WBNA is part of Fix The 6-10, a citizen coalition advocating for a redesign of the 6-10 Connector that supports fiscal responsibility, improved traffic, social justice, economic development and the environment.
It's not a pipe dream – innovative approaches to highway redesign are happening in cities all over the world – Seoul, Boston, San Francisco and the Bronx, to name a few (see "Resources" below). These rebuild projects completely reimagine "the highway as a highway," and instead create roadways that are places, benefiting the people living next to them as well as those driving through.
Yet just last week, Governor Raimondo announced that alternative approaches would not be considered given the dire need for this highway's repair. According to the Federal Highway Administration, public safety on the 6-10 has been dire for years, even decades for some areas of the highway, but it is WBNA's position that safety should not be used as an excuse for perpetuating a highway system that does not work – not for the communities abutting it, not for the traffic traveling on it, and not for the health of our citizenry, environment and economy.
It is WBNA's hope that – for the same reasons Governor Raimondo gives for wanting to "fast track" the reconstruction of the 6-10 Connector – the state consider immediately employing measures such as weight limits, truck restrictions or lane closures that are used for similarly vulnerable bridges. These actions would bolster public safety in the short term while RIDOT readies the project, and would allow the City of Providence and RI citizens to add their input to the design process, as well.
WBNA'S STATEMENT IN RESPONSE
TO GOVERNOR RAIMONDO'S ANNOUNCEMENT
There is always time to do the right thing.
WBNA is shocked and outraged by this short sighted announcement that excludes the community from both process and design. Rhode Island will be missing a great opportunity to, for once, be forward thinking as a state; to right the wrongs of the past (social justice and poor design); to save millions of dollars; to improve the commuter experience and reduce congestion; and to be multimodal, sustainable, and thoughtful about climate change. The West End, Olneyville, Federal Hill, Providence, and Rhode Island as a whole deserve better. This will be the most expensive bad decision Rhode Island has ever made (current cost estimates are up to $400 million dollars for one-mile of reconstruction). Instead, let’s bring the people to the planning table and set an example of good, inclusive, affordable, sustainable design for the world to follow.
Too often in Rhode Island, citizens are excluded from meaningful public process in the name of “public safety.” We know that 6-10 is in dire need of repair, but to throw away an opportunity to do the right thing economically, environmentally, and for the health and well-being of abutting communities is shortsighted and drastic. There is always time to do the right thing.
We are asking the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to give us a seat at the planning table and a voice in the process, as our neighborhood abuts this crumbling highway. We are asking for the City's public input process to continue and be an integral part of the State's redesign process.
There is no question that this highway must be repaired – the question is HOW the reconstruction is approached, and how can we secure a redesign of this antiquated highway that will benefit our neighborhoods, city and state for decades to come.
Please join the WBNA, 17 other local and statewide organizations (and counting), and citizens like you in seeking the best possible design for Routes 6 and 10 in the Greater Providence area. Stay informed about this issue that will impact the health of our neighborhood for the next half century and more.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
Related WBNA Posts
RELATED MEDIA ABOUT 6-10:
- Citizens fight wasteful urban freeway rebuild, Congress for New Urbanism Journal
- State scrambling to add neighborhood-friendly designs to routes 6-10 project, Providence Journal
- Paul Gallogly: Governor wrong on Route 6/10 connector, Providence Journal
- Some upset by 6/10 Connector plan; say boulevard would have more benefits, WPRI
- Citing safety, Raimondo orders RIDOT to fast track $400M 6/10 Connector project, WPRI
- State to fast-track Route 6-10 connector project, abandon surface boulevard + poll, Providence Journal
- Officials Listen to Community About 6-10 Connector, ecoRI News
- New direction for R.I.'s 6-10 Connector overhaul?, Providence Journal
- Providence working up its own 6-10 redesign, Providence Journal
- Rhode Island's Boulevard of Broken Dreams, ecoRI News
- DOT's Route 10 'tunnel' plan draws praise, Providence Journal
- RI DOT: Remaking 6/10 Connector As Boulevard Hybrid Offers The Most Public Benefit, RIPR
- Green Gateway: Plan would cover and create a park atop Route 10 in Providence, Providence Journal
Related article about U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx:
A crusade to defeat the legacy of highways rammed through poor neighborhoods, The Washington Post