transportation

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave speak with Scott Wolf, executive director of the nonprofit Grow Smart Rhode Island, about the future of the 6/10 Connector.

Governor Gina Raimondo has accelerated plans to repair the highway due to safety concerns. But Wolf says there is still time to consider alternatives, including a modified boulevard concept favored by some community groups and transit advocates.

When to listen:

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Critics are voicing disappointment following Gov. Gina Raimondo’s announcement that repairs to the 6/10 connector will be placed on a fast-track, leaving little hope that the corridor will get a major redesign.

Transportation advocates had hoped to see roadway transformed into a boulevard.

Advocates for the idea say a boulevard would offer better access to existing streets in Providence, and make room for pedestrians and cyclists. But the state announced this week the 6/10 connector is in such poor condition, there won’t be time for a major redesign.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation held the last in a series of workshops Wednesday on the future of the 6/10 Connector. State DOT director Peter Alviti recently stopped by our studio to talk about the future of the Connector and related issues. Alviti spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis and political analyst Scott MacKay.

(We should note that this conversation took place before a sometimes terse meeting on the 6/10 Connector earlier this week.)

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Transit officials announced the creation of a new bus corridor through downtown Providence. The 1.4 mile transit project replaces the now-scrapped city streetcar project. 

Moving Forward PVD

Transportation activist James Kennedy is one of the leaders of the movement calling for remaking the 6/10 Connector as a boulevard. He stopped by our studio to talk about the concept and why he considers it a smart idea.

John Bender

After months of street construction, new traffic patterns have been introduced in downtown Providence. Two major roads that used to be one direction only are now open for two-way traffic. The streets are Dorrance Street in front of the Biltmore Hotel and Exchange Terrace leading toward the Convention Center.

RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority holds its last series of public meetings Monday and Tuesday to discuss potential changes in fares.

RIPTA will host the listening sessions in Newport, Providence, Pawtucket and Warwick on Monday and Tuesday. RIPTA officials say this is the first comprehensive study of all the authority’s fare offerings.

RIPTA Spokesperson Barbara Polichetti said this is also an opportunity to look at possible changes in how customers obtain tickets.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Standing under a decaying highway overpass in Olneyville, Governor Gina Raimondo on Wednesday unveiled a plan to improve Rhode Island's crumbling bridges by imposing a yet-to-be determined charge on large commercial trucks.

The plan calls for a $700 million bond issue, to be included as part of the budget for the next fiscal year, to jump-start transit-related construction work. To the delight of unionized workers in attendance, Raimondo characterized the initiative -- dubbed "Rhode Works" -- as a measure that will improve infrastructure while creating construction jobs.

John Bender

Police have identified the nine-year-old girl fatally struck on Thursday by a public bus in Providence.

According to police, she was third-grader Ani Emdjian. She was walking to school with her father when she was hit, a little before 9 o'clock in the morning. She died at a hospital some time later.

The accident on Smith Street, just blocks from the statehouse, involved a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus. Police have now identified the driver as 42-year-old Eric Seaberg of Smithfield. 

John Bender / RIPR

Police are investigating a fatal accident involving a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus. The bus struck and killed a nine-year-old girl in Providence on Thursday morning.

RIPTA says the accident happened on Smith Street at approximately 8:40 a.m., just blocks from the Rhode Island Statehouse. 

A bus traveling away from downtown Providence hit the girl, who was on foot. Police say she died of her injuries. 

John Bender / RIPR

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, has revealed its policy for security cameras at Kennedy Plaza.  Civil liberties advocates have raised questions about new cameras installed during a renovation of the downtown Providence transit hub.

The authority says's is part of an effort to increase security.  RIPTA says the cameras can only be accessed by the chief of security, and will be deleted after about a month.  

RIPR FILE

Nearly 100 million people are expected to travel fifty miles or more this holiday season.  Some four million of those will be New Englanders.

That’s up four percent from last year according to AAA. The organization reports the uptick is due to an extended holiday season, December 23 through January 4, as well as a steadily improving economy according to AAA spokesman Lloyd Albert. “Well I think we’ve been seeing such depressed travel volumes over the past three or four years, that this year we’ve been seeing a very significant uptick.”

Traffic Changes Coming To Downtown Providence

Dec 22, 2014
RIPR FILE

Drivers in downtown Providence should take caution this week.  The city is two-way traffic on roads that used to be one-way. 

RIPTA Passengers Adjust To Relocated Bus Stops

Jul 14, 2014
Benjamin Bryant

Passengers on The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority's buses are doing their best to adjust to recent relocations of bus stops from Kennedy Plaza to other nearby locations. The relocations went into effect Saturday, July 12th. They are expected to last through the rest of the summer while the renovations are completed. RIPTA says the City of Providence is trying to increase the efficiency of the bus stops and pedestrian walkways while building a large civic space in the plaza. 

Kennedy Plaza Bus Stops Relocated For Summer

Jul 8, 2014
RIPR FILE

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is relocating bus stops in Kennedy Plaza to nearby locations while the plaza is being renovated. With many buses traveling in and out, Kennedy Plaza is currently the hub of bus transportation in the city. 

The City of Providence plans to build a large civic space in the plaza and increase the efficiency of the bus stops and pedestrian walkways. The relocations will go into effect on Saturday, July 12th and will last until the work is completed in the fall.

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