Monthly North Main Workshop schedule

Bus line #99, one of RIPTA's busiest, serves North Main.

People, Transit and North Main Street, Sept. 9, 7pm.

We’re going public – again. The North Main Street Project will hold five public meetings on key aspects of North Main’s future over the rest of 2008. Topics will include a look at past glories on North Main, new transit options, opportunities for residential development, an analysis of the development doldrums at the Sears and Shaw’s Plaza sites and a look at North Main’s environmental sustainability, or lack thereof.

Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, September 9: Traffic design on North Main Street 
7 pm – Sandwich Hut, 1253 North Main Street (at corner of Ninth St.)

Featured Presenter: 
Bernard Frezza, RI Department of Transportation

Tuesday, September 23: The History of North Main Street 
7 pm -Carriage House Theater, 9 Duncan Ave. (just off North Main one block south of KFC and Cypress St)
Featured Presenters: 
Dr. Robert Cvornyek, Chairman, History Department, Rhode Island College
Mack Woodward, Rhode Island Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission

Tuesday, October 7: Potential and problems at the Sears site 
7 pm – Location: TBA
Featured presenter: Jonathan Harris, urban planning consultant

Tuesday, November 11: Residential North Main Street – fantasy or vision?
7 pm – Location: TBA

Tuesday, December 2: North Main and the End of Oil
7 pm – Location: TBA

For details on each 2008 session and a tentative line-up of workshops for 2009:

Tuuesday, September 9: Traffic design on North Main Street 
7 pm – Sandwich Hut, 1253 North Main Street (at corner of Ninth St.|
North Main is a state highway (Route 1).  How necessary and effective is it as an auto route? How could better serve local residents and businesses? How can we improve pedestrian safety? What would it take to make the Smithfield Avenue intersection safer, better for business and more attractive? What additional kinds of streetscaping is the state prepared to do, if any?

Tuesday, September 23: The History of North Main Street
7 pm -Carriage House Theater, 9 Duncan Ave. (just off North Main one block south of KFC and Cypress St)

Can North Main’s past inspire the future?  Join historians, preservationists and participants in a visit to the North Main corridor’s surprising past, including an NFL Champion football team, professional boxing, cycling, hocky and basketball and one of New England’s hottest clubs from the golden age of jazz, the Celebrity Club. Bring your questions, memories and (especially) photos of old North Main.

Featured speakers:
Dr. Robert Cvornyek, Chairman, History Department, Rhode Island College
Mack Woodward, Rhode Island Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission

Tuesday, October 7: Potential and problems at the Sears site 
7 pm – Location: TBA

Who own the abandoned or underused areas at the northern end of the street? What are their goals? What does local zoning and planning say? What’s holding up development? What is the potential for partnerships among stakeholders that could benefit everyone? If you’ve ever wondered what’s going on with this long-abandoned site, you should attend.
Featured presenter: Jonathan Harris, urban planning consultant

Tuesday, November 11: Residential North Main Street – fantasy or vision?
7 pm – Location: TBA 

What is the past, present and potential of North Main as a residential street? How does changing the number of people living on or near the street change the character of other development on the street? How would it impact the tax base and draw on city services? What kind of housing is feasible and appropriate? How can we encourage this development? Who would move to North Main?  What is the role of workforce-affordable housing?

Tuesday, December 2: North Main and the End of Oil
7 pm – Location TBA

Between oil scarcity and the need to fend off climate change, the End of Oil is upon us. How will auto-dependent North Main Street fare in the new era? How should we develop the street to provide post-oil employment and business opportunities in our neighborhood? What new kinds of construction and design will be needed to cope? How will our residential, retail and food supply needs change and what opportunities exist to meet new those new needs on a revived North Main Street?

 

 

 

2009 programs – tentative – dates and places to be determined

Making North Main a Green Street
How can we expand awareness, physical access and visual greening from North Burial Ground across the street to the neighborhoods and up the street to the bleak northern end? Where could public street investments make the biggest difference in perception, experience, property values or pedestrian safety? What incentives do businesses have to landscape? What resources and organizations can help? What is the potential for pedestrian and cycle paths or gardens along North Main and the Moshassuck River?

Back to the retail future of North Main Street
Can North Main Street help meet core retail needs for the neighborhoods by offering food, clothing and home product outlets? What do retailers and other desirable consumer-driven businesses need to make a successful investment in our neighborhood? What barriers are keeping our long-sought Trader Joe’s and similar high-quality retailers from building on North Main? How can we encourage a healthy environment for locally-owned retailers?

Avenue of opportunity
How can we leverage current opportunities: major medical facility, empty buildings, excellent transit connections and an emerging entrepreneurial class in Providence to create business and employment opportunities for Providence residents?

Medicine and the future of North Main Street
Why do so many doctors locate on North Main? Will this continue? Is this a trend we should encourage? (or restrain?). How could Miriam’s future impact North Main? What other businesses , employment and development could a medical corridor support? 

Do you have other ideas for workshops on North Main Street? Email me: jon@ceffect.com

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