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Mij

KENNEDY PLAZA

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This conversation started in the Conley Wharf thread. The mayor has proposed redesigning Kennedy Plaza, again (the mayor's comments are in this ProJo article). He proposes a public plaza and moving the buses elsewhere.

How should Kennedy Plaza be redesigned, and where should the buses go?

-Cotuit

I dont know if any one else seen this in The Sunday Journal, but in the business section(f) there is a little section that is titled "Biz, Bits, & Quips" One of the sub headlines is title "Another mayor; another Kennedy Plaza redisign" It goes on to provide some stats about how much it cost last time Cianci did it (12 million, 80% fed. money) and then a quote from Cicilline "with 1.5 billion dollars of projects lined up for the city of providence, its time to rethink the Placement of the RIPTA terminal in kennedy plaza". He goes on to also say "It's really not the write place for it". He said his vision is to put a park with fountains and benches were the current terminal now stands. He finally went on to say the its time to explore the possibility of street-cars or Light rail.

Maybe he also needs a copy of that light rail proposal that you are working on

Mij

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I dont know if any one else seen this in The Sunday Journal, but in the business section(f) there is a little section that is titled "Biz, Bits, & Quips"  One of the sub headlines is title "Another mayor; another Kennedy Plaza redesign"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here's a link.

For what it's worth, I agree with the mayor 100% on this one. My only problem, where would the bus hub go?

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What's so bad about Kennedy Plaza now? As far as centrality goes, it seems like its in the perfect spot.

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What's so bad about Kennedy Plaza now? As far as centrality goes, it seems like its in the perfect spot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It seems like providence would have it small version of the boston commons. I dont know were they would put the new plaza, but do you think that it could stimulate another area, just for example, say Oneyville, and if so would it be a good or bad stimulant.

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I'm writing my thesis about Kennedy Plaza. In short, Kennedy Plaza fails A. because it is dominated by the buses and people waiting for them, precluding other uses and users, and B. because it is not at all intermodal, and does not encourage cross-use of other forms of transit. I'm posting the abstract below. I wonder if my meetings with the mayor persuaded him! One can hope...

Kennedy Plaza has served as the civic and ceremonial center of Providence since its creation in 1848. Although the shape, form and function of the space have been altered by time, Kennedy Plaza remains the geographic and psychological nucleus of Providence. The latter decades of the 20th century witnessed the decline of Kennedy Plaza as a major public gathering space and transportation center, but recent revitalization efforts in and around downtown Providence suggest that Kennedy Plaza may once again claim its place as the city

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Instead of all buses terminating at Kennedy Plaza, we could perhaps have a Downcity bus loop route. Buses coming into the city would all loop around a certain route around Downcity all hitting several bus stops spaced around the area. Empire, a two-way Weybosset, Memorial Blvd, Fountain/Sabin... could be part of the loop route. Buses could be scheduled so some move clockwise, some move counterclockwise.

This would allow people to ride to where they need to be Downcity, without having to go into Kennedy Plaza, and it would distribute the Kennedy Plaza crowds around the loop, instead of all concentrated in the center of the city. It could also help to spur retail in areas near the loop stops.

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What's so bad about Kennedy Plaza now? As far as centrality goes, it seems like its in the perfect spot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I totally agree.

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It's an interesting problem.

I'm a daily commuter. The Plaza is perfectly located for a transportation hub. But I agree, calling it "intermodal" is a joke.

Many cities have their primary transportation network underground, freeing up space. Unfortunately Rhode Island's primary transportation network is above ground (except the East Side Tunnel). It doesn't matter what form of transportation is there (buses, light rail, etc), it's difficult because there will always be right-of-way issues, noise, etc. to deal with.

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What's so bad about Kennedy Plaza now? As far as centrality goes, it seems like its in the perfect spot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I suppose if they must re-design the plaza then Exchange Terrace could be turned into a two way street like it once was years ago and used for buses.

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Here's a link.

For what it's worth, I agree with the mayor 100% on this one. My only problem, where would the bus hub go?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The plaza was only completed 2 or 3 yrs ago with money from our taxes. You and I paid for this and now you want to redo it? If the mayor dosen't like it then he can closed the drapes on his office window which faces the plaza. But I'm sure the mayor was just thinking out loud and that there is no serious studies or planning afoot. I like it just the way it is. The only other alternative that I can think of is Exchange Terrace which is certainly long and wide enough.

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The plaza was only completed 2 or 3 yrs ago with money from our taxes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I didn't live here then, wasn't my money. :lol: Actually, I think it was mostly Fed money, so I guess it was mine. :angry:

I think the mayor sees the current state of Kennedy Plaza (an open-air bus station) as both a detriment to the downtown, as well as a poor use of the space. On those points I agree. It would be nice if we hadn't just spent a boatload on it a couple years ago, but that doesn't change the fact that that money was spent poorly. If we could come up with a viable alternative for the bus traffic (I don't think just shifting it over to Exchange Terrace is a good option) I'd be in favour of going with it.

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If they're gonna redo it again, it's gotta be real innovative and absolutely worth it this time. I'm talkin like an underground station with buses going underground when they get close to downtown, like Seattle. Then, throw in some light rail and streetcars, and connect it up with the bike/ped. Washington Bridge, and you've got an intermodal station.

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If they're gonna redo it again, it's gotta be real innovative and absolutely worth it this time.  I'm talkin like an underground station with buses going underground when they get close to downtown, like Seattle.  Then, throw in some light rail and streetcars, and connect it up with the bike/ped. Washington Bridge, and you've got an intermodal station.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree, it's totally not unreasonable for us to be planning for lightrail now. Nothing should be done to Kennedy Plaza until concrete plans for future lightrail are in place. We'd redo it now, just to do it again when the time to build lightrail finally arrived.

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If we just start seriously talking about light rail it would still be at least 10 years away.

I sort of think a bus mall would have been better but the streets are too narrow since you would want at least one lane in each direction for buses plus maybe an extra so buses can overtake others, then youll probably want regular auto traffic too on the street.

There is Burnside Park right next to KP, I dont think we want too much park space downtown

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I believe we've discussed this in another thread, but I'm totally against any new changes right now in Kennedy Plaza. The current project is only a few years old, so why do we need to change it again? And at a cost of $12 million of the tax payers dollars. RIPTA is apparently very happy with the way the plaza is designed right now.

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I think Kennedy Plaza works fine just the way it is. I happen to like it a lot. I like the idea of a central hub, maybe certain nodes would work but since Kennedy Plaza is already in the heart of the employment area of the city, I don't think nodes are necessary.

'"We are the fastest growing city in New England and with the kind of traffic that will come with that, we need to look at light rail or street cars, something to move people around the city in something other than their own cars," Cicilline said.'

Okay, yeah, excellent thinking, but I wouldn't mess around with Kplaza NOW. I think we'd need a different hub for light rail to come into, someplace close to KPlaza but not right in it, like maybe parcel 12 or parcels 3 and 4. I'd rather have a central hub with spoke light rail lines going out and connecting with infilled TOD's around the city and dense suburbs than a bunch of different central nodes.

For now though, can't we just leave the plaza alone? It's pretty clean, attractive to the eye, has nice gates, etc., crosswalks and those nice timed cross lights (even though nobody goes by them).

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The only thing that I dislike is the fact it makes that section of downtown a huge loitering attraction including the adjacent park.

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While I don't love its layout, I agree: Hands off Kennedy Plaza. My sister uses mass transit exclusively here, and she loves it. It brings her downtown where she can shop, go to the mall, eat, etc. It's also a fantastic hub. She travels all over RI from there. She feels safe, loves people watching there. How many cities have such an important, centralized transportation hub that bring 50,000 people a day to your CBD? And all those new Downcity residents will appreciate the convenience of Kennedy Plaza, I'm sure. Imagine just moving to the Peerless and hearing the new transit hub is being moved South of RI Hospital...

No, if we just turn Kennedy Plaza into a big downtown park, you end up with something like the New Haven Green. Big, pretty, barely used, a great place for people to loiter, and feeling vaguely unsafe at night...

It would be cool to have a "great lawn" for all the people who will be living downtown, just like Central Park is the "back yard" for NYC. Perhaps having a park at the centerpoint of the 195 land is a good idea after all...

- Garris

BTW: Is this the first time we've heard the mayor endorce the idea of light rail/trolleys?

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Someone from Sasaki told me at the Providence 2020 meeting that RIPTA was looking into a downtown bus loop, now the Journal says RIPTA is fine with the way things are, it's the mayor who wants to re-route the buses.

Personally, I kind of like the idea. It's only an idea now, and needs more planning, but I could see something being done. I don't think it's realistic to completely remove the buses from Kennedy Plaza, but I'd like to see some routes hit some more areas Downcity. Also, all buses should be throughrouted, no buses should terminate at Kennedy Plaza. I could see a system where there is somesort of Downcity Loop or arc where riders could transfer to various other lines at stops along the loop or arc.

Nothing should be done to the plaza until we have a plan for streetcars or light rail, and where that rail system may go, and how the buses would connect to it.

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I also agree that Kennedy Plaza should be left as-is for the time being, but I am very happy that the mayor is at least thinking about these things and wants to look at options. Our public transportation isn't the greatest, and I think that spending some money on investigating options is wonderful.

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BTW: Is this the first time we've heard the mayor endorce the idea of light rail/trolleys?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't think so. Transit has been on his agenda all along, he's simply had a lot more pressing concerns ahead of it.

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I don't think so. Transit has been on his agenda all along, he's simply had a lot more pressing concerns ahead of it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Plaza brings vital foot traffic to the city.. Great as is.. I'm sorry the mayor's office is noisy.. Too bad

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Like the Plaza, but I agree that we need nodes. KPlaza can still be the main hub, but I'd like to see some loop routes as well.

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I wouldnt want a park in Kplaza's place.. I would want more highrises. Even though it may be unrealtistic... is it a bad idea?

I think having 1 or 2 new skyskrapers along the existing plaza would make providence appear much bigger. One Ten West. will definately add depth, but this would complete a nice cluster of buildings... and totally eliminate that "2d" view that the city sort of has.

I want to know what y'all think :);)

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