Greater City Providence

Very 21st Century

The Proposed 6/10 Interchange Reconstruction will address the deterioration of existing bridges and aims to reduce congestion and improve travel flow from north to west on the roads spanning from Route 6 to Route 10. The proposed project will include work to Route 6 from the Hartford Avenue interchange to north of the Tobey Street overpass, in addition to Route 10 from the Cranston Viaduct to Route 6. The proposed reconstruction will assess nine of 11 deteriorating bridges that are over 50 years old.

And the BRT gets value engineered out in 3… 2…

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 useless, out of place and expensive for little improvement in actual transportation.

    Clearly RIDOT is not taking the idea of doing something else with 6/10 seriously if they’ve gone ahead and spent money on design and animation of yet more highways.

  • If the rendering reflects the idea of the project, its kind of a declaration of war against the adjacent neighborhoods, transportation alternatives and their advocates (they didn’t even draw in a train on the adjacent tracks!)
    There is little use trying to influence the suburbanites who largely just want to speed thru to get somewhere else, so if this is to be modified, the energy likely has to come from Providence interests (especially in adjacent neighborhoods) that are sacrificing so much of their land, facing separation of the city neighborhoods, and getting the pollution from those driving thru.
    Don’t waste any tears for BRT in this area, there are nowhere enough buses or demand for buses, even potentially, to justify that, its likely just an excuse to get Federal transit funds for a highway project.

  • What’s truly unfortunate is that this also won’t speed anyone’s car commute. It’s a surefire way to make another traffic jam.

    It’s not clear to me from the rendering, but I know from Councilman Principe having said so that the original ’90s plan called fr razing some blocks of housing on the east side of the highway (i.e., the West End). The WBNA should get on top of fighting this, especially, as should One Neighborhood/Olneyville Housing.

    Jef, by the way, is this just a rendering by the firm, or does this also have RIDOT backing? I’ve met and met and met with RIDOT, and each time they’ve told me they want to do a boulevard of some kind, and if this is what RIDOT/Gov. Raimondo are aallowing to be seriously considered, that means someone is bald face lying to me. On the other hand, if this is just what the Turino Group put out without specific backing, that’s different.

  • This animation was done at the direction of RIDOT. It was posted in June and brought to my attention today. It does not mean that RIDOT is not considering a boulevard option, but I have not stopped hearing RIDOT use a $500 million (?) number for this project, which would be the video you see here (before value engineering and cost overruns).

  • Oh never mind I didn’t see Jef’s comment. Still sad to see this video. Hope for the best!

  • The entire “boulevard” idea seemed pie in the sky. This is what RIDOT is all about. Not surprised.

  • Might have to raze some housing but you can rest easy that not one parking space will be eliminated!

  • The final form of this project will likely come down to cost. The Governor and the current General Assembly, both have expressed great interest in creating a lot of heavy construction jobs quickly. $500 million (or $700 or $800 million after all the redesigns and change orders) would do that.

    I think we should give government officials the benefit of the doubt, at least for the moment. A year ago the unemployment rate was 6.8% (1.2% above the national average). The Governor had just took office and besides the crumbling highway, there was an obvious pressure do something quickly to address the unemployment problem. As dated as this plan might be, it would have addressed the two problems. Since it appears that the study results were first issued in June, that probably means that very shortly after the Governor took office, Turino must have started the study.

    The state still has the problem of a crumbling highway, but not to say that the state doesn’t need more high paying jobs, unemployment is not as severe as a year ago. This doesn’t get the state off the hook, by suggesting giving them a pass to construct a retro 1960s LA freeway interchange with a 1990s busway. The state and the city deserves much better.

    There’s a lot of lip service paid to creating high-paying 21st century jobs and attracting or retaining Millennials and improving transit ridership. This highway proposal will do little of that.

    A rational alternative boulevard design accompanied with traffic analysis, mass transit studies, real estate development potential, job creation and cost savings analysis should help to shift official opinion.

  • This separates the neighborhoods even more and totally neglects the current community problems. What happened. Think outside the box!!!!

  • I looked closely at the video and was amuaed that on the bus ramps the 27 second vidoe had 2 buses each way. But here are the facts about use of 6/10 by existing buses (to the best of my knowledge) during the 3pm to 6pm rush hour leaving Kennedy Plaza:
    Route # of bus departures:
    9X (Pascoag) 3
    10X (Scituate) 1
    21 (Garden City) 6
    30 (Oaklawn) 5

    total 15 buses,
    In 180 minutes, that is about one bus every 180/15 = 12 minutes. In non-rush hours even rarer.
    The reason there are so few buses on this route is not because those buses go too slow on Routes 10 or 6 but because there is insufficient demand for more, especially when suburbanites so often can get free parking, even downtown. The idea of spending $400 million for bus rapid transit in the corridor is ludicrous.
    Transit money should be spent on improving all the bus routes (signal priority, more shelters, snow removal, KP improvements…) and on the rail corridor spine.

  • There are more RIPTA routes that could use the BRT component, at least the Route 10 or Huntington Expressway segment. I thought I heard Peter Garino say at the last RIDOT Round Table Meeting that they were seriously considering allowing RIPTA buses ONLY to use the breakdown lanes to speed travel for RIPTA routes that use highways.

    With the improving economy and resulting worsening traffic, anyone who takes a RIPTA bus that uses Route 95 (or other highways) can tell you that taking an “express” or regular route that uses a highway, travel can or often takes longer than bus routes that use only streets.

    I would add to Barry’s list that includes 21 and 30 – 8X, 12X, 14 Narragansett, 14 Newport, 14 (expresses), 65X, 66, and 95X.

    On the other hand, the proposed western BRT along Route 6 would have very few regular buses scheduled to travel along that path daily. I suppose they could run a single Park and Ride bus to go back and forth between Route 295 to KP all day, but who or how many would ride it?

  • This Streetblog piece gives examples of BRT that are as successful as rail.

    The following statement is key:

    “. . . [T]o reap the benefits of BRT investment, . . . cities must ensure the systems are designed and operated at a high standard. Rebranding buses isn’t enough. In addition to high frequencies, BRT routes that affect development have features like dedicated lanes, level boarding, off-board fare collection, and signal priority for buses at intersections.”

    Hopefully RIDOT and the Governor’s office will read this article.

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