Greater City Providence

Community Conversation on the future of Kennedy Plaza – February 16, 2017

From the Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza will be hosting a Citywide Conversation focusing on a long-term vision for Kennedy Plaza. The Mayor will provide remarks on his vision for the space and community members will be able to participate in working groups to provide thoughts, ideas, and feedback.

WHO: Mayor Elorza; Community Members
WHAT: Citywide Conversation on Long-Term Vision for Kennedy Plaza
WHERE: Joseph A Doorley Jr. Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, Providence
WHEN: Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 5:00PM

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Greater City Providence

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  • Before train station was moved Kennedy placa was part of an intermodal system.
    Train tobus was a short walk The proximity between bua and train need to be shuttle bus relocation or some other means such as more mbta stops with feeder busses.Also several intermodal plazas reducing the size of Kennedy plaz with free shuttle service to connect them. Some cities offer free transit in their down town core.

    Alsp if developers want to build skyscrapers in Providence they should contribute to light or heavy rail to accommodate large numbers of people to avoid the menace of auto gridlock.

  • Great points Tom, personally, I wish they’d make the train station (and bus hub they are building next door) an extension of the mall. Add many more retail units, an underground pedestrian connection to the mall, more indoor and outdoor seating, and allow/add more apartments over and next to the train tracks. It should be a beehive of activity 24 hours per day.

    It needs to be shiny, efficient, and comfortable to attract high salaried Boston commuters that are interested in living in Providence and working in Boston.

  • First, redesign the bus system as a grid instead of hub and spoke scheme. When downtown is served by a handful of through-running high-frequency routes instead being the terminus for innumerable radial routes, acres of bus berths will become unnecessary. Then will be a better time to talk about redesigning Kennedy Plaza.

  • I’m hoping affordable housing, increasing density and focusing economic development around Kennedy plaza will be addressed. We can Improve Kennedy Plaza all we want but Improving Public transit in Providence and in RI in generally, dramatically should be our main goal. I hope in general, we start focusing economic development around transit in general. On a somewhat related note, I think eventually the Providence train station will be either expand or be replaced with a new train station. With the addition of the new Providence to Worcester rail line in the near future, the possibility of RI-Rail coming into fruition, and recent increases in commuter rail and Amtrak ridership, we’re going to need improve our station.

  • Mark, you bring up a very good point about another train station. I think that an expanded Providence Station is a no-brainer, and will have to happen at some point in the future if RI-Rail happens. I’d imagine that another facility could be built off of Harris Ave and handle all points south on the RI Rail network. Travelers can also walk between stations via the Providence Place Mall. Could also put it in Olneyville and provide free transit between stations, giving an easier way for people to get to the West Side. The Olneyville option obviously has a lot of other benefits to the area.

    Additionally, there are some other things that should be done to support RI-Rail, in addition to stations at Woonsocket, Cumberland, Pawtucket/CF, Providence, Warwick, Cranston, EG, Quonset, Kingston, Westerly, etc.

    Higginson Ave. (Lincoln) Line with a flag stop at Mineral Spring Ave. (Lorraine Mills) on the exiting railroad track that runs from the Amtrak Depot in Pawtucket near the U-Haul. This will help western Central Falls and lower income parts of Lincoln not served by the Worcester-Providence corridor that runs through Cumberland.

    Attleboro (MBTA) to a new East Providence Station with a flag stop at Narragansett Park Plaza on Newport Ave. on existing tracks running through Rumford.

    Connect the new East Providence Station to North Main Street via the East Side Railroad Tunnel with a gondola/tram (since it’s the lowest cost option). Providence Train Station is walking distance to the entrance of the tunnel.

    East Providence Station could serve as the hub for all buses for the East Bay / Fall River / New Bedford / Cape Cod, etc. Connecting Fall River to Providence with rail is probably a tough argument due to its cost and an existing W-E track that runs through Taunton, although based on demographics, traffic patterns, and convenience that makes sense. It is also difficult since the MBTA is content with passengers traveling to Taunton to get back and forth between Fall River and New Bedford (South Coast Rail Project). This would be the same type of pattern.

    Add a Newport to Fall River train on existing tracks, which will improve travel to/from Boston. Connects more Mass. residents to Newport.

    Re-establish the Amtrak Cape Codder service that runs NYC – Providence (through Taunton) – Cape Cod.

  • One thing that’s never made sense to me about Kennedy Plaza being a bus hub is that there’s just not enough space for it. Why not build a giant station by the Family Court over on Dyer Street? Between Downcity and the Jewelry District there’s more than enough room to play with. And it doesn’t have to be a place just for buses; bike rentals, zip cars, pedicabs, regular cabs, Uber, Lift, heck even boat (ferry). It could be a place where ALL possible forms of travel could be arranged for.

    There would need to be a dedicated shuttle going between that station and the train station, but I think this would be a minimal expense when you consider the amount of use a large, friendly, clean, bright and vibrant station would get in Providence.

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