Critics Voice Disappointment In State's 6/10 Connector Plan

Sep 9, 2016

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.

Scott Wolf, head of the urban planning policy group Grow Smart RI, said the current highway system chokes off development and neighborhoods in Providence.

“Certainly addressing public safety concerns is the threshold for everything else,” said Wolf. “But I think that there are many communities around the country that have reconstructed corridors like this in a creative way, without sacrificing public safety.”

Wolf said the proposed plan is short-sighted.

“I think that it is ruling out some potentially very beneficial approaches to the reconstruction to the 6-10,” said Wolf. “Approaches that could enhance economic development opportunities, could provide more pedestrian friendly approach for people within the communities of the corridor area.”

A spokesperson for Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city is still in talks with design consultants, but will end a public commenting period.