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Garris

CVS 5K - My random Prov impressions... (long)

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Hi Everyone,

(Warning... Long post) Well, I ran the CVS 5K today, which was fun, just as it was last year. The weather was perfect. I forgot to post notice of the race last night, as for those of you who like to photograph the city, the opportunity to shoot Prov streets with thousands of people running (especially together down Francis) is rare.

The route is nearly a best of Providence's downtown. Here's their map:

5K-PROV-MAP.gif

Things looked great. The city was clean and everyone was polite and helpful. The city's new construction (GTech, Waterplace, Westin) was on display front and center, but it wasn't intrusive in any way. The route takes runners by some of the city's architectural gems and some of its best and hottest restaurants and businesses.

With Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis fresh on my mind after my recent trip, here are some of my return-to-Providence impressions after the race...

- Providence is quite small! I sometimes forget this, but even Portland (population about 400-500 K) dwarfs our beloved city by orders of magnitude.

- G-Tech is looking great. If the detailing and materials are good, it'll be an asset to that corner. That Intercontinental site will be great too...

- The RISD banners on 15 West look great. It was also wonderful to drive by it about 11PM and see a swarm of lights on all over the building!

- We are quite fortunate to have real, unique regional architecture here in the city. While all the cities I visited have "historic districts" (and quite nice ones at that), none of them have the historic architure distributed all throughout the entire downtown and metro. Quite unique...

- Waterplace is really a great park. Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis all have Waterfront parks as well, but none of them are as well done or as well integrated into the city as Providence's...

- That said, Providence's maintenance of its parks is orders of magnitude worse than all of those above cities. Weeds are everywhere, grass laws aren't mowed, there's cracks in the sidewalks and stucco, and most of the grass has been supplanted by weeds.

- Also on the negative side, our general infrastructure is embarrassing. All three cities I visited have pristine sidewalks, public plantings that are well maintained, and roads that don't make you notice how bad they are. Portland gets special notice for phenomenal public signage. There isn't a single road without a large, attractive reflective sign, and copious signs point you to local attractions. Seattle gets special notice for tons of public plantings, with attractive, well maintained trees, flowers, and shrubs. Both Portland and Seattle have a 21st century parking system, with pay stations that take coins or credit cards and dispense a timing sticker you affix to the inside window of your car. Great stuff. Coming back here to Providence, and walking a block and a half at night to my local CVS on a sidewalk where, without lighting, you risk tripping and falling over a surface that looks like an earthquake aftermath in what is supposed to be one of the city's best neighborhoods is embarrassing. I won't talk about the roads and parking... Our city really needs a sidewalk and signage Marshall Plan...

- Continuing with the negative, one word... Graffiti. There was none in Portland at all, and a smattering in a rough neighborhood in Seattle. But that's it. Here, it's everywhere, all the more noticable after coming back from three larger graffiti free cities. I don't know how many times I saw a great public work or art on my trip and thought, "Oh, that would never work in Providence. It'd be covered in graffiti within 24 hours." One or two bad apples are likely putting Providence's continued renaissance and its resident's sense of security at risk every day. Something needs to be done.

- On the upside, I had the pleasure of travelling through 5 great airports: TF Green, Portland, Detroit, Seattle, and Minneapolis-St Paul. Of them all, TF Green was the most pleasant, easiest to navigate, and closest to the downtown. The only thing we lack is the LRT airport connection that both Portland and MSP have, but as we all know, that's coming.

- Oddly, I have no idea why retail signage in Providence, from the unique local stores to the chains, is so invisible. Portland, Seattle, and even Minneapolis are all a riot of attractive, appropriate, and inviting signs that have great graphic design that all bespeak of vitality and prosperity. The same was recently true in New Haven as well. Coming back to Providence, you'd think we have no retail! Wayland's Sq's signage (even of its newest, hottest businesses) is all but invisible, and everything downtown and on Westminster is, in a word, discrete at best. Even the Design Within Reach branches in Portland and Seattle are waaay more visible than ours on Westminster. What's up here? Can anyone tell me why this is? I don't get it...

- I've never much thought of Providence as a "college town," especially compared to places like Burlington, New Haven, or Amherst. Well, coming back, I've got to reappraise that. Compared to the other cities I visited, Providence's colleges are obvious and welcome presences, adding clear vitality to the city. College age students are visible everywhere, not the case in these other cities. A real plus for us that only promises to become more of an asset in the future as the colleges move downtown and the 195 land becomes available in the future.

- After my trip, I find the argument of some that a tazza here or a 110 there is establishing Providence as some kind of upscale enclave as more completely absurd than ever. I was once told by a co-worker at RIH with tons of travel experience that, "Rhode Island and Providence are actually, save for a street here or a neighborhood there, not very prosperous or affluent. This area wouldn't know what to do if affluence came up and bit it on the ass." I'd say that's true. All three cities I visited feel orders of magnitude more upscale and prosperous than Providence. Portland and Seattle in particular are apparently unaffordable. Both are swimming with people with expensive cars, expensive clothes, and expensive tastes. People here moan and b*tch about the East Side. I drove through neighborhoods in both cities that are themselves larger than the entire Providence metro that make the East Side feel like Watts in LA by comparison. I mean, really, really amazing, really, really rich places with retail, parks, schools, etc that look like they belong in such places. We've never seen anything here remotely like the Microsoft and high-tech money that has reshaped places like Seattle and Portland (and San Francisco, for that matter). Folks, while we certainly don't want to make Providence nearly as unaffordable as those cities, we certainly have some room to scrub up the city and attract a little more money without loosing the city's soul, trust me...

- While the amount (and rapidity) of our recent development is impressive, it's nothing like what's happening in Portland, Seattle, or Minneapolis. All three cities have cranes everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Turn 360 in all three, and there are new buildings and action as far as the eye can see. One professional photographer I ran into in Seattle told me that the pro's have completely given up photographing the Seattle skyline for the next year or two since there are so many new superstructures and cranes that they "ruin" the shots. Amazing stuff... I wonder, with as wonderful urban places as these cities are, why there is no action in the Pacific NW portion of UP?

- In the same vein, for those who worried that most of our construction is just residential and not commercial, the same is largely true in all three cities. With the exception of scattered mixed use stuff, all of what is happening in Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis is residential condo development almost without exception. I'm not exactly sure what this says about our national economy... I'll leave that to others.

Whew! That's about all! All said, there's no place like home :). Hope you all got outside today!

- Garris

PS: Boo to the handful of drivers I saw, almost all women (!!), yelling at the Providence police angry at the street closures for the 5K today. All the besiged Police could say is, "You feel inconvenienced? Call the Mayor..." It was disappointing to see people so worked up about a minor hiccup for them that only brings, oh, thousands of people and likely tens of thousands of dollars to their city...

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it seems like the signage, infrastructure, park maintenace and graffiti are problems that have a huge effect of people opinion of the city.. sex sells.. therefore.. looks sell.

Is it really that costly that this can't be taken care of immediately?

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Is it really that costly that this can't be taken care of immediately?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Kind of.

The Waterplace Park situtation should be improving in the next year, as the Waterplace developers have stated that they will be stewards of the park, not exactly sure what that means, but one would imagine they wouldn't want their half million dollar condos sitting in squallor.

Signage is a huge issue in Providence, what we have is ugly and ineffectual. Maintaining the streets and sidewalks is going to have to come first. There was a press release out of the mayor's office last week that stated 15 streets were slated to be rebuilt. Each should see signage upgrades in connection with them. The problem is there is no master plan for signage. You can see all over the city a hodgepodge of varying signage schemes. Someone needs to sit down and come up with a plan. That takes time and costs money. Not too mention the costs and time of actually launching the plan. It's something that needs to be done, but I don't think economically, or planningwise, the city is ready for this yet.

With the design talent we have at RISD though, some sort of partnership could be created to have RISD tackle the signage issue, and come up with a proposal to the city. It's something that Roger Mandle and Thom Deller should put their heads together on. Good PR for RISD, and good economics for the city.

For it's parks, Providence needs to start looking into things like The Bryant Park Restoration Corporation or The Central Park Conservancy in New York. These are non-profit private or quasi-public agencies that work much like the Downtown Improvement District, but work for the park. Burnside Park, Memorial Park, and Waterplace are all parks that likely could operate on these models. For example, Burnside and the Skating Center would be turned over to this non-profit agency (the city would retain ownership). The agency would be allowed to run the park, book events to raise money to reinvest in the parks. We could see a park cafe in Burnside. The snack bar at the skating center would likely be open at all times to capture revenue. An agency actually challenged with making money for the skating center would be actively out there booking events, how many events did we have at the skating center this summer, would one need more than one hand to count them? Each park would have dedicated maintainence and security personnel, an end to loitering in Burnside.

Parks can and should also be in effect, turned over to the control of interested abutters. The park outside the Hotel Providence has in effect been made the hotel's property through an agreement with the city. The city actually maintains ownership of the park, but the hotel is allowed to set it's hours, and eject people from the park when they are causing a disturbance. In return for control, the hotel has taken over maintainence of the park, one less park for the city to have to worry about in manpower and dollars. Garibaldi Park on Federal Hill could go this way if the proposed hotel is ever built there.

On the sidewalk issue, I don't know if abutters are not liable in this city, or if there is no enforcement. In New York abutters can (and are) fined for not keeping their sidewalks clean. I had my family here a few weeks ago, and I was embarrassed by the litter on Federal Hill, there shouldn't have to be a law, but if there is not a law there should be. Why these restaurant owners are happy to let trash pile up in front of their restaurants, I don't understand, maybe a fine will wake them up (same goes with snow removal, where are the fines?).

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- On the upside, I had the pleasure of travelling through 5 great airports: TF Green, Portland, Detroit, Seattle, and Minneapolis-St Paul.  Of them all, TF Green was the most pleasant, easiest to navigate, and closest to the downtown.  The only thing we lack is the LRT airport connection that both Portland and MSP have, but as we all know, that's coming.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm kind of surprised to hear that T.F. Green beats out PDX on the pleasantness scale. Admittedly, I've only ever dropped people off at Green, but I spent the better part of a day in PDX once waiting for fog to clear in S.F. so my flight could leave, and found it to be a pretty OK place to be forced to spend the day (as far as spending the day in airports goes). I spent a lot of time in the Powell Bookstore at PDX, and I remember this really attractive dining area where I did some reading and writing and people-watching to kill the time.

- Oddly, I have no idea why retail signage in Providence, from the unique local stores to the chains, is so invisible.  Portland, Seattle, and even Minneapolis are all a riot of attractive, appropriate, and inviting signs that have great graphic design that all bespeak of vitality and prosperity.  The same was recently true in New Haven as well.  Coming back to Providence, you'd think we have no retail!  Wayland's Sq's signage (even of its newest, hottest businesses) is all but invisible, and everything downtown and on Westminster is, in a word, discrete at best.  Even the Design Within Reach branches in Portland and Seattle are waaay more visible than ours on Westminster.  What's up here?  Can anyone tell me why this is?  I don't get it...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think there is something in the design world right now that is not allowing us to have the riot of retail signage one sees in other cities. The current design mood reflects what is going on online, where diminutive text is in vogue, and the text gives way to large visuals. It's an asthetic that I am quite enjoying, not only online and in print, but out in the physical world as well. Providence's retail scene is so new, that all we are really seeing is this current design environment. A couple years ago really really big print wrapped around everything was all the rage, if our retail environment had been reborn at that point, we may be complaining now about how over the top all of our retail signage is. In cities like Portland and Seattle the retail scene has developed through numerous design cycles, so you see a little bit of everything going back through time.

If you look at places like White Electic or Abode at Westminster Crossing, or DWR, Tazza, and Symposium on Westminster you can see the result of this current design ethos. diminutive signage, or signage with diminutive text set up as to not overwhelm the visual that is the store itself and the product it's selling.

Several things are going to happen in our retail signscape. One, this current style will cycle out eventually. Two, stores are going to realize that if no one knows they're there, they aren't going to sell much (ask the owners of Urban Kitchen about this). Three, more stores will fill in, currently even if everything on Westminster had giant 4 story neon signs, it would still look sparse as there's really only half a dozen retailers down there.

This current asthetic could also be being played out better. DWR is a good example, they have diminutive signs, in keeping with current style above the doors of their shops and little or no signage in the windows, the visual of the product is supposed to trump the text. All they need to do is hang one of those dimunitive red signs from the corner, and they've suddenly jacked up the recognition factor, without leaving the design asthetic. Tazza has a sign hanging perpendicular to the street, but it's too small, Double it's size. And so on.

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The problem is there is no master plan for signage. You can see all over the city a hodgepodge of varying signage schemes. Someone needs to sit down and come up with a plan. That takes time and costs money. Not too mention the costs and time of actually launching the plan. It's something that needs to be done, but I don't think economically, or planningwise, the city is ready for this yet.

This is one of those things that makes me feel that if we, as a municipality, can't marshall the money or resources for something as simple as signs, then we should fold everything up and quit the whole city thing... Signs to get people around are one of those basic things that is supposed to separate a first world from third world city... If we can't handle signs, it's no wonder we can't handle schooling...

That said, to answer CtownMikey's question, they are somewhat expensive. It's not just the sign (each one numbers, I think, in the hundreds of dollars), it's the money to pay the DOT worker to install them, and the gas for the truck, and the study of which streets need it, etc. etc...

Again, though, we should be able to manage this, shouldn't we?

With the design talent we have at RISD though, some sort of partnership could be created to have RISD tackle the signage issue, and come up with a proposal to the city. It's something that Roger Mandle and Thom Deller should put their heads together on. Good PR for RISD, and good economics for the city.

Outstanding idea. Some budding industrial designer has got to want a project like that on his/her resume.

For it's parks, Providence needs to start looking into things like The Bryant Park Restoration Corporation or The Central Park Conservancy in New York.

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I'm kind of surprised to hear that T.F. Green beats out PDX on the pleasantness scale.

It's actually pretty even. TF Green is smaller, and thus easier and quicker to navigate. Save for the tiny (but very pleasant) airports in White Plains, NY and Rochester, MN, I don't think I've ever gotten from the plane, to the baggage area, to my car on the road faster than at TF Green.

That said, PDX is fantastic as well, especially for a larger airport. If you like Powell's at the airport, you should see their downtown Portland store. Someone I know calls it the nation's best bookstore, and after visiting, I can't say I disagree. Outstanding.

I think there is something in the design world right now that is not allowing us to have the riot of retail signage one sees in other cities...

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A DOT project a few years ago was the Wayfinding Signage project (along with the downtown circulator project, the project that made Washington Street two-way), which gave birth to all those signs around downtown that point you towards things like the mall, the train station, smith hill, east side, etc., and the large street signs that say the street and the "district" that the street is in. Of course, it should have been done on a much larger scale all around the city. There is good signage around the mall though, especially at the corner of Francis & Gaspee.

And yes, even simple sidewalk projects still endure a highly regimented process that all federally funded projects must, with tons and tons of regulations. The City of Providence, however, is notorious for taking literally years to do its part on its federally funded projects, thereby slowing down the process even further.

The trick is for the municipality itself to fund the project, then there are much fewer regulations (the city can basically do whatever it wants).

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They recently replaced the sidewalks along Prospect Street between Waterman and Angell, and a little down Angell. What infuriates me is they put that stupid ass decorative brick work around the edges of it. For how many millennia has Providence been in a freeze thaw zone now, and how many more millennia will it take DOT to get that?

I'm also infuriated be the revalation that the resurfacing work on Atwells will keep the brick in the street. Oddly, the brick sections are the smoothest parts of the street currently (the city actually had some good craftsmen on that project for once, probably because Patriarca was up there to make sure things were done right). However, everytime the city needs to tear up the brick to work, it's never replaced properly.

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Of course, it should have been done on a much larger scale all around the city.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Let's take advantage of the state's diminutive size and create a signage system for the entire state. The state's cities and town centers could all sport the same kind of signage system, and the rural areas connecting them can have cohesive signage as well.

I covet European signage:

parissigns.jpgswisssigns.jpg

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- That said, Providence's maintenance of its parks is orders of magnitude worse than all of those above cities.  Weeds are everywhere, grass laws aren't mowed, there's cracks in the sidewalks and stucco, and most of the grass has been supplanted by weeds. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

To me this is a bigger issue than signs or almost anything else. The run-down parks and dirty streets just infuriate me. Coming from Boston, it is the single biggest difference in the cities, other than sheer size. It stains the entire impression people have of this city, which is sad, because it has so much going for it. If they can not get the parks department (or whoever) to actually maintain things, then this city will always be seen as kind of a gritty lower class community. The weeds, trash, broken sidewalks/streets, broken mufflers laying in roads etc., is basic maintenance that the city should make a priority.

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- After my trip, I find the argument of some that a tazza here or a 110 there is establishing Providence as some kind of upscale enclave as more completely absurd than ever.  I was once told by a co-worker at RIH with tons of travel experience that, "Rhode Island and Providence are actually, save for a street here or a neighborhood there, not very prosperous or affluent.  This area wouldn't know what to do if affluence came up and bit it on the ass."  I'd say that's true.  All three cities I visited feel orders of magnitude more upscale and prosperous than Providence.  Portland and Seattle in particular are apparently unaffordable.  Both are swimming with people with expensive cars, expensive clothes, and expensive tastes.  People here moan and b*tch about the East Side.  I drove through neighborhoods in both cities that are themselves larger than the entire Providence metro that make the East Side feel like Watts in LA by comparison.  I mean, really, really amazing, really, really rich places with retail, parks, schools, etc that look like they belong in such places.  We've never seen anything here remotely like the Microsoft and high-tech money that has reshaped places like Seattle and Portland (and San Francisco, for that matter).  Folks, while we certainly don't want to make Providence nearly as unaffordable as those cities, we certainly have some room to scrub up the city and attract a little more money without loosing the city's soul, trust me...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm having a little trouble understanding what you're advocating here. Providence IS much less prosperous than Portland and Seattle. Inserting expensive stores on Westminster Street is useless without the population to afford to spend money there. Yes, people who purchase new condos downtown may fit that bill, but to me the major issue is jobs. Until Providence is able to attract some companies that provide stable, significant incomes, Providence is going to have trouble supporting more than the occasional Tazza. Now, there is always the chicken/egg question ... and hopefully some of these "executive residents" will attract those types of business downtown. I just think that in order to have successful, long-term progress in the city, the jobs and residents have to go hand in hand.

With regards to trash, I have to agree, the city is just terrible. I live on the West Side and it is amazing the number of times that I have had to pick up burger king/dunkin donuts bags just thrown on the street, beer bottles, candy wrappers, etc. Who are these people that have so little respect for their surrounding community that they just toss their garbage on the ground? But the city really needs to be proactive on this. It is equally amazing to see the number of homes and businesses that do not clean their streets. I am also from NYC and agree with Cotuit that businesses would be fined if they did not sweep up every day or shovel the snow (at least they would be sued in that case, if someone slipped!).

I also agree that the city seems to relinquish all maintenance duties once a park, grassy strip, or playground has been completed. The Dexter/Parade Street park on the west side is always teeming with trash; there simply aren't enough garbage cans, and/or they're not emptied frequently enough, so they're always overflowing (hey, the least the city can do is help those who actually try to dispose of their trash properly!).

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I'm having a little trouble understanding what you're advocating here.

It wasn't so much advocating anything, as much as hoping to shoot down the idea that some have that Downcity is becoming this elite enclave for the rich that is going to leave everyone else behind... I, especially after this trip, just don't see it happening.

Providence IS much less prosperous than Portland and Seattle.  Inserting expensive stores on Westminster Street is useless without the population to afford to spend money there. 

Yes, but the population will be coming. I think their is this pent up demand for downcity living that will essentially support the retail.

...but to me the major issue is jobs.  Until Providence is able to attract some companies that provide stable, significant incomes, Providence is going to have trouble supporting more than the occasional Tazza. 

Perhaps... I believe, again, that even with the current jobs and current population, there is a pent up demand, a group of people who want to live downtown, but the stock hasn't been there. Even without a huge economic boom, I hope that group will support the retail that will need to follow it.

Now, there is always the chicken/egg question ... and hopefully some of these "executive residents" will attract those types of business downtown.  I just think that in order to have successful, long-term progress in the city, the jobs and residents have to go hand in hand.

I absolutely agree with you. I'm hoping there will be a magnetic effect as well with businesses being drawn to where the people are living... We'll see! I think the city's economic policies and red tape will matter here more than anything.

With regards to trash, I have to agree, the city is just terrible.  I live on the West Side and it is amazing the number of times that I have had to pick up burger king/dunkin donuts bags just thrown on the street, beer bottles, candy wrappers, etc.  Who are these people that have so little respect for their surrounding community that they just toss their garbage on the ground?  But the city really needs to be proactive on this.  It is equally amazing to see the number of homes and businesses that do not clean their streets. 

I absolutely agree, and I actually think in some areas (ex, Smith Hill) it's getting worse. I don't understand home/property owners either just letting garbage sit there...

This was the kind of thing Giuliani tackled in NYC to tremendous effect...

I also agree that the city seems to relinquish all maintenance duties once a park, grassy strip, or playground has been completed. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yup, well said. I just don't understand this. I love the way that the new extension of Waterplace looks, but how long will it be until it's ever mowed again, the plantings are trimmed, or weeds are pulled?

- Garris

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Good observations, Garris. Just one comment:

After my trip, I find the argument of some that a tazza here or a 110 there is establishing Providence as some kind of upscale enclave as more completely absurd than ever...All three cities I visited feel orders of magnitude more upscale and prosperous than Providence.  Portland and Seattle in particular are apparently unaffordable.  Both are swimming with people with expensive cars, expensive clothes, and expensive tastes.  People here moan and b*tch about the East Side.  I drove through neighborhoods in both cities that are themselves larger than the entire Providence metro that make the East Side feel like Watts in LA by comparison.  I mean, really, really amazing, really, really rich places with retail, parks, schools, etc that look like they belong in such places.  We've never seen anything here remotely like the Microsoft and high-tech money that has reshaped places like Seattle and Portland (and San Francisco, for that matter).

You say that like it's a bad thing! ;) Living here in Flagstaff -- a town where there are few jobs, but the price of EVERYTHING is inflated by out-of-town (California and Phoenix) wealth that comes in and sucks up all the real-estate -- there's something to be said for affluent people staying the h3ll out of your hometown.

I left Boston a long time ago, but just judging from what I see when we come back to visit, the place is so ridiculously expensive now, that forget it -- can't live there. My parents' house is probably worth the better part of $1m, but if they sold it today, it would be a teardown. That is not the kind of town I want to live in.

Park the Hummer somewhere else -- who needs Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, and other cities that are so expensive no one can afford to live there? :rolleyes:

Urb

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I'll agree on two things:

trash and infrastructure.

The trash problem is immense and must be tackled with full intensity. The city's street sweeping schedule is absurdly lacking! There is absolutely no excuse for having street cleaners come by so infrequently. That is one surefire thing the city can do to help alleviate the problem. MORE STREETSWEEPING.

The city will be purchasing and distributing new lidded trashcans to property owners. It is just taking them forever to do it. The new trashcans have to be distributed immediately! This should help both the trash and rat problem noticably.

some enforcement of existing laws would help. more organized neighborhood cleanups...

As for as the infrastructure, it is horrendous. The new congressional earmark money is a start, but sidewalks need attention too. As well as traffic lights. Every other one in the city is out.

Its amazing, but when you play simcity and the city is going down the tubes, the cyber city's infrastructure starts to look exactly like Providence's... :sick:

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We have the previous administration to thank for a lot of our infrastructure problems. When the city was at the bottom of it's post war doldrums, we should have been spending money exclusively on upkeep, but the previous administration did things like put decorative street lights on Atwells Ave. that had absolutely no future funding for upkeep. We had vote getting beautification projects that the city knew it could not afford to care for. If money were funnelled into keeping existing traffic lights and sidewalks in repair we wouldn't be in the situation we find ourselves in now.

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This was in the New Urbanism section

""""Many of you may already know this, but for those of you who don't, The Atkanta Urban Core is experiencing an amazing wave of development and growth. Many condo's and highrises are sprouting up and the area is starting to burst qith life again. The "Flight" is over. To accomodate this new growth, Midtown Atlanta is undergoing a 42 million dollar renovation. This includes, new sidewalks, trees, street lamps, and much more. They are also planning to build 30,000 new condos and apartments for the growing population. This is also happening in Downtown, which has been in need of revitalization. This is great for Atlanta and anyone comign to Atlanta.""""

I know Providence isn't Atlanta.. and that there are many different factors that affect these things.. such as our growth isn't in the same league as theirs.. but still, is our city not good enough to atleast give our center core a good renovation??

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$$

That and, are you forgetting we recently moved the rivers, and now we're moving an expressway?

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