The BRT in Eugene Oregon uses a grass patch in it’s ROW.

    Also the MBTA will have electric trains when/if they build the South Coast Rail, but for the Providence line to use them they would have to upgrade most of the stations.

  • Heh; that *is* North Main Street (or Blackstone Boulevard) if you back 70+ years!

    MBTA still runs diesel under wire on the Northeast Corridor because it’s the only electrified line in the system, and they do not dedicate a fleet to any single line.

  • What about dual mode locomotives? Wouldn’t they offer the best of both worlds: single fleet and electric service on the Providence Line?

  • Again, a large expense for something that only benefits a single line. NJ Transit’s newest dual modes cost $3 million apiece more than MBTA’s newest diesels. It would offer a bit of flexibility but would effectively still be a dedicated fleet; it would be a waste to run DMs on non-electrified lines while substituting another line’s diesels on the Northeast Corridor.

Providence, RI
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