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Transit 2020


quente

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I was catching up on local news after having been out of the country during the holidays and this snippet from the ProJo about the Mayor's inaugural speech caught my eye:

"The city has been looking at mass transit options through the Transit 2020 Working Group, which is expected to return a report soon. Cicilline said he favors a variation of a streetcar system, comparable to the system in Portland, Ore.

Streetcars, he said, could reduce automobile pollution and fix Providence

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Yes, the mayor is actually serious about actual streetcars on actual steel tracks embedded in the ground, not the silly """"trolleys"""" we have now (<---The word 'trolley' in this case deserves a liberal helping of air quotes).

The Sasaski report suggest a tranist arc from Allens Avenue up through the Jewelry District to the mall then along the Promenade to Olneyville. Another obvious route is Broadway to Downcity then either through the current bus tunnel or the abandoned rail tunnel through the East Side to the East Providence waterfront district. Also my favorite alignment, though I don't know that it has been offcially researched is along Broad Street to South Elmwood and Roger Williams Park. And of course, many are fans of street car service along North Main to Pawtucket.

I think if the city buckles down and the state gets behind it, there's no reason we should not be breaking ground on a new street car line before Cicilline's gubenatorial inauguration in 2010. :whistling:

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Yes, they'd be like the above ground greenline sections. Most of Providence, given our physical environment will likely be more like the E with trains in traffic, though further out of downtown there is room for tracks in their own medians, like the C line.

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I would love to see it down Elmwood Ave then down Route 2 into Cranston. Broad Street is much denser and has more destinations, but Elmwood would tie it into Route 2 better. Reservoir Ave is definitely wide enough, and if we brought it down to the Pastore Center then crappy places like Chapel View could destroy some of their parking and become more TODish.

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I think it would be kind of cool to end up with cars similar to what they have in The Hague or Amsterdam. Because Holland is so close to sea level, they have the same water table issues that Providence would have with building a subway. (Although it would be slightly easier in Providence) Anyway, here is a pic from elsewhere on the up forums of a streetcar in Amsterdam. This doesn't really tell the whole story, they are everywhere.

dscf9403cw4.jpg

On a side note, how awesome are those gable houses?

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I would love to see it down Elmwood Ave then down Route 2 into Cranston. Broad Street is much denser and has more destinations, but Elmwood would tie it into Route 2 better. Reservoir Ave is definitely wide enough, and if we brought it down to the Pastore Center then crappy places like Chapel View could destroy some of their parking and become more TODish.
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I get so excited about any of those things (lines) actually happening, I don't even know what to say...

Start with the busiest current RIPTA 'intercity' type lines and go from there. Links to PP mall, the port/HH museum, the zoo, the train station, and making use of the tunnel to the E side should be the basis for the network.

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There was a protest on Academy Ave. (I think) over the weekend of residents demanding overnight street parking because their neighborhoods are too dense for off street parking and as vacant lots get developed they are losing their parking spots.

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I'm not sure that the CHNA would be as against it as people think. Their main concern as far as I can see is that restaurant and bar patrons would be flooding residential streets if overnight parking were allowed. If the city created a neighborhood permit program like in Boston I think the CHNA would be more accepting of the concept.

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i thought college hill's beef was that the area would become even more congested with students' cars. Right now lots of students don't have cars because they have no place to park and the fear is that if they could park overnight on the street, then they would bring their cars to school. There are many ways to solve that problem however, some of which are already on the books--and some can be written into the policy of onstreet, permitted parking.

It would be nice to know how the pilot is going...

but back on topic--the light rail in PDX was so great. It didn't go to N Portland, where i worked so i couldn't commute to work that way, but i did often use it to shop downtown, and sometimes i had to drive downtown and park and then i used "Fareless square" feature of the light rail. There was a block of blocks downtown where you could ride the light rail for free and it was MOST of downtown, which, as you can imagine was a heck of a lot bigger than our downtown.

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I went on the "internets" and found some interesting stuff on streetcars. Evidently, at one time, the streetcar system in southern New England was quite extensive. In fact, you could travel from New York to Boston via Springfield, MA or Providence by taking the interurban streetcar lines! Hard to believe that such an option existed.

Here are some streetcar links:

Photos of Providence streetcars

Blurb on RIPTA streetcar study: According to this blurb from May 2006, 2 routes in Providence are being looked at along Allens Avenue and Valley Street plus a third route along the waterfront in East Providence.

Article from The Economist - Aug. 2006 and LA Streetcar Feasibility Study: These two links look at the move by a number of cities towards investment in light rail and other public transportation. I quickly glanced through the LA study which has a section about the benefits of streetcars, particularly in downtown commercial districts. Good information for making the case.

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I go through Washington Park daily at around 5:45am and there really aren't too many cars parked on the street at all, despite the pilot being in place there. However, right when you hit the Cranston line, there's a bunch of cars always parked on Narragansett Blvd outside the JWU Hospitality Center, presumably students' cars. I guess this is what College Hill is afraid of, but as Jen said, write something into the overnight on-street parking ordinance.

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I go through Washington Park daily at around 5:45am and there really aren't too many cars parked on the street at all, despite the pilot being in place there. However, right when you hit the Cranston line, there's a bunch of cars always parked on Narragansett Blvd outside the JWU Hospitality Center, presumably students' cars. I guess this is what College Hill is afraid of, but as Jen said, write something into the overnight on-street parking ordinance.
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