Project Summary

We provided urban design, bicycle and pedestrian facility design, traffic engineering, and public engagement services to the City of Providence to assist in realizing the City Walk vision. At its core, City Walk is about improving connections between Providence neighborhoods and enhancing the everyday experience for all. Building on years of community support, City Walk will connect nine Providence neighborhoods to major recreational and civic amenities, including Roger Williams Park and India Point Park, the Southside Cultural Center, and the Children’s Museum, all while celebrating Providence’s diverse cultures.

This project included a dynamic public engagement process that consisted of focus groups, multi-lingual public meetings, paid community partners, and a tactical demonstration project showcasing a two-way separated bicycle facility (video here: The tactical demonstration project showcased a two-way separated bicycle facility between Public Street and Potters Avenue. It included curb extensions and ground murals painted by local artists. The demonstration project has proven invaluable in engaging the local community and developing local support for the City Walk initiative.

Supported by PeopleForBikesBig Jump Project, the first 1.5 miles of City Walk were installed in 2019, connecting southwest Providence to the budding Providence Innovation and Design District. Future phases will continue the urban trail into the heart of South Providence, better serving a community with low-car ownership and a history of traffic crashes.

Between 2012 and 2017, 84 people walking or biking were involved in a crash with a car on Broad Street, making it the corridor with the most vulnerable user crashes in the State of Rhode Island. At the same time, over 40% walk, bike or use public transit to get around in this community.

To meet people in their own spaces, in their own languages, all City Walk presentations and public materials were provided in at least two languages, with all public meetings conducted simultaneously in both English and Spanish.
In a part of the City where streets were designed to maximize vehicle speeds, the addition of pedestrian plazas and two-way separated facilities represented a major change. We used temporary installment to introduce the plan's concepts to the community, a critical step to advancing the project into design.
Over the course of a single day in June 2018, our team temporarily transformed Broad Street with removal of a center turn lane, over 6,000 square feet of mural-painted curb extensions, and a 500-foot two-way, parking-protected bike lane.

The community saw what was possible for Broad Street during the demonstration project, and experienced a completely different street. The response was palpable:

Together, our team and these Providence communities are using the City Walk project to re-imagine a street network that works as well for people walking, biking, roller blading, busing, and scootering as it does for those in cars.

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