Big Kennedy Plaza changes afoot; some buses to be cut

Apr 16, 2013

Governor Lincoln Chafee and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras are scheduled on Thursday to announce major changes to Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence with an event at the Providence Biltmore Hotel on Thursday evening.

Chafee and Taveras will be joined by U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, and members of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy  in the Biltmore’s Grand Ballroom on the 17th floor to present the plan to rehabilitate the historic downtown plaza that was named after JFK after his 1963 death. (Kennedy had given a famous campaign speech in the area on the eve of his 1960 presidential election victory).

While details have been kept under wraps, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, chairman of the board that runs the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, says the plan will include cutting the number of  buses stopping in Kennedy Plaza.

Avedisian says passenger safety as well as making routes more direct through has led to decreasing the number of buses at the large depot under the old Industrial National- Superman building.

Some of those buses will stop near downtown adjacent to the College Hill tunnels that funnel buses from the city’s East Side through downtown, which are several blocks away from Kennedy Plaza.