Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

Providence Station Renovation Plans Fail to Keep Up With the Times

false

The city of Providence was recently awarded $3 million to renovate its 26-year-old train station. But our friends at Greater City Providence are "less than thrilled" with the plans.

Blogger Jef Nickerson argues that Providence is a much different place today than when the station was built in the mid-80s. But the renovation plans are merely a sprucing up of the same uninspired design that's been in place for a generation:

This plan is nothing more than ripping out what has failed to be maintained since 1986 and replacing it more ticky tacky, insipid, suburban inspired dreck that will again not be maintained. And no one will care that it is not maintained because it will only ever be used by people moving as fast as they can through it because there is no there, there.

It is not visionary, and it is not urban. Remember 1986 and its 93¢ gas and the remoteness of the idea that there’d ever be a huge passenger base at the station? Well it is 2012 and 1986 was wrong, there is demand. Maybe some sad plantings and some benches scattered about worked in 1986, in 2012 we need a station that people use, we need an urban station. The plan is all mall style pavers, curved planters, flag poles, banners slapped on the building, and random cafe tables. There’s no thought for retail, where does a hypothetical Friday afternoon farmers market go in this plan, where are the food trucks, where is the seating for the hundreds of people who use this station now and the thousands that will be using it years to come, where’s the covered secure bike parking?

In 1986 when we built a station because it simply seemed like a thing a city needed to have, we were on to something. A city does need to have a train station, but a vital city needs that train station to be one of its great public venues, it should be one of the beating hearts of the city. Let’s not screw this up, because the Federal Government does not hand us $3 million for these type of things every day.

Elsewhere on the Network today: UrbanVelo reports that if one third of Americans replaced one mile of car travel per day with cycling, we would save a combined $17 billion. The Tulsa Bicycle Examiner is dismayed that a local cyclist was ticketed for the patently legal act of cycling in the street. And Spacing Toronto shares the news that a forward-thinking local college has moved to close a roadway to car traffic to give students more space for walking and cycling.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Wednesday’s Headlines: Four for Fifth Edition

The good news? There's a new operator for the Fifth Avenue open street. The bad news? It's four blocks, down from 15 last year. Plus other news.

April 24, 2024

MTA Plan to Run Brooklyn-Queens Train on City Streets a ‘Grave’ Mistake: Advocates

A 515-foot tunnel beneath All Faiths Cemetery would slightly increase the cost of the project in exchange for "enormous" service benefits, a new report argues.

April 24, 2024

Full Court Press by Mayor for Congestion Pricing Foe Randy Mastro

Pay no attention to that lawyer behind the curtain fighting for New Jersey, the mayor's team said on Tuesday, channeling the Wizard of Oz.

Tuesday’s Headlines: Valley of Political Death Edition

Did you see the new poll showing congestion pricing is really unpopular? Ignore it! Good times are coming. Plus other news in today's headlines.

April 23, 2024

Open Streets Groups Warn of Extra Red Tape to Run Events

Two weeks notice for hopscotch or a yoga class?

April 23, 2024
See all posts