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Old 03-06-2010, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Rhody
369 posts, read 1,148,175 times
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I'm on Westminster Street every fricken day, so I know its not a ghost town, especially in the summer.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,353 posts, read 15,328,368 times
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rranger, you sound pretty... off. Westminster St. in Providence seems to be becoming more and more active on a daily basis. It's got a real creative feel and is always active in good weather. How often are you there? Better question-- are you aware of your surroundings when your there? No one here is going to make Providence out to be more than it is; but downtown isn't dead. Not at all.

Furthermore, I'm glad you like the Greenway. Pockets of it are quite alright (Chinatown, though not REALLY attached, was part of the same project... it's very nice). However, I was wrong when I said "glorified" median strip. It's less than that. It's a plain, old median strip. You may enjoy it, but most people don't enjoy their "parks" with On/Off ramps taking up half the space or "lightblades" (seriously, what good are they?) sticking up arbitrarily. After the light "mystifies" you for more than a second, you're forced to walk on to bigger and better things. Boston has the Common, Christopher Columbus Park and Post Office Square within a few short minutes walk from the RKG... ALL of those places are leaps and bounds better.

I also find it funny that you think the landscaping at those parks is so wonderful. Are you aware that a good chunk of it is just mindless filler because the maintaining entity can't afford to carry out the original plans? Even more are simply temporary because the plans to construct on them are on hold (YMCA and Boston Museum). Many more are largely on-ramps. Even in the best weather, most people simply use the Greenway as a large crosswalk to go from Faneuil Hall to the Aquarium or the North End. Others use it as a large sidewalk to get from South Station over to the North End. The parcels are hardly enough to relax on or participate in any sort of recreational use (the parcels near the Harbor Hotel even have silly benches about 3-4 feet from the busy Road). They are no better than partially landscaped sidewalks or median strips. The only defense for the RKG is that it's better than an elevated highway. There's no denying that, but I don't know how ANYONE can call the RKG a successful Park.

Last edited by lrfox; 03-07-2010 at 08:48 PM..
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,353 posts, read 15,328,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rranger View Post

And, no, Waterfire and the surrounding attractions, can't hold hold a candle to it and its surroundings ... sorry. It kind of comes with the territory ... aka a 170 K city versus a 600 K one. Let's have a reality check please.

Cheers!
REALLY?! The hilarity of this particular comment cannot be measured.

I guess I have very little to say. You're saying that the Waterfire (an award winning event in an award winning system of Riverside parks) can't hold a candle (I'm sure no pun intended, that seems above you) to the Rose Kennedy Greenway (An incomplete hack job of a median strip)?! And the the reason for all this is because Boston is larger than Providence?!

You're logic is that because Providence is the smaller city, it's parks aren't as good as Boston's? With all due respect (which is very little), you're out of your flippin' mind. You, sir, are the one who needs a reality check. You also know very little about modern Providence.

Boston has a wonderful string of parks in Fredrick Law Olmstead's Emerald Necklace. It's a system admired world-wide. However, the Rose Kennedy Greenway is a joke. It's a laughing stock and a failure of urban planning. Yes, people use it as a sidewalk in nice weather because it's located in a very heavily trafficked area. That actually makes it more of an embarrassment... It's in such a visible location and manages to fail. It's a fitting image of how Boston bungled the Big Dig. Look at it from the air, it's a literal scar through the heart of the city. Anyone with any knowledge of urban planning, and millions of people without that knowledge see a big botch job when they see the RKG. It has a carousel that attracts people. Fall River, MA has one too, in a parking lot under a bridge. That doesn't make it a great urban space. Neither do fountains (every suburban mall has fountains) or crappy (already rusting) "lightblades." What makes a good public space is how well it interacts with its surroundings. The only way the RKG interacts is to act as a crosswalk/ sidewalk. It's a failure as an urban park. I like walking down Boylston, or Hanover, or Newbury, etc in nice weather. That doesn't make those places great parks. They're not parks. Ask the people on the Greenway if they'd like to sit and relax there for an extended period of time. Ask them if they'd like to play ball or walk their dog (god forbid they let it off a leash there) on the Greenway. 9 out of 10 will tell you "no flippin' way!"

Everyone on here disagrees with you about Downtown Providence (including those who live in the area). Yet you still insist that it's dead. Major publications and millions of people laugh at the Rose Kennedy Greenway and you not only insist that it's GREAT, you claim it's better than award winning attractions in smaller cities simply because the RKG is in a larger city. No, you don't sound arrogant. Arrogance would imply that you have some semblance of an idea of what your talking about. You clearly have none. You sound clueless.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Providence, RI
986 posts, read 1,974,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Everyone on here disagrees with you about Downtown Providence (including those who live in the area). Yet you still insist that it's dead. Major publications and millions of people laugh at the Rose Kennedy Greenway and you not only insist that it's GREAT, you claim it's better than award winning attractions in smaller cities simply because the RKG is in a larger city. No, you don't sound arrogant. Arrogance would imply that you have some semblance of an idea of what your talking about. You clearly have none. You sound clueless.
He is clueless. I think he just likes Boston better because more people live there and any smaller city just sucks in comparison. Personally, I can't stand Boston. I'll take Providence, New Haven, Burlington, and NYC over it any day. Downtown PVD is far from dead and he knows it. He's just trying to stir up crap and he got what he wanted.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,353 posts, read 15,328,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunawayJim View Post
He is clueless. I think he just likes Boston better because more people live there and any smaller city just sucks in comparison. Personally, I can't stand Boston. I'll take Providence, New Haven, Burlington, and NYC over it any day. Downtown PVD is far from dead and he knows it. He's just trying to stir up crap and he got what he wanted.
I do love Boston and I love living here (loved living in PVD too). However, I can't stand the people who live in cities like Boston and have a superiority complex over any smaller city. Providence is great. The Providence River and Waterfires are known nationally as a premier destination and event. The RKG is known nationally as a flop. Providence's Iway Project has flown under the radar but appears to be everything the big dig wasn't. Furthermore, there's a lot more sound planning going on with what's going to replace the old elevated section of I-195.

Boston's a great city, but not nearly perfect. Smaller cities like Providence, New Haven, Burlington, etc all have certain facets that are as good (if not better) than things in Boston. Moreover, many people PREFER those cities to cities like Boston. Boston has what I want, but some people just don't get that bigger doesn't always mean better. rranger appears to be one of those.

I know he's just trying to stir up crap and I hate to humor him. However, people come to city-data for information and its ignorance like rrangers posts that gives people an unfairly negative impression of places like Providence. I think it's unfair to anyone looking for information to just let it slide. It struck even more of a cord because I have some friends opening or running some small retail businesses in downtown Providence who are the type of small business owners that make the area lively and unique. People don't get opportunities like that in Downtown Boston unless they're incredibly lucky or have strong financial backing to begin with.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:56 AM
 
1,030 posts, read 2,014,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I do love Boston and I love living here (loved living in PVD too). However, I can't stand the people who live in cities like Boston and have a superiority complex over any smaller city. Providence is great. The Providence River and Waterfires are known nationally as a premier destination and event. The RKG is known nationally as a flop. Providence's Iway Project has flown under the radar but appears to be everything the big dig wasn't. Furthermore, there's a lot more sound planning going on with what's going to replace the old elevated section of I-195.

Boston's a great city, but not nearly perfect. Smaller cities like Providence, New Haven, Burlington, etc all have certain facets that are as good (if not better) than things in Boston. Moreover, many people PREFER those cities to cities like Boston. Boston has what I want, but some people just don't get that bigger doesn't always mean better. rranger appears to be one of those.

I know he's just trying to stir up crap and I hate to humor him. However, people come to city-data for information and its ignorance like rrangers posts that gives people an unfairly negative impression of places like Providence. I think it's unfair to anyone looking for information to just let it slide. It struck even more of a cord because I have some friends opening or running some small retail businesses in downtown Providence who are the type of small business owners that make the area lively and unique. People don't get opportunities like that in Downtown Boston unless they're incredibly lucky or have strong financial backing to begin with.
Sorry I got your dander up, but you really need a reality check. I never said Boston was perfect - far from it. I know RI inside-out, upside-down, so ignorance of it is not a factor (and never will be). I like the Rose Kennedy Greenway. If you don't, that's your prerogative (and, in my opinion loss), but that's fine with me.

But, I'm sorry, Weybosset/Westminster Streets and the counterproductive expansion of downtown's parasitizing tax-free cooking school are a sad remnant of a time when Paolino was running the city. And all of the slurs aimed at my so-called ignorance won't change the fact that downtown Providence from Washington to Pine and from Empire to Dorrance needs a serious makeover - and true economic development with major job creation.

The vehemence directed at my posts clearly has struck a chord - largely because, deep down, you know they're true. This isn't a PVD-BOS thing. This is a PVD-PVD thing. Boston has nothing to do with it (for better or worse).

Enjoy your day in Boston. I hope for your sake you can get back to Providence as soon as your car can carry you. It will clearly put your mind more at ease.

Last edited by rranger; 03-14-2010 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,353 posts, read 15,328,368 times
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^No. I don't want to move to Providence again. I prefer living in Boston better and never said I didn't. It's not an "I don't like Providence" thing, it's a "Boston's a better fit for me" thing.

That being said, I love Providence for what it is. Just as you didn't say Boston was perfect, I didn't say Providence was perfect. Economic development is a huge need downcity just as it is in downtown Boston. If you don't think Boston has holes (some quite literal) that are equally as bad take a walk by Filene's, Hayward Place, City Hall Place, State Services Center, etc.

My point was also that Westminster and neighbors seem to be on a rebound and DO have activity quite frequently after the workday ends. I know this as very close friends to me operate business there and are part of a growing community. I also know this because I'm one of the people frequently enjoying the area long after the work day has ended.

There's more trouble further Southeast of that area in downtown Providence; namely, beyond Pine Street. However, the proposals to take down the elevated portion of I-195 boast a MUCH better blend of development and green space than Boston ever planned at the RKG. Furthermore all of the development planned for Boston's RKG has either been done away with or put off for the long haul. It's incomplete and poorly put together. I'm THRILLED that you enjoy it, however, I think you're in the minority. Most FiDi workers would prefer the brilliantly executed Post Office Square or wonderful Christopher Columbus Park to the thin median/ sidewalk strips of the Greenway. Don't get me wrong, it's fine for a walk... but that's all it's fine for. It's a wide sidewalk (notice how the vast majority of people on the Greenway are just passing by... not stopping and enjoying it like people do in a park or plaza?). These are recent Boston Globe articles regarding your beloved Greenway: "Another Jewel Lost in Greenway Crown," "Funding woes on the Greenway." (note in the last one just how many parcels are incomplete or scrapped altogether). I'm not saying the Greenway doesn't have potential. Open some cafes and destinations ON the RKG and you could turn it into more than a long sidewalk. However, as it stands now it's an incomplete pathway (scar) through the center of town. Hell, you can't even get tall trees like the Commonwealth Ave. Mall because the RKG sits a mere 12 inches above the tunnel and roots would cause damage.

THIS is a great photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gmack24/739147186/ - broken link) illustrating the folly of the RKG. Take a look, you will see that a narrow strip of pathway has narrow strips of grass on either side. Just on the side of those, you have two, two-lane highway on/off ramps. Next to those you have a congested surface boulevard with 3 lanes on one side of the "park" and two busy lanes on the other side. There are more parcels with ramps like this and every single one (except Chinatown, which works wonderfully and IS active) has the wide boulevard style roads on either side. That's as many as 9 lanes of traffic surrounding these tiny little "parks." There are no (and will never be) big trees to buffer the sound and exhaust because they'll hurt the tunnel below. Where on that parcel would you like to sit and relax (especially with Christopher Columbus, P.O. Square, Quincy Market, Chinatown Parks, and the Harborwalk all so close by)? No one would. It's just a long walkway.

The plan in Providence is for residences, retail, offices, medical and educational space to work alongside strategically placed green space to reconnect two areas of downtown that were really marred by an elevated highway. This plan will add people (at ALL times of the day) to an area that badly needs it. It will further boost the already improving areas on Westminster, Washington, etc (which have improved with a blend of Retail, Restaurant, Bar, Club, and Performance space). If you know anything about urban planning, you'd know that a mix of uses is the absolute BEST thing a city can have. Boston has that all over (ironically, very little along most of the RKG and Financial District which is a Ghost Town after 5pm on weekdays and ALL weekends). Providence's most successful areas have it (Think Wayland Square, Thayer Street, Atwells Ave, etc) and Westminster and peers are gaining significant ground there. There's interest in that area and there's been marked improvement since I last lived in Providence. Furthermore, the current plans along the old I-195 corridor in PVD will do a much better job linking the city together than Boston's RKG has or ever will.

I don't know that ANYTHING you said is true to be honest. The complete lack of comprehension you have for the basic principles of what makes a city work or not work is what directed my "vehemence" at your posts. Not any of what you perceive to be "truth." You say you know RI "inside-out, and upside-down." That may be true, but I know plenty of people who have spent their entire lives in cities that don't know anything about how they function. It's obvious that you're one of those people. If I had any doubt of that (and to be sure, I didn't), it was erased by the fact that the people who post on this board and work in that area EVERY DAY concur that you're flat-out incorrect. I'm not saying you're not familiar with Rhode Island. I don't doubt that you are. I'm saying you know VERY little about the infrastructure and activity that makes a city work. I'm also saying that you're wrong (and stubborn about it) about your continuing insistence that Westminster St. is a "dead" zone after the work day; even though people who are there ALL THE TIME disagree. If it makes you feel better to believe that you're correct (and everyone else is wrong), then enjoy it! You may believe that, but your unrelenting belief hardly makes you correct. However, "ignorance is bliss," as they say.

Last edited by lrfox; 03-14-2010 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:33 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,381 posts, read 22,655,217 times
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I Can't find any Maps of the proposed routes and lines for the streetcars
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Boston
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^I don't know if actual routes have been selected. I could be wrong, but I thought they were still VERY early in the planning process.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Providence, RI
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There are no maps that I know of, but the initial route will connect the hospitals to the colleges on the east side through the tunnel to Thayer.

More info: Metro Transit Study — Greater City: Providence
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