The Mile of History Association (MoHA) welcomed new neighborhood tours this season. In September, Ray Rickman of the Stages of Freedom Museum gave a walking tour of the district’s African American history. This month, MoHA announced a guided tour called Institutional Benefit Street, led by architectural historian Sophie Higgerson, a Brown University graduate student. Higgerson prepared a study of the many non-residential locations on Benefit Street, including churches, museums, libraries, universities, court houses, theaters, clubs, house museums, and even a military arsenal. Some of these places were originally residences, but many were built for other uses. Stay tuned for details to come about the Benefit Street Stroll, a celebration of the holiday season tentatively scheduled for the first week of December, concurrently with RISD Museum's Super Art Sunday. Visit MileOfHistory.org for updates.
With neighbors affected by the Hope Street Temporary Trail that took place in October, Observatory Neighborhood Association (ONA) estimates over 90 percent of residents, including those who ride bicycles, as well as businesses, are against the project. The trail runs up the west side of the Observatory neighborhood boundary. Some living on Hope Street reported having difficulty getting into and out of their driveways, while businesses cited difficulties for their patrons in finding parking spaces nearby, especially for individuals with mobility challenges. The side streets filled up with cars whose owners couldn’t find anywhere to park. One resident expresses concern that the mile-long trial trail facilitated by the Providence Streets Coalition is “a road to nowhere,” while others cite it as a “solution looking for a problem.” ONA hopes their new city councilperson, state representative, senator, and new mayor will listen to the community and not allow the project to go forward.
Elmwood Neighborhood Association encourages residents to engage with the Providence Department of Planning and Development’s once-a-decade update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The “Comp Plan” outlines goals and strategies in a range of areas to guide Providence’s growth and development over the next 20 years. Through early 2023, the Planning and Development department will be engaging iteratively with communities across the city through a range of formats (tabling at neighborhood events, community meetings, forums on key issues, on-street conversations, etc.) to inform the update of the Comprehensive Plan. To provide feedback online, visit SurveyMonkey.com/r/PVDCompPlan and learn more at ProvidenceRI.gov/Comp-Plan/
Thanks to American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, high-quality internet access is now available in 11 municipal parks. Look for new signage announcing free WiFi at parks across the city, including Ardoene Park in Elmwood. The program will expand to other parks this fall, including nearby Roger Williams Park. In addition, the city is allocating funding to support Providence residents’ access to the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, a broadband discount program for eligible households. To learn if you’re eligible to enroll, visit FCC.gov/acp.
In an effort to bring school buildings into the 21st century of student learning, Classical High School will undergo phased interior renovations over the next two years to update classrooms, the nurses’ station, media labs, and administrative offices. Mayor Jorge Elorza, Providence elected officials, and education partners recently cut the ribbon on the first phase of renovations, which converted the former media center and locker rooms into classroom swing space to be used when the next phase of renovations begins later in the school year. In a press release from the City of Providence, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green expressed enthusiasm for the renovations. “Youth across Providence deserve and learn best in student-centered, state-of-the-art facilities. The transformation of Classical High School will provide that space and is further proof of Rhode Island’s unwavering commitment to our kids,” she said. “I am thrilled to watch these once-in-a-lifetime investments take shape in Providence Public Schools and look forward to watching students learn, grow and thrive as they prepare for their next chapter.”
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