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What of the future? There is nothing to forbid the hope that Pawtucket will win larger prosperity. She has an intelligent population trained to habits of industry. She has produced inventions in the past and can count on others in the future. She has large capital and skilful manufacturers to suggest how it can best be utilized. She has energetic churches and good schools. She has scores of appliances to make labor effective. She has facilities for obtaining raw materials and for shipping abroad the fruits of her toil and skill and the prestige of past success encourages to new enterprises. About twenty six years ago the Rev Dr Taft overtaking the writer said, ‘The sight of yonder horse cars wakes some reminiscences. Forty years ago I came to this place and was one day passing up this street. I found a pair of bars obstructing my path about where Exchange Street now cuts North Main Street I took them down and went up a cart track to the chocolate mill in Central Falls. At that time people were saying’ he continued, ‘that Pawtucket had attained its growth. All the water power had been used up and no increase of population could be looked for, But the town has kept on growing for forty years and I know not why it may not grow equally rapidly for forty years to come.’ reverend massena goodrich ‘pawtucket and the slater centennial,’ 1890

Existing conditions report Pawtucket downtown design plan

City of Pawtucket Planning Department 9 July 2010

Thurlow Small Architecture L + A Landscape Architecture McMahon Associates Horsley Witten Group Highchair designhaus


Table of Contents

downtown Pawtucket database 5

Introduction Intentions of the Report

match design options with current urban patterns Introduction Study Area & Methods

downtown Pawtucket Study area 7 study area encompasses a 10 minute walkable distance from main st

Introduction Regional Relationships

regional relationships 9 primary Consumer destinations are outside of the City primary Employment locations are outside of downtown Downtown is a gateway to Blackstone River Valley downtown is a unique convergence of river, highway & rail line

Introduction Development Context

urban development 11 main street is, and was always, the perceptual center river was spine of power, then decay, now development highway detached neighborhoods on two sides of downtown historic routes became disconnected

Introduction Historic Context

urban history 13 historic layers describe city instincts

Urban Design Massing & Density

current & upcoming development 15

scale of downtown buildings appropriate for city center except major parking zone low density zones just outside of center Urban Design Street Edges

edge continuity 17 area between main & summer streets has most continuous street edge open lots on edge of downtown significantly undermine street edge loss of public space clarity and protocol

Urban Design Elevations Street Edges

edge photo analysis 19 discontinuities disrupt sense of downtown boundaries and density good urban fabric variation

Urban Design Partners & Projects

current & upcoming development 21 recent development in close proximity to main street recent large developments are mostly housing current development is primarily smaller scale commercial data indicates future unlikely to see large-scale housing Development

Urban Design Historic Properties

districTs and historic properties 23 significant individual historic buildings remain, but are a loose field

Parking Parking lots & On-street parking

available public & private parking 25 surface parking dominates the downtown landscape on street parking limits are rarely enforced

Parking Building Lots & Property Pairings

parking pairings 27 signage is missing to identify the use of many lots many private lots are underused

Public space Activity Spots

activity spots 29 public transportation initiates public activity people use public outdoor space lunchtime is busy

2

existing conditions report


31 streetscape conditions

Streetscape Public Space

Lighting mostly for cars, not pedestrians sidewalks in mostly acceptable condition, need maintenance striping in poor condition 33 pedestrian & automobile conflicts

Pedestrian & Automobile Conflicts Public Space

there are dangerous pedestrian crossings between intersections crossing areas are unique problems to solve 35 greenspace

Public space, Parks & Vegetation Public Space

sidewalks are the primary public space slater mill is the primary big open event space the river is the primary green space 37 impermeable surfaces & Topography

Water flow & Topography Public Space

significant impermeable paving in downtown pawtucket Flooding a potential threat to downtown 39 RIPTA BUS LINES, STOPS & SHELTERS

Public Transportation Urban Design Traffic

there is a high density and diversity of bus lines rapid bus will be a significant opportunity bus locations generate significant pedestrian activity 41 one way street patterns

One Way Streets Urban Design Traffic

one way streets around downtown cut it off people inside and outside of pawtucket find one ways confusing 43 downtown routes in & out

Routes Urban Design Traffic

finding main street requires local knowledge 45 bicycle use & infrastructure

Bicycle infrastructure Urban Design Traffic

bicycles are commonly used as transportation there are no clear traffic protocols for bicycles there is limited bicycle parking in downtown besides bicycles, people commonly use other personal vehicles 47 study area intersection observations existing 2010 pm traffic volumes existing 2010 pm ped & bike volumes

Counts Traffic McMahon Associates

introduction study area Status of Other Transportation Projects in Study Area Existing conditions 55 zoning & overlay districts 1. Introduction 2. Pawtucket Downtown Zoning Districts 3. Summary of District Procedures 3.1 Primary Zoning Districts 3.2 Special Districts 4. Summary of District Standards 4.1 Use 4.2 Dimensional Regulations 4.3 Parking and Loading 4.4 Supplementary Regulations

Landuse & Zoning Horsley Witten Group

63 appendix Pawtucket downtown design plan

3


Introduction Intentions of the Report

match design options with current urban patterns The goal of the existing conditions report is to analyze the existing information about the City, both recent and historic, from urban design and traffic planning perspectives. This will assist in the design process so that we can align design options with the current conditions of the urban systems so that they have the best opportunity to work effectively. This will essentially help us to uncover the City’s instincts about it’s own functionality. In the following page, we have examined:

Diagrams activity spots downtown Pawtucket database downtown Pawtucket Study area streetscape conditions regional relationships pedestrian & automobile conflicts urban development greenspace urban history impermeable surfaces & Topography current & upcoming development RIPTA bus lines, stops & shelters edge continuity one way street patterns edge photo analysis downtown routes out downtown routes in current & upcoming development bicycle use & infrastructure districts and historic properties available public & private parking zoning parking pairings study area intersection observations existing 2010 pm traffic volumes existing 2010 pm ped & bike volumes

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existing conditions report

Traffic Counts Main St between Roosevelt & Broadway Grace St. between Pleasant St and West Ave Pawtucket Ave between Belmont & Street East Ave between Hillside Ave and Clyde St 1-95 Bridge 550 traffic counts - hourly Exchange Street & Roosevelt Avenue Exchange Street & Broad Street Dexter Street & Goff Avenue Pleasant Street & Division Street East Avenue & George Street Main Street & Roosevelt Avenue Parking Studies Parking Supply Demand Study 2005 Downtown Parking Study 2000 Parking in Downtown Pawtucket 1987 Signal Roadway Plans > 3R Imp Goff Exchange > Broad St RR BR & Barton St RR BR > Dexter St > Main St Auto Restricted Zone > Main Street Traffic Studies Downtown Traffic Circulation Study 1989 Downtown Traffic Drawings Circulator Map Arts Community City Arts Grant Art Directory 2020 Arts Task Force Arts & Cultural Roadmap for Pawtucket Blackstone Valley Bike Path Bike Path GIS Blackstone Bike Path Segment 3 Blackstone Lower mill tour Blackstone River Bikeway map KeepSpace bike trail option Pawtucket proposed bicycle lanes Providence bike paths RI maps bike paths RI State Bike System RI Pawtucket quad bike path Ten-mile Greenway bike path

Commuter Rail Commuter Feasibility Study Appendix A - C Appendix D - G Commuter Rail Ridership Study Comprehensive Plan Comprehensive Plan Appendix Economic Development Blueprint to Prosperity: Downtown Business Development Market Strategy For Downtown Farm Fresh RI Downtown Market Study Transportation Planning Blue Ribbon Panel RI Transportation Future Intrastate Commuter Rail Feasibility Study RI Transportation Improvement Program RIPTA Prov Metro Transit Enhancement Study Transportation Center Economic Impact Study I-95 Bridge 550 RIDOT Presentation Bridge sketches Bridge design Comments Current RIDOT plans National Historic District Application Database and Forms Digital Photos Notes Downtown Survey Downtown Historic Property Survey Planning Pawtucket Exhibition Historical Boards Introduction Boards Pawtucket and the Freeway Plans City Master Plan Slater Mill Urban Renewal Urban Design Concept Plan Riverfront Plan East Pleasant View Riverfront Blackstone Riverwalk Parking Studies


downtown Pawtucket database

Riverfront Blackstone River National Corridor Habitat Riverfront Guidelines State pier Water Quality One River Vision Proposal Pawtucket Tidewater Redevelopment A Strategy for Tidewater Redevelopment Roosevelt Avenue Development Development Plan Train Depot Site Goody Clancy study RGB CVS design Site photos & Drawings Thurlow Small CVS & Depot Building Study Broad Street Regeneration Plan Pawtucket Agenda Source Document City of Pawtucket Comprehensive Plan Signage Project Highchair design haus Aerial Buildings Circulator Historical Maps Neighborhood Plates Observations Panorama Phenomena Postcards - historical Topography Traffic Streets historic photos Elevations Roosevelt St. Elevation_01 Roosevelt St. Elevation_02 Broad St. Elevation_01 Broad St. Elevation_02 Dexter St. Elevation_01

Dexter St. Elevation_02 Exchange St. Elevation_01 Exchange St. Elevation_02 Goff St. Elevation_01 Goff St. Elevation_02 High St. Elevation_01 High St. Elevation_02 Main St. Elevation_01 Main St. Elevation_02 Maple St. Elevation_01 Maple St. Elevation_02 Montgomery St. Elevation_01 Montgomery St. Elevation_02 North Union St. Elevation_01 North Union St. Elevation_02 Summer St. Elevation_01 Summer St. Elevation_02

Kazarian House Lash & Loom - Richard Kazarian Artist Enclave Downtown Pawtucket Trash Transfer Article Bringing Artists to Pawtucket Preparing for the Perfect Storm Reinventing Industrial Landscapes Small Business Pawtucket’s Slater Cotton Mill Best Places to Live State Takes the Fall General drawings AutoCAD 2D drawing Topographic information Base Diagram KeepSpace Base Diagram Maya 3D model GIS Data

Traffic Streets current photos Downtown Miscellaneous Exchange Street Main Street RFL Riverfront Roosevelt Avenue Traffic Intersection Photos Exchange & Broad Exchange & Broadway Exchange & Montgomery Main & Roosevelt Division & Pleasant Main & East Exchange Street Demographics & Culture Federal Census Prizm Segment & Social Groups Pawtucket Neighborhood Profile Olmstead Plan of Public Recreation Pawtucket, and the Slater Centennial Pawtucket, RI, A Typical NE Industrial Center Pawtucket Birthplace of the Cotton Industry News Broad Street Project Schwadesign local business

Elevation Drawings Roosevelt St. Elevation_01 Roosevelt St. Elevation_02 Broad St. Elevation_01 Broad St. Elevation_02 Dexter St. Elevation_01 Dexter St. Elevation_02 Exchange St. Elevation_01 Exchange St. Elevation_02 Goff St. Elevation_01 Goff St. Elevation_02 High St. Elevation_01 High St. Elevation_02 Main St. Elevation_01 Main St. Elevation_02 Maple St. Elevation_01 Maple St. Elevation_02 Montgomery St. Elevation_01 Montgomery St. Elevation_02 North Union St. Elevation_01 North Union St. Elevation_02 Summer St. Elevation_01 Summer St. Elevation_02

Pawtucket downtown design plan

5


Introduction Study Area & Methods

study area encompasses a 10 minute walking distance from main street

The area for the traffic, public space, streetscape, zoning and land use study in the Pawtucket Downtown Design Plan includes an area bonded by a radius equivalent to a ten minute walking distance from Main Street, as shown in the adjacent diagram. The core of the downtown fits within a five minute walking distance. The methods of study include gathering existing resources, including previous parking, traffic and planning studies, project initiatives, general information from agencies like RI Department of Transportation, RI Public Transit Authority, the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor, Statewide Planning, the City of Pawtucket, the Pawtucket Foundation, the Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation and numerous specific community organized projects, such as the Broad Street Initiative, the Pawtucket Agenda, and the One River Project. McMahon Associates has also conducted traffic counting at the intersections for which existing data was not available. Other material used for study includes the National Historic District Application created by PAL, previous historic articles in New England Magazine and a variety of historic photographs from local residents and from the Pawtucket Preservation Society. Street activity recordings came from observations done by two Thurlow Small Architecture staff during five visits at different times of week and day: specifically, weekday morning commute, noon, afterschool, early evening and weekend afternoon. Observations were made through notes and photography. This existing conditions study was begun in June 1, 2010 and completed July 9, 2010 as the first part of a design study to examine the city systems listed above. The report team was lead by Thurlow Small Architecture with L+A Landscape Architecture, McMahon Associates, and Horsley Witten Group.

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existing conditions report


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Regional Relationships

primary Consumer destinations are outside of the City primary Employment locations are outside of downtown Downtown is a gateway to Blackstone River Valley downtown is a unique convergence of river, highway & rail line To understand the patterns of traffic, economic and social use of downtown Pawtucket, it is important to recognize the larger regional linkages and relationships with Pawtucket’s neighboring cities of Providence, Central Falls, and South Attleboro. Pawtucket and Providence developed much as sister cities early in Rhode Island’s development and are highly interwoven in physical infrastructure and commercial patterns. As these linkages became more efficient, specifically the interstate and North Main connections, many people who live in Pawtucket work and shop in Providence due to the short commute. RIPTA also services numerous frequent and heavily used bus lines between the two cities, further connecting people’s day to day habits of crossing between them. Their City boundaries are almost visually indistinguishable. Pawtucket also has easy access to the large scale retail and national chain stores and mall along Route 1 in South Attleboro, Massachusetts where many people shop. Originally part of Massachusetts, the eastern part of Pawtucket is closely linked to these commercial areas not only by the interstate, but by Newport Avenue. Pawtucket is socially and physically connected to Central Falls near Barton and High Streets. Because of the rail line, the Barton Street neighborhood is more a functional part of Central Falls than Pawtucket. The Pawtucket Agenda project transformed into the Tri-Cities community project as they group began to identify that the region that runs from Cumberland, to Central Falls and ends in downtown Pawtucket was highly interdependent. Broad street and Dexter streets have vibrant commercial zones that have active restaurants, markets and shopping much in the way that Pawtucket desires in its downtown. While Pawtucket does not have the highly diverse mix of cultural backgrounds that exists in Central Falls, many of those communities have neighborhoods, social organizations (YM/WCAs, social services, etc.) and church parishes that draw across borders. This connection, more widely recognized recently, has even encouraged the Pawtucket Citizen Development Corporation, in their work as part of RI Housings Pawtucket Keepspace project, expanded their area of work to include large regions of Central Falls. One of the clear historic dynamics that has negatively affected downtown Pawtucket is that, as employment conditions declined and families departed to suburban housing, stores that offered daily provisions also left. Now, even though the downtown residential population has increased and diversified, many of the new residents still access shopping outside of the city because there is little available within it. There is not yet a critical mass of local residents to support new grocery or basic needs shopping. For those who live in downtown but do not own a car, mostly low or fixed income residents, the bus offers service to shopping or people find necessities at Walgreens at Broad and Exchange Streets. While Pawtucket is “urban” in the sense of developed land density, socially and economically, it’s downtown is really more on the scale of a village. This village, however, is connected to already successful places to buy goods, thus, it’s eroded center struggles to earn its place. It is not merely a problem of transit or parking, now the problem is overcoming habits and building enough population who could support local businesses. 8

existing conditions report

Pawtucket Agenda Source Document: In the bigger view, we need to think outside of traditional Pawtucket political boundaries – our downtown must be a center for all neighborhoods who want to connect to it. At the moment, not necessarily all who are in the Pawtucket municipality think and connect to the PD [Pawtucket Downtown], and given our very close proximity to Central Falls, those residents are important to the PD as well. To people, trade and culture, there is no political boundary – we need to understand that, act accordingly, and deal with the issues this brings... In the wider view from there, we also need to regionalize our views – there is a lot of benefit in the downtown and Pawtucket overall seeing itself and acting as an important member of our region. That will include letting go of some of our territorial, inward thinking and reaching out to embrace key, ‘win-win’ partnerships into Providence, other parts of RI and into Mass and New England. If we are really serious about putting the downtown and Pawtucket on the map, we must start to see and think of ourselves in a more globalized setting. The downtown must be designed and revitalized for everyone to access, enjoy, work in, and be entertained by. That includes all in our very ethnically diverse community.


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City Downtown areas

Automobile Routes

Important Employer Locations: Hasbro, 558 Mineral Spring Avenue Studios, 545 Pawtucket Avenue Studios , Hope Artiste Village Studios, McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket Credit Union Headquarters, Collette Travel

Rail lines

Pawtucket downtown design plan

9


Introduction Historic Context

main street is, and was always, the perceptual center river was spine of power, then decay, now development highway detached neighborhoods on two sides of downtown historic routes became disconnected Historic settlement patterns are useful to us in studying downtown in two ways. The first is that by understanding the original logic of how the city developed, we can see why certain areas are less organized or coordinated together than others. The second is that by understanding the past connections, we can look for natural ways to reconnect or re-establish compatible linkages. Key stages of growth in Pawtucket: 1700s Settlement Developed from River Out 1800s River Divided North Providence & Pawtucket Massachusetts 1800s River Became Industrial Spine 1850s Railroad Established New Internal Edge (was moved at an unknown date) 1880s Main Street Center of Commerce & Transit 1920s River Edges Decay as Industry Recedes 1960s New Interstate Divides City 1960s Urban Renewal Opens Street Edges 1970s Traffic Circulator Changes Downtown 1970s River Clean-Up begins 1990s Housing Regrowth on River’s Edge begins 2000s Re-purposing Remaining Mill Space Through Mixed Use Real Estate Boom From this study, we can understand how Main Street became disconnected, as parts of it linked originally to Providence, but the inclusion of one ways and one segment removal changed its trajectory in the City. The circulator has a significant influence on the perception of downtown Pawtucket and here we can see that it was based on original streets and was an attempt to focus commercial attention on Main street. The complex relationship and poor linkages from the east side of the interstate to Exchange and eventually to Goff can be explained by the early historic lack of bridges. The Exchange Street bridge, now the Nathanson Bridge, developed after the patterns of Main Street and North Main (what became Roosevelt Avenue) were set. As well, Pleasant Street originally connected directly to East Avenue and is now curiously cut off, likely a result of the highway bridge. Another interesting historical note is that the railroad line was moved from where Goff Avenue currently sits and through current Montgomery Street to it’s present location, likely a desire to straighten the curve when improved technology developed. The present location of the post office was the former site of the railroad depot at what was the end of Exchange Street (thus facilitating a connection between the river and rail lines-- a perfect place for “exchange”). It appears that in general, incremental use and planning both established the streets we know today and their modifications over time. While each decision likely improved the immediate situation or need, over time, these routes have become less clear and the peripheral attachments beyond the immediate downtown area have become complex, particularly to the outsider. Roadways require linkages and trajectories-- they can have complex geometry or variable widths, but at present, it is hard to understand the logics of movement through the city and its center is cognitively and physically disconnected. The following page gives some background into the larger cultural economic and physical changes that have occurred in downtown Pawtucket. 10

existing conditions report

1796

1855

1877


urban development

Central Falls, Rhode Island

Pawtucket, Massachusetts Pawtucket, Rhode Island North Providence, Rhode Island Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Legend

1855 1877 1960s 1970 1976 - 1982 2000s 2003

Primary Routes Addition of Exchange Street Bridge Interstate construction Traffic Circulator Pedestrian Mall, Restricted Car Access Main Street removal Front Street renamed Exchange Court Dashes indicate removed roadways Pawtucket downtown design plan

11


Introduction Historic Context

historic layers describe city instincts From the Planning Pawtucket Exhibition by Thurlow Small Pawtucket, guardian of the Blackstone River, birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, home to the first American diner, gateway to first generation immigrant communities, host of historic families and neighborhoods, has flowed with the successes and tragedies of the small American city. Its downtown, once teeming with social and economic life, first suffered from disinvestment following suburbanization and the change to a service-based economy, and then the stigma of environmental damage and economic hardship. industrial decline After its promising start in the revolution, Pawtucket was devastated by industrial decline: larger production methods and new technology pushed manufacturing south and the industrial boom came to an end. Not only did the jobs move as large-scale manufacturing disappeared, but the residuals of the industrial model remained: environmental damage, working class families less able to transition into a new capabilities, and empty buildings that became ruin. The Blackstone River, the engine of the revolution, was left in ecologic tatters. The families that prospered for generations either fell with the times, moved out, or saw many the city’s brightest hopes in the next generations look for opportunities elsewhere. This decline, in combination with the Great Depression, precipitated a dramatic change in Pawtucket’s way of life-- these were emerging conditions the city was entirely unprepared to sustain. the automobile effect After the Depression and war, the mid-twentieth century made many promises to American life: a high standard of living, brought by new technology, transportation freedom and economic prosperity. The interstate system was symbol of these hopes, but also a mechanism for further loss of Pawtucket’s downtown economic and cultural energy. Interstate 95 destroyed a vibrant neighborhood over a long decade, eventually slicing around the downtown offering quick access to suburban shopping filled with easy parking and bargain goods and new spacious middle class housing developments. Public space of the early century-- the street of the 1920s, the vibrant space of exchange, full of people, goods, trolley cars, where the interior of buildings spilled to the outside-disappeared, replaced by private individual vehicles and climate-controlled malls. REBIRTH Since decline and the entry of the freeway, generations of citizens, planners and politicians imagined what could foster regrowth and have sought change, through sponsored planning initiatives. These plans imagined cultural centers, civic spaces, shopping districts, bridges, riverfront housing, commercial development and even a heliport. Sometimes these ideas were in alignment with larger economic and cultural systems, but many times not-- instead hoping that by building buildings, revival would follow. Some projects were done with great success and others with unexpected misfortune. From the National Historic District Application by PAL From the mid-seventeenth century to 1862 the Blackstone River served as the political boundary between Massachusetts and Rhode Island. “Pawtucket Village” evolved on either side of Pawtucket Falls, located at the Main Street Bridge, just east of the survey area. The village on the west bank was part of Providence until 1765, when it was set off as part of a new town, North Providence. In 1874, an eastern portion of North Providence merged with Pawtucket to form the present political boundaries. Pawtucket was incorporated as a city in 1885 (Roper 1978:4–5). Pawtucket Falls is generally regarded as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. It was there in 1793 that the mechanical skill of the Wilkinson family and textile machinery knowledge of Samuel Slater were combined to create Slater Mill, site of the first successful mechanized cotton spinning in the United States. In subsequent years the riverbanks were developed with a substantial number residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. By 1830 the city’s population was 3,300. Pawtucket’s industrial expansion slowed after a general economic downturn in 1829, but picked up again after the construction of the 12

existing conditions report

1910

Population Growth & Decline Year People % Change 1830 3,300 1850 3,733 + 13 1870 6,619 + 77 1875 18,464 + 178 1880 19,030 +3 1885 22,906 + 20 1890 27633 + 20 1897 32,577 + 18 1900 39,231 + 20 1910 51,622 + 32 1920 64,248 + 24 1930 77,149 + 20 1940 75,797 -2 1950 81,436 +7 1960 81,001 -1 1970 76,984 -5 1980 71,204 -8 1990 72,644 +2 2000 72,958 +1


urban history

1700s

late 1800s

1874

early 1900s

1940s

late 1970s

Boston & Providence Railroad and the Providence & Worcester Railroads through the city in the 1840s. The city experienced another burst of industrial prosperity during the Civil War boom that lasted until the Panic of 1873. Pawtucket became an important producer of yarn, thread, and specialty fabrics including calicoes, woven haircloth, worsted braid and cotton wadding, and bootlaces. Other Pawtucket products included textile and mill supplies, metalworking and machine tool building, nuts, bolts and screws, and leather belting (Roper 1978:3, 11–12, 15). In the 46 years between the incorporation of the city in 1874 and 1920, downtown Pawtucket assumed much of its density and visual character. During that span the population of the city more than tripled to a total of 64,248. The central business district expanded and the buildings that were erected reflect confidence in continued prosperity. Development crept west away from the Blackstone River to Broad and North Union streets in the 1880s, and by 1900 Broad and Main streets became solidly lined with business and commercial blocks. A large and distinctive commercial district grew up around Main and Pleasant Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Eventually Pawtucket became second only to Providence in Rhode Island in terms of population and industrial importance, and the downtown rivaled its neighbor in abundance and variety of goods. Many of the earlier commercial and institutional buildings included in the survey were built during this period (Roper 1978:19, 21, 23, 26). The general decline of New England’s textile industry after World War I had a severe impact on Pawtucket’s development. The Blackstone Valley’s cotton industry, which began to fall of significantly by 1923, almost completely dissolved during the Great Depression of the 1930s. During the Depression, the city’s population dropped by some 4,300 people between 1930 and 1936. Mayor Thomas P. McCoy averted financial collapse of Pawtucket in the 1930s by orchestrating daring financial maneuvers, while simultaneously improving many city services. Pawtucket was one of the first cities to benefit from the federal recovery programs initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. McCoy utilized those programs for the construction of new building including City Hall Constructed in 1935 on the west bank of the Blackstone River, City Hall looms over the downtown area (Roper 1978:33–35). Although suburban development began to increase with the rise of the automobile, downtown Pawtucket remained the center of commercial activity. This period saw the addition of several significant buildings in the downtown area, as well as construction of several characteristic pattern brickwork commercial buildings. At the start of World War II, Pawtucket experienced a brief economic boom as its remaining industries retooled to support the war effort, but by the end of the war, the economy again went into recession before stabilizing in the early 1950s. Midtwentieth-century development within the downtown area also expressed a similar trend. In 1956, the City Planning Commission formed and began the development of a municipal master plan. Five years later the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency was created to undertake an urban renewal project in the downtown business section. These planning and redevelopment activities were partly triggered by the construction of the Pawtucket River Bridge and Interstate 95 in the 1950s and 1960s. Though met with some local opposition, the Pawtucket section of I-95 was constructed through the center of the city and officially opened in 1963. As a result of the new highway, located _ mile east of the downtown, traffic patterns were altered to incorporate a one-way circulator through the downtown area (Roper 1978:34–36). Other mid- to late-twentieth-century impacts within the downtown area include the Slater Urban Renewal Area project of 1966, which involved a 57-acre tract stretching northward on both sides of the Blackstone River from I-95 to Exchange Street. The Urban Renewal Project significantly impacted the historic character of the area immediately east of the survey area, and many lots were cleared for new commercial or multifamily residential buildings and parking lots. Today some of the downtown area buildings lack architectural context due to removal of surrounding buildings, resulting in a loss of visual continuity (Roper 1978:28,36). Notable examples of late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century buildings do survive, and mid-twentieth-century construction included several good examples of period architecture that contribute to the variety of styles in the downtown area. Pawtucket downtown design plan

13


Urban Design Massing & Density

scale of downtown buildings appropriate for city center except major parking zone low density zones just outside of center Historically, Main Street, Roosevelt Avenue (North Main Street) and Exchange Street had consistent building massing that was based on the technology and material construction systems of the time and allowed for buildings between three to six stories. As land values dropped and construction systems changed, lower density structures were added or in some cases older buildings were removed for high-rise structures or surface parking. Pawtucket had originally grown as a traditional city type (seen on the left) where consistent urban edges gave way to street canyons, but transitioned to a modern type (right) where buildings were placed as objects in an open landscape.

1920

Traditional urban fabric Modern urban fabric From a redevelopment plan of Boston in 1968; it should be noted that “Modern� here refers to the specific era of urban development that began after World War II and lasted until the early 1970s and not something relating to present times. The mid-twentieth century saw this change as a positive, forward-looking strategy that incorporated the automobile and opened up oppressively dense neighborhoods to open and green space. In hindsight, many urban historians describe these plans as destructive to neighborhood identity and current urban designers lament the priority of the automobile over more efficient and environmentally sustainable forms of transit. In Pawtucket, the current density result is a mostly consistently dense core, except for one large surface parking zone, surrounded by low density areas that transition the core into the residential neighborhoods. This open zone is ambiguous, more suburban in typology, and disconnects the urban density from where people primarily live. These zones are reinforced by the rail line and highway interventions which further disconnect the center from its supportive neighborhoods.

1945

Generalized diagram of current density pattern of downtown Pawtucket:

1968 14

existing conditions report


current & upcoming development

Legend Buildings Height 60 feet < Buildings Height 30 feet > 50 feet Buildings Height 20 feet > 30 feet Buildings Height < 20 feet Parking Lots Pawtucket downtown design plan

15


Urban Design Street edges

area between main & summer streets has most continuous street edge open lots on edge of downtown significantly undermine street edge loss of public space clarity and protocol Pawtucket’s urban development patterns historically suggest that the city began with primarily individuated houses with street set backs and yards and commercial buildings drawn to the edge of the street in areas of higher pedestrian and transit density. During the height of Pawtucket’s economic prosperity, Main Street and most of downtown had three- to five-story masonry structures that formed a continuous street and urban edge clearly defining public and transportation space. The density of shops, employees, and access to goods encouraged the further growth of the urban area. During the decline and introduction of the automobile as shopping shifted to suburban malls or corridors, buildings were removed in downtown Pawtucket creating a mix of street edges and gaps; planning documents encouraged this trend as the need for parking for potential development suggested these measures. This inconsistency grew with successive stages of urban renewal and development. The form typology of the downtown shifted from being fundamentally medieval-- the sense of a solid core with streets as open corridors-to modern, where objectified buildings were surrounded with open space, leaving street edges undefined. The result of the current mix of late nineteenth and midtwentieth century urban patterns has left the downtown without a clarity of land use protocol. The public space, which once included sidewalks and intentional plazas, now ambiguously run over into private lots. Circulation, once restricted to sidewalks, often crosses into these lots as well, since the direct path is often through lots rather than around them. The riverfront also has few clear logics about how it treats the water edge. The soft edges, in some cases, are overgrown and prevent river access, but do provide some semi-natural habitat and contribute to the river ecosystem. Hard edges control the river’s relationship to downtown structures and, in many cases, offer a demonstration of the historic legacy of the city and river’s relationship. The hard edges define the historic industrial memory and allow buildings views into it’s environment. The river is missing any form of pathway or system that allows one to experience the river over any length, except near Slater Mill and the Main Street Bridge. The Blackstone Valley Bike Path will assist in this priority, but that project is still years away. One additional component that could assist in the historic preservation of the downtown area and the experience of the river is the proposed national park that would be created as a next phase for the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. This is a tremendous opportunity for the City. From the Blackstone River Valley Special Resource Study NPS June 2010 NPS acquisition would be limited to those structures or sites that were appropriate and necessary for preservation, rehabilitation and interpretation as they relate to the purposes of the park. Acquisition would be on a willing buyer/willing seller basis. The development of NPS facilities in the valley could also be accomplished through long-term lease or cooperative agreements with existing owners/managers. Because much of the property within the boundary of the park would remain in private hands, the park would work in partnership with the local community to ensure the long term protection of these resources. The park and its regional partner would work together with the park’s core sites and districts to develop a Preservation Plan for each site or district. The park could offer planning and technical assistance to communities seeking to create local historic districts and to support other preservation planning initiatives. In those locations where local historic districts are in place and are being managed by local historical commissions, matching funds to support historic preservation projects could be made available. NPS would seek the conveyance of preservation easements on key historic properties on a willing seller/willing buyer basis. Funding for this proposed new unit of the National Park Service would be requested and authorized through the operating budget of the National Park Service. 16

existing conditions report


edge continuity

Legend Continuous Edge

Important Historic building

Partial Edge or Short gap Open boundary or Long gap Open green edge Continuous tree edge Masonry river edge Pawtucket downtown design plan

17


Urban Design Elevations Street edges

discontinuities disrupt sense of downtown boundaries and density good urban fabric variation

18

existing conditions report


edge photo analysis

Main Street Strong continuity with variable style and material types. Two-story heights with occasional three five or six story.

North Union Mostly continuous with small breaks for surface parking. Primarily two-story structures with one large four-story

Summer Street North side of street has strong continuity; south side of street is discontinuous as it connects to High Street. Pawtucket downtown design plan

19


Urban Design Partners & Projects

recent development in close proximity to main street recent large developments are mostly housing current development is primarily smaller scale commercial data indicates future unlikely to see large-scale housing Development Since the entry of the highway and mid-twentieth century economic decline, the downtown area has sought economic and development investment to sustain a vibrant commercial and social center. The regional connections and shifts in job base has made this difficult, because larger spaces with available and inexpensive parking shifted to suburban and more remote areas. Most of the studies done in the past ten years have assumed larger-scale development would return to the area and during the real estate boom of the early 2000s, Pawtucket saw significant investment in mill adaptive re-use projects the significantly increased the downtown residential population and added to the diversity of resident types and higher socioeconomic income levels. Weak Current Housing Conditions With this boom eroded and recession currently in place, the housing market is weak and applications for building permits indicate that new unit construction dropped from a total of 129 (single family: 27; multi-family: 102) in 2003 to total of 35 (single family: 7; multi-family: 28) in 2009. Additionally, median home values dropped 50% from $240,000 in the past five years (Housing and Urban Development). The foreclosure crisis has significantly affected the area, however, the successful work of the Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation has mitigated these effects as they have effectively purchased many foreclosed housing, with special attention to the Barton Street neighborhood north of downtown, and renovated or replaced these structures with new or improved affordable housing. Upcoming projects New MBTA Commuter Rail Stop New Iconic I-95 Bridge Blackstone Valley Gateway Project Blackstone Valley Bike path RI Housing KeepSpace projects Broad Street Corridor revitalization RIPTA rapid bus to Providence Barton Street affordable housing Community Garden system Streetscape enhancements McDevitt building

City of Pawtucket & MBTA RI Department of Transportation Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation RIDOT & Blackstone Valley Tourism Council RI Housing Blackstone Valley Tourism Council & CIties of Pawtucket and Central Falls RIPTA Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation New Urban Farmers Pawtucket Alliance for Downtown Success McDevitt Owner

Potential Upcoming Projects Riverfront District development State Pier and Town Landing Historic District support Old Train Depot Site development Effects of the DMV moving Front Street Development Pawtucket Arts Festival Roosevelt Avenue development

Riverfront Commission City of Pawtucket City of Pawtucket City of Pawtucket / PCDC City of Pawtucket Collette Travel City of Pawtucket Pawtucket Foundation

20

existing conditions report

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Coats & Clark Mill Mixed Use Commuter Rail Site High Street Church Formerly Two Ton Commercial Space Montgomery Street Studios Old Depot Montgomery Street Property Kazarian Housing Cape Verdian Community Center 160 Broad Street Mixed Use Development Callaghan Gardens Housing Union Wadding Housing Ron Wierks Commercial Development Bayley Lofts Housing Slater Cotton Housing Old Colony Bank Mixed Use Development YMCA Community Center Renovations Roosevelt Avenue Mixed Use Development McDevitt Commercial Development Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Toole Building Mixed Use Development The Grant Mixed Use Development Boys & Girls Club Health Center Blackstone Valey Gateway I PCDC Mixed use development Blackstone Valley Gateway II PCDC Mixed use development Former Social Security Building Roosevelt Ave Commercial Development 400 Main Street Commercial Development Pleasant Street Housing Hospice Housing Development Apex Building Former Hotel Site Riverfront Lofts Housing Nathanson Design Center Pawtucket Armory Commercial & Educational Development Front Street Studios Front Street Mixed Use Development Tierra Restaurant


current & upcoming development

35 23 6

22 9

3

10

1

25

34

5

22

4 24

8 7

36

2

33

32 31

18

11

16

28

17 13

12

15 20

26

19 21

14

29

27

30

Legend Projected potential projects Projects in process Recent completed development Location of closed businesses

Pawtucket downtown design plan

21


Urban Design Historic Properties

significant individual historic buildings remain, but are a loose field

22

existing conditions report


districTs and historic properties

Legend National Register Eligible Resource

Exchange Street NRHD Listed Property

Exchange Street National Register District

National Register Listed Property

Church Hill Industrial NRHD Listed Property

Church Hill Industrial National Register Historic District

National & Local Historic District Property

Slater Mill National Historic Landmark

Slater Mill National Historic Landmark District

Contributing Resource

National Register District

Arts & Entertainment District

Non contributing Resource

Quality Hill Historic Districts

Local Historic District Property

Division Street Historic Bridge Pawtucket downtown design plan

23


Parking Parking lots & On-street parking

surface parking dominates the downtown landscape on street parking limits are rarely enforced The VHB study below indicates that the existing parking spaces do not supply enough parking to the available commercial / mixed-use space in the downtown area: 1.7 spaces to1000 square feet parking instead of the preferred 2:1000. This assumes all buildings to be occupied. Since that is unlikely to happen in the immediate future, with the current occupation levels that have stayed fairly consistent in the past 10 years, it shows that there is currently an adequate number of spaces for occupied square footage. On-street and private lot parking is nearly always available. Thus, there is a more a parking perception problem then a lack of spaces, as many of the available lots are not clearly signed. The one public parking garage on Main Street is underutilized since it is dilapidated, poorly lit, and the first floor has restricted parking. VHB Parking Study 2005 The study area contains 1.3 million square feet of building space. Approximately one-quarter of the building space is residential and a similar amount is institutional uses such as City Hall and the YMCA. Some 260,000 square feet of space is currently vacant. There are 1,730 parking spaces, including 190 on-street spaces, within the study area. Few of the properties have adequate on-site parking rely on public parking for some or all of their parking needs. There are approximately 510 public parking spaces, 30% of the total supply. The existing parking ratio for the study area is 1.7 spaces per 1,000 square feet of building space. Typically a ratio of 2.0 or higher is expected for an active mixed-use business district. This is one indicator that there is a parking deficit within the study area and that redevelopment of vacant and under-utilized properties could be hindered by a lack of parking. The lack of parking is not readily apparent at the present time because of the large amount of parking that is currently unused. However, most of this unused parking is related to specific properties and once those properties are redeveloped there will be little parking available to support redevelopment of properties that do not have their own parking supply. The assessment of existing conditions shows that only 150 unused parking spaces that are available in public parking facilities or could be leased from a private property owner. This parking consists of 85 spaces in the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Main Street garage, 35 spaces at the Slater Mill, 20 spaces in the Summer Street pay lot, and 10 spaces available for lease from the Boys and Girls Club. All but the Slater Mill spaces are considered to be viable for accommodating some of the parking associated with redevelopment projects. The redevelopment scenario encompasses 460,000 square feet of building space, including the 260,000 square feet of vacant space. The unmet parking demand associated with the reuse and redevelopment of all 460,000 square feet is calculated to be 622 spaces. The redevelopment scenario also includes three potential surface parking alternatives comprising 100 spaces. The most feasible and cost-effective options for addressing the 622-space parking need start with making use of existing parking and pursuing the surface parking options. As shown below, the two strategies would provide 215 spaces and reduce the amount of parking required from parking garage options to 407 spaces. Three potential sites for parking garages have been identified as being close to potential redevelopment properties and sufficiently large to accommodate a parking garage of several hundred spaces. The locations are (1) The parking behind the Pawtucket Mutual buildings, including the 8-10 Summer Street property owned by the YMCA, (2) the parking behind 175 Main Street, and (3) the Boys and Girls Club properties. There 24

existing conditions report


available public & private parking

Legend Public parking lot Dedicated Parking lot Open / Dedicated Parking Lot On Street Parking

Pawtucket downtown design plan

25


Parking Building Lots & Property Pairings

signage is missing to identify the use of many lots many private lots are underused are two options for the Boys and Girls Club properties. One would leave the East Avenue building intact and the other would be to demolish the East Avenue building to provide additional parking. The assessment of the potential sites is summarized on Table 4. Because no single parking garage could accommodate all of the unmet parking associated with redevelopment projects, the recommended net increase of parking provided by a garage ranges from 175 spaces to 320 spaces. Because of existing surface parking that would be displaced by a parking garage, the required size of a new parking garage ranges from 235 to 470 spaces. Parking Study 2000 This Downtown Parking Study shows that employer surveys associated with existing conditions indicate a need for 94 additional employee spaces and 68 visitor/customer spaces, resulting in a total deficiency of 162 parking spaces. Employer surveys associated with anticipated future conditions indicate a need for an additional 43 employee spaces and 27 visitor/customer parking space for a total of 70 additional parking space needed in the study of the future. There, in order to satisfy existing and future parking demands, an additional 137 employee and 95 visitor/customer parking spaces are needed, totaling 232 parking spaces. Some of these 232 parking space needs can be satisfied under the present parking supply within the study area. In addition, there is additional available public parking outside of the Study Area, but which may not be within a convenient walking distance. Incentives such as van pooling and shuttle bus may be options to be explored in more detail, as appropriate. The follow is a list of parking strategy options to be considered in accommodating existing and future parking needs:

• • • • • • • •

City Hall Lot should remain 2 hour public parking and mainly serve visitors to City Hall, the Public Library and other local business in the area; The Main Street Public Garage had a surplus of 45 spaces. This garage should be cleaned, painted and maintained. Additional on-street signage and downtown literature on available parking should be provided; The 21 private parking spaces at the Slate Mill Historic Center can be potentially made available to are employees. The RI Registry of Motor Vehicles Surface Parking Lots can offer up to 64 parking spaces for other area employees and/or visitors; The Boys & Girls Club can offer up to 21 parking spaces for other area employees and/or visitors; The closed lot on Roosevelt Avenue can be open for all day employee parking; Encourage use of the Ice Rink north and Ice Rink south public parking lots outside of the Study Area; and the use of the APex Lot as available; and, Construct a parking deck of about 85 parking spaces over the parking lot at 175 Main Street.

The long-term solution of a parking deck, coupled with the implementation and continuance of the short-term options associated with the Municipal Parking Garage on Main Street and a cooperation/partnering with private business in supplying area wide parking, the potential of accommodating existing and anticipated future parking requirements in the Study Area should be realized.

26

existing conditions report


parking pairings

Legend Buildings

Associated lots

Public parking

Pawtucket downtown design plan

27


Public space Activity Spots

public transportation initiates public activity people use public outdoor space lunchtime is busy As part of our community outreach, we asked members of the public who attended the June 22 meeting to respond to a set of questions so we could better understand the downtown (see appendix). Common answers: What do you love about Pawtucket? willingness of community members / variety of affordable rent / independent businesses / historic buildings / the core is already there Where do you go or what places do you avoid? go: visitors center / restaurants / library / waterfront / not many places to go avoid: places that aren’t lit / parking garage / I don’t avoid anything What are your favorite monuments? don’t have one / blue heron statue / Pawtucket Falls What is your experience of walking? I love walking here / exploring places that are old / feels unsafe because of little pedestrian activity / difficult to cross safely at Broad & Exchange St and Main & East Ave / I like walking in the neighborhoods, but need crosswalks to get there Is there a reason why you would or would not locate your business here? Not sure it would survive / Yes, lots of parking, many bus routes, great buildings / No, people not from Pawtucket get lost / Not enough going on Is it hard to find parking when & where you want it? Sometimes / parking is fine / lack of signage / never What is your image of downtown Pawtucket? Very quiet / culturally vibrant / great potential / neglected / see its history Why do/don’t you ride a bicycle or the bus? bike got stolen / now that I have a car, I don’t ride the bus / I ride the bus because it’s convenient, but never off peak because it’s too infrequent If you could change one street, what would you do? fix pot holes / narrow Exchange St / make broadway two way / improve Dexter St What is the worst intersection? bus station area / ones on Exchange Street-- too wide / Broad & Exchange Street / Roosevelt, Main & East Avenue & High Recommended Projects From Pawtucket Agenda Source Document 2005 Socializing Main Street: Commence street ‘socialization’ in downtown district – especially on Main Street. Assess the viability of a regular festival or celebration (two weekly or monthly) to be held on Main Street. This idea can also be adapted to seasonal events: to “high-saturation” festival events such as a theatre festival with multiple performances in several temporary spaces on Main Street. Downtown District: Identify a downtown district that will form the initial focus of catalytic development. Use the focus and activity within this initial downtown district as a catalyst to expand development and revitalization into other areas in the Pawtucket draw area. The district needs to include three iconic development elements – the Train Station, Roosevelt Avenue, and the 1500’ “axis” connector between the two. The connectivity of these two “hubs” with connecting “axes”— which include Main Street-- will act as a catalytic force to create key connections in the downtown. They will also act as ‘feeders’ that may connect out to other hubs such as – the waterfront, to the Apex re-development, and potentially extending out to the new hotel site. 28

existing conditions report


activity spots

Legend Commercial Busy

Churches

Commercial Active

Industrial Active

Commercial Less active

Active zones

Residential Density

Nighttime active zones

Institutional

Sunday active zones

Social Service

Informal routes Pawtucket downtown design plan

29


Public Space Streetscape

Lighting primarily oriented for cars, not pedestrians sidewalks in mostly acceptable condition, need maintenance striping in poor condition Exchange Street • • • • • • •

Poor building street edge Street edge well defined by trees Large intersection with poor crosswalk striping Few historic buildings Lighting acceptable for car, not for pedestrians in spring / summer Cars speed due to wide paved space Truck traffic is high due to bridge construction

Roosevelt Avenue • • • • •

No street edge continuity Poor condition of sidewalks Acceptable amount of lighting, but poor quality Sparse tree infill Active zone near Police and Fire departments

High Street • • • • • •

30

existing conditions report

Poor street edge continuity Acceptable condition of sidewalks Inadequate lighting Pedestrian / car conflict at newsstand drive-through atypical and not supportive of urban development Open corner at Summer Street not conducive to urban continuity


streetscape conditions

Main Street • • • • • • • • • •

Good streetscape variation Good historic fabric Good opportunities for interior and exterior space relationships Sidewalks well connected to building edge Sidewalks in acceptable condition Poor street striping Poor lighting Several un- or underused buildings Public space under-utilized No trees or vegetation

North Union & Broad Streets • • • •

Mixed street edge conditions: > Broad Street elevation not well connected to public space > McDevitt Building good historic edge, poorly renovated > Parking area open and undefined North Union parking lot behind the YMCA heavily used, but not well lit at night Poor lighting Ambiguous underused greenspace

Summer Street • • • • • •

Good streetscape variation Good historic fabric Sidewalks in poor condition Poor lighting near nighttime active buildings Very little vegetation Beautiful historic stair at library that is not used due to ADA reasons, but could be used by the public for events or day to day use Small areas of parking that could be used for other purposes with parking redirected

Pawtucket downtown design plan

31


Urban Design Traffic Pedestrian & Automobile Conflicts

there are dangerous pedestrian crossings between intersections crossing areas are unique problems to solve 1 Bus stop at Roosevelt & Main Street This is the most dangerous pedestrian crossing in downtown Pawtucket. This area is highly congested with active and dormant RIPTA buses, Slater Mill visitor parking, tour buses, pedestrians, people waiting for the bus, and bicycles. Visitors to Slater Mill, in many cases grade school children that arrive on field trips, cross from the visitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s center parking lot to the national landmark. While there is a crosswalk and the children are chaperoned by teachers and landmark staff, this is still a perilous crossing. People also commonly cross in front or between RIPTA buses in an effort to catch the bus across the street. The location of the buses and visitor parking is what determines this conflict. 2 Goff between Dexter & Broad Street This is the second most dangerous pedestrian crossing in downtown Pawtucket. Residents of the housing buildings on the downtown side of Goff cross outside of the nearby crosswalk through five lanes of traffic to reach both a stair well that provides access to Walgreens and the very active RIPTA bus stop. The stairwell is the specific link that encourages this crossing. 3 Main Street between Maple and High Streets As commercial and social activity grows along Main Street, there are increasing conflicts as pedestrians cross mid-block to get to the Grant and the fabric store. People also park and cross to get to the library or YMCA. The conflict comes because cars are often raveling too fast around the corner from Broad Street towards High Street and are unaware of people crossing outside of crosswalks. The crosswalks that are there are also poorly paved. 4 Exchange Street, Exchange Court & Fountain Streets Located directly in front of Tolman High School, this area has heavy traffic and pedestrian traffic primarily two times a day as school begins and ends. There are also often buses for social or athletic events that line up along-side the north side of Exchange Street. Parents often wait to pick of their kids along the street and bridge in areas not meant for waiting traffic. While there is a police officer that helps these crossings, it is still a compacted traffic condition. As well, with increased activity at the Gamm theater, new Design Center, and with increased housing on Exchange Court, the daily pedestrian traffic has increased at lunchtime and performance evenings. There is a crosswalk mid block, but not pedestrian signals at Broadway and Exchange Street. 5 Roosevelt Avenue at City Hall This crossing has already been addressed with a specific pedestrian crosswalk and signal. The activity is generated by City employee parking and City Hall located across from one another on Roosevelt Avenue. The police and fire state activity increases the traffic. This area works well as it is currently.

32

existing conditions report


pedestrian & automobile conflicts

2 4 5

3

1

Legend Pedestrian / Auto conflict zones Activity generator Activity centers Activity contributing centers Study intersections

Pawtucket downtown design plan

33


Public Space Public space, Parks & Vegetation

sidewalks are the primary public space slater mill is the primary big open event space the river is the primary green space In the late 19th century, Frederick Law Olmstead, the landscape designer of Central Park in New York City, recommended that Pawtucket not develop a downtown park, because the selected area was deemed not large enough for the dense population and he believed in bringing people outside of the urban core (as was the case with NY’s Central Park-- it only later had the city grow up around it). Pawtucket has two primary areas of recreation and open space: the area around Slater Mill and the triangle at Park Place, as described locally as a former “commons” of Pawtucket. The Slater Mill space often periodically hosts large public events, for example: the Arts Festival opening event in September, the Colombian Day Festival in June, and RiverSing, a choral festival held for only three years. The Slater Mill area is well used and enjoyed by visitors and residents, however, the park area across from it along Broadway is perceived to have “homeless people” in it. While this has been observed, this seems more a perception of safety and access and less a direct problem. The Park Place triangle, fronts two important landmark buildings, is rarely used because it is cut off by surrounding traffic on George Street. Main Street only has one small plaza which works well spatially as a respite from the dense urban fabric, but is out-dated and not clearly organized for public use. Main Street itself has been used in the evenings for events such as Rocktucket, a new music festival. Veterans Memorial Park at the corner of Exchange Street and Roosevelt Avenue is also well used for events, but in frequently. Many local nearby residents come for summer music festivals. The City’s best recreational public space is Slater Park, two miles from downtown Pawtucket along the Ten Mile Greenway along the Seekonk River. There is little access to this park as the vehicular routes are circuitous and there are no bicycle paths or clear pedestrian routes. Other areas along the river may be developed soon, including the river’s edge next to Tolman High School, a northern portion of Front Street that is currently in brownfield remediation, the Town Landing, currently a city park, and the State Pier, a large state-owned pier-like space currently used for large river-organized events, such as for the Dragon Boat races each year in September. Oak Hill also has a block-sized recreational space in good condition that includes tennis and basketball courts, a playground, and open green space. This is heavily used and indicates greater potential for an additional facility. Currently, due to budgets cuts and lack of maintenance support, there are few opportunities for new public greenspace and parks in downtown Pawtucket. Pawtucket Foundation Tidewater Plan 2003 Four compelling river-based principles emerged from the workshop and follow-up sessions: • Protect and enhance Pawtucket’s core assets, the Mill Pond and the landmarks and parklands that surround it. • Establish a bold new Tidewater Park below Division Street that embraces both sides of the river as far as Riverside Cemetery and the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay. • Connect these two extraordinary assets by reestablishing attractive riverfront streets and paths along both sides of the river gorge. • Use this place-making strategy to attract new businesses and residents to development sites along the river and in downtown Pawtucket. 34

existing conditions report


greenspace

front street

veterans memorial park

slater park Slater Mill

park place

town landing

state pier oak hill park

Legend Uncultivated greenspace

Paved public space

Cultivated / Public greenspace

Sidewalks

Cultivated / Private greenspace

Primary large event space

Tree Canopy & Vegetation

Pawtucket downtown design plan

35


Public Space Water flow & Topography

significant impermeable paving in downtown pawtucket Flooding a potential threat to downtown The Blackstone River experienced two significant floods in 2005 and 2010. While adjustment of water flow in the Pawtucket downtown area will not protect the City from flood water coming from the upper Blackstone River, it can mitigate Pawtucket’s contribution to the water overflow and decrease a flood’s damage. Any design of downtown elements should preservation and enhance natural habitat, already on the increase along the Blackstone. Tidewater Redevelopment Plan 2004 The Tidewater Site was chosen as a case study for the Urban Environmental Design Manual to demonstrate how contaminated brownfields can be restored to promote economic development. Just as importantly, the site offers the opportunity to show how stormwater treatment systems and other functional elements can be used to create beautiful parks and attractive settings for business growth. Planning for new offices and public parks, particularly on former industrial land, offers a wealth of possibilities to rebuild natural systems for storing, treating and transporting stormwater. By studying the form and processes of natural wetlands and ponds, new ones can be created that fulfill many of the same functions. By avoiding the usual engineered detention pond surrounded by a chain link fence, these areas can become a wonderful amenity that adds to the value of adjoining development sites. Since the US EPA’s Phase II stormwater requirements went into effect recently, redevelopment of properties like he Tidewater site will require a higher level of stormwater treatment than ever before. Because developers will have to invest in systems to comply with these new regulations regardless, it only make sense to leverage that investment to create new parks and natural areas hat add to the economic value of the site. Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Natural Resources Inventory & Assessment 1998 The Blackstone River and its Valley contain a variety of habitats which support a diverse wildlife. The number of animal and plant species native to the Blackstone Valley Corridor is impressive. The number of fish species has rebounded to twenty throughout the Valley’s waterways and waterbodies, despite the loss of several species of anadromous fish after dams were built along the River. There are 18 species of amphibians and 17 species of reptiles. Birds number 114 species of nesting (resident) birds, not including migratory species. Mammals total over 40 species, not including species of migratory bats. There are a minimum of 1,000 species of native plants in the Blackstone Corridor. This figure does not include introduced plants and lower forms of moss and lichen. Because of the dominance of the River in the natural resources of the Valley, waterfowl occupy a special place of importance among the wildlife species native to the Corridor. Of the more than 200 species of birds that have been sighted in the Blackstone River Valley, about half strongly depend on wetlands for their habitat. Wetlands, lakes, impoundments and slow moving rivers and streams in the Blackstone River Valley provide habitat for resident (nesting) and migrating waterfowl. The principal nesting species are the mallard, wood duck and Canada goose. The black duck also breeds in the basin but its nesting population has declined significantly during the last several decades, as it has elsewhere in the Northeast. Migrant species include the mallard, wood duck, Canada goose, black duck, mallard and black duck hybrids, greenwinged teal, blue-winged teal, pintail, American widgeon, common and wooded mergansers, bufflehead, scaup, common goldeneye, grebes, ring-necked duck and American coot. Waterfowl habitat provided by the Blackstone River basin is nationally significant: the area has been identified as an important flyway for migratory waterfowl by the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. 36

existing conditions report


impermeable surfaces & Topography

83

84

45

72

81

83

81

63

74 79

71

76

71

85

62 72

76

79

45

91

38 61

62

85

36

91

57 36

82

32 45

90

82

30

88

59

37 79

28 85

94

92

97

93

79 47 50

82

57

15

81 92

40

Legend Impermeable surfaces Topographic lines at 10 feet increments Note: topography is generalized based on spot elevations.

Pawtucket downtown design plan

37


Urban Design Traffic Public Transportation

there is a high density and diversity of bus lines rapid bus will be a significant opportunity bus locations generate significant pedestrian activity The most active parts of downtown Pawtucket during the day are where people wait for or walk to bus stops; the most busy location is at Roosevelt and Main Streets, the second largest bus plaza in Rhode Island. This area is a critical hub that links people to many parts of North Providence, Central Falls, Lincoln, East side of Providence, Cumberland, the South Attleboro MBTA stop, eastern Pawtucket and Kennedy Plaza in Providence. One of the reasons this hub is successful is because the density and frequency of buses make it a predictable and useful depot for connecting to primary routes, for example, the number 99 to Kennedy Plaza that goes down the shopping areas along North Main Street. RIPTA plans to add Rapid Bus Service in the near future and this is perhaps an even great er opportunity than the commuter rail stop to encourage access for riders. The project would create signal prioritization and limited stops, allowing riders a 10 to 15 minute ride to downtown Providence. The new service will also include bus stop enhancement, real-time information displayed at stops, and new branding graphics and signage. A MBTA Commuter rail stop is currently planned at Dexter and Barton Streets on the northwest corner of the downtown. This area needs special consideration and improved linkages to downtown commercial and residential zones. Linkages to RIPTA will also need to be reorganized to support this multi-nodal connection. While there is a good opportunity for transit-oriented development, it is important that it work with and not conflict with enhanced growth in the downtown area. From RIPTA Greater Metro Transit Study December 2009 RIPTA will introduce Rapid Bus, a new service that will provide uniquely branded vehicles with frequent service and added amenities at stops to significantly improve the speed and attractiveness of bus service. Get to where you are going faster Rapid Bus provides frequent, reliable and comfortable transit service in high density activity centers. Two RIPTA routes, the 11 Broad Street and the 99 North Main/ Pawtucket, serve over 10,000 riders a day. Implementation of one Rapid Bus service that connects these two lines will make ridership more convenient for existing customers and encourage new ones as well. By linking to transit hubs on Capitol Hill and the Hospital District and future street car lines, this system will reinforce new improvements in RIPTA services. It will also support the City of Providenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to improve commercial corridors in the city, beginning with Broad and North Main Streets. Rapid Bus service will also be expanded to other promising routes in the future to provide a higher level of service to even more riders. Rapid Bus offers the opportunity to enhance existing bus service to provide faster and more reliable service, a higher level of passenger comfort and amenities, and a distinctive service identity. Rapid Bus transit enhancements include: frequent service, simple routes, limited stops, queue jump lanes, unique identities, distinctive stop facilities, specially branded vehicles, transit signal priority, and real-time arrival information. These features work together to make service fast, reliable, convenient, comfortable and clearly identifiableâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; characteristics all associated with rail or Bus Rapid Transit service but without the major capital investment and in locations where dedicated lanes are not possible. 38

existing conditions report


RIPTA BUS LINES, STOPS & SHELTERS

72 71

75

72 75 51 71 72 73 75 99

76 42 76 99

51 73 99

77

99

42 51 71 72 73 75 76 77 78 79 80 99

51 73 99

42

77

99 42

76

99

78

99 42

99

Legend Bus stops & Shelters Potential future commuter rail site Anticipated route for future #99 Rapid Bus Service Anticipated terminus for future #99 Rapid Bus Service

Pawtucket downtown design plan

39


Urban Design Traffic One Way Streets

one way streets around downtown cut it off people inside and outside of pawtucket find one ways confusing Pawtucket is well known for its one way traffic and complicate routes. What we have found in looking at previous traffic planning studies, is that they primarily focused on the area immediately in downtown bounded by Main, Exchange and Roosevelt. This study widens that area of focus and introduces a larger view of how one way traffic affects flow and linkages. While there are well known one way routes in downtown that cause confusing for finding direct connections, there is also a significant set of one ways street just outside of that boundary. These streets became one way over a period of time-primarily this began with the introduction of the highway system in the mid twentieth century, but also continued as successive planning decisions solved problems in specific areas. The area between Pawtucket leading towards the highway and Providence is a highly one way dense region with hard to navigate regions that previously were clear and historic routes. Pleasant street, one of the original thoroughfares in Pawtucket history dating back to Benjamin Franklin’s postmaster general postal routes as indicated by the recently discovered marker, has been disconnected at Division Street making for complicated linkages. Broadway also functions as a clear and primary route as it has for nearly two hundred year into downtown, but then also becomes one way for a short segment as it gets near downtown. The network of streets between Main, as it comes up from downtown, and Woodlawn is almost completely all one ways streets in an area that has housing. The complexity of how they terminate into one another and switch direction makes it a difficult place to navigate. By examining the routes into and out of downtown, it is clear that local knowledge is required to find the way to the area that is perceived as the “center” of downtown Pawtucket, Main Street between Maple and High Streets. Connections from I-95 south into downtown either bring the driver to Fountain Street or George Street, well before and after the downtown area. Drivers from I-95 north have more options, specifically School Street, but this is not labeled as the “Downtown” exit and directs traffic east, out of downtown. The routes in general allow people to get where they want to go, but not through protocol logics, instead it requires knowing the area or driving around until you find the right linkage. This not conducive to developing an active socially and economically successful center. Traffic Study 1989 It is interesting to note that during both time periods surveyed, Main Street to the east of the Plaza carried the heaviest volumes of downtown traffic, inbound and outbound combined. Beyond that, the next heaviest directions literally encompassed all sides of the downtown area.

40

existing conditions report


one way street patterns

Legend Downtown One ways One Way Linkages to Central Falls One Way Linkages to Woodlawn, North Providence & Providence One Way Linkages to East Providence One Way Linkages to South Attleboro and east side of Pawtucket

Pawtucket downtown design plan

41


Urban Design Traffic Routes

finding main street requires local knowledge

Legend Linkages to the Interstate Linkages to Central Falls Linkages to Woodlawn, North Providence & Providence Linkages to East Providence Linkages to South Attleboro and east side of Pawtucket

42

existing conditions report

downtown routes out


downtown routes in

Legend Linkages from the Interstate Linkages from Central Falls Linkages from Woodlawn, North Providence & Providence Linkages from East Providence Linkages from South Attleboro and east side of Pawtucket

Pawtucket downtown design plan

43


Urban Design Traffic Bicycle infrastructure

bicycles are commonly used as transportation there are no clear traffic protocols for bicycles there is limited bicycle parking in downtown besides bicycles, people commonly use other personal vehicles Bicyclists often have to make up their own rules when the rules of the road are not clear. While there are specific traffic laws in the State of Rhode Island, automobile drivers are not used to sharing the road through cultural habit and often do not give bikes the clearance or courtesy required to encourage their safety. The perception of being unsafe changes behavior and leads to further dangerous situations. Bicycles now use a variety of means to navigate through downtown: Following Traffic Some bicyclists follow the rules of the road and turn from left lanes along with traffic. This is perilous for the rider as the density of bicycle use is low and vehicles are not used to sharing space with them. Contrary to Traffic Many bicyclists cross the streets wherever and however, often contrary to traffic, based on traffic flow. Clearly dangerous, this should be discouraged. Riding on Sidewalks Some bicyclists ride on sidewalks allowing for greater safety, but making the ride less efficient and adding danger for pedestrians. Walking Bicycles A few bicyclists walk their bikes across streets due to the unclear traffic protocols. Motorized vehicles Additionally, many of the local tower housing residents have mobility issues or disabilities requiring the use of wheelchairs or motorize personal vehicles. They are often found on the street in traffic, crossing intersections quickly, or on sidewalks with difficulty in navigating curb cuts. This population needs to be considered when designing wheeled access. From US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood & Adventure Cycling The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a proposed national network of bicycle routes. For a route to be officially designated a U.S. Bicycle Route, it must connect two or more states, a state and an international border, or other U.S. Bicycle Routes. U.S. Bicycle Routes are intended to link urban, suburban, and rural areas using a variety of appropriate facilities. These routes are nominated for numbered designation by State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and are catalogued by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) through the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering. From Governor Carcieri’s Blue Ribbon Panel RI Transportation Future 2. Provide alternate modes and protect the environment Local communities receive little help from the State for maintenance of their transportation infrastructure. Therefore, funding to provide help to the local communities has been included in the State’s transportation needs assessment. The State can provide more assistance to local communities by: • Expansion of the State’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Program facilities, including the retrofit of roadways with new sidewalks. 44

existing conditions report


bicycle use & infrastructure

Legend Locations with highest numbers of grade and high school students Locations with higher numbers of residents with mobility issues Future Blackstone Valley Bike Path route Future Blackstone Valley Bike Path temporary striping HIgher density of bicycle traffic

Pawtucket downtown design plan

45


Traffic Counts McMahon Associates

INTRODUCTION This report summarizes the existing traffic conditions findings associated with the Pawtucket Downtown Design Plan (PDDP) in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The Downtown corridors in the City of Pawtucket have been plagued with the reputation of a confusing street network. The purpose of this report is to present a summary of existing roadway conditions and operations at study area intersections. Our assessment is based on observations and review of existing roadway conditions and operations, as well as available traffic volume data. The findings in this report will assist in the next phase of the project, in which future access and circulation improvements to the Downtown will be developed.

STUDY AREA The area identified for detailed analysis in this study was determined based on a review of the surrounding roadway network serving the Downtown area. Primary focus was given to the following intersections: • Goff Avenue at Dexter Street • Goff Avenue at Broad Street/Summer Street • George Street at East Avenue • Main Street at High Street/East Avenue • Exchange Street at Roosevelt Avenue • Division Street at Pleasant Street Data from Previous Transportation Studies There are several previous studies conducted with regards to the Greater Pawtucket area that provide relevant information and data for the PDDP. Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Facility Feasibility Study and Site Analysis Sixteen intersections in Pawtucket and Central Falls were counted for the Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Facility Feasibility Study and Site Analysis. Two of these intersections coincide with the PDDP project study area, including: • Goff Avenue at Dexter Street • Goff Avenue at Exchange Street/Broad Street/Summer Street The volumes utilized for these two intersections are the projected 2010 PM peak hour background traffic volumes in the Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Facility Feasibility Study and Site Analysis. The count data from this study has been synthesized with the new count data collected. I-95 Pawtucket River Bridge Project (Bridge 550) Recent traffic data was also collected as part of the I-95 Pawtucket River Bridge Project. Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) data was collected on several key roadways in the Pawtucket area ranging from the years 2003, 2005 and 2007 and including Division Street, Water Street, School Street, Fountain Street, Park Place, and Prospect Street.

Status of Other Transportation Projects in Study Area I-95 Pawtucket River Bridge Project (Bridge 550) The Pawtucket River Bridge (Bridge 550) currently has a posted weight limit at 18 tons and is restricted to vehicles with more than two axles. The George Street on-ramp to I-95 Northbound has also been closed to traffic. Restricted vehicles are required to exit I-95 in Pawtucket and follow detours on local City streets. RIDOT plans to replace the Bridge. RIDOT is currently accepting bids for construction, which will be opened on July 9, 2010. The project is expected to take approximately two to three years to complete. For the first time, the state is 46

existing conditions report


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Goff Ave. at Broad St. / Summer St.

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Characteristics: • Wide intersection • 3-phase signal with exclusive pedestrian phase • Moderate pedestrian / bicycle activity • Moderate heavy vehicle / bus activity Potential Improvements: • investigate signal phasing options • Reduce or reallocate travel lanes • Improve wayfinding signage BLAKE ST.

JACKSON

. ST

S ES

Exchange St. at Roosevelt Ave.

Characteristics: • Wide intersection • Signal operates with protected EB/WS left turn phase • Lacks directional signage Potential improvements: • shorten pedestrian crossings • reduce of relocate travel lanes • improve wayfinding signage

FRONT ST.

Goff Avenue at Dexter Street

Characteristics: • Wide intersection • Signal operates with protected EB/ WS left turn phase • SB Red signal head is out Potential improvements: • shorten pedestrian crossings • reduce of relocate travel lanes • investigate signal phasing options

GREENE ST.

NT

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figure t1 - study area intersection observations

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Pawtucket downtown design plan

47

MANNING

.

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Characteristics: • heavy right-turn onto High Street • Significant pedestrian/bike activity • significant RIPTA bus traffic • Observed right turns on red • On-street parking allowed on all approaches • Protected lead EB left-turn Potential Improvements: • Revise signal phasing/timing and increase time for Main Street

ST.

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Characteristics: • Missing pedestrian signal heads • 3-phase signal operation (protected EB left turn) • existing crosswalks on 3 approaches • current pedestrian push buttons do not meet ADA req • There are no turn restrictions • Division Street gets majority of green time • Heavy traffic observed on Division St. with queuing. Potential improvements: • Revise signal phasing/timing • Reduce or relocate lanes on Pleasant Street (northern leg) PATT ST.

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Characteristics: • Intersection works well • Some pedestrian/bike activity observed • Majority of green time given to George St. • Simple 2-phase signal • East Avenue is on bus route • Every cycle the SB protected left-turn goes Potential Improvements • Detection for protected left-turn for more efficient signal operation • Revise signal timing RY S

RANDALL

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ST.

D

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SC

T.

. ST

JAMES ST.

BUFFUM ST.

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DELANEY ST.

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George Street at East Avenue

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Traffic Counts McMahon Associates

requesting bids based on the number of construction days for completion as well as price and offering incentives for early completion. While overall completion could run as late as 2013, RIDOT expects that the Bridge may be functionally complete and open to traffic by the end of 2012. The project team is planning to meet with RIDOT officials to discuss the proposed improvements, including the improvements that will affect the local street network. Roosevelt Avenue – Slater Mill Phase II Project The project entails gateway improvements to the Roosevelt Avenue transit hub and is currently at the 90 percent design phase with RIDOT. Roosevelt Avenue is a key roadway in Pawtucket for the RIPTA bus service and pedestrian enhancements are proposed for this active area in the City. The proposed improvements will include bump-outs and a new stamped concrete crosswalk between the Visitor Center and Slater Mill, which will increase visibility and safety for pedestrians. This project will also include revising the access to Slater Mill and re-surfacing their parking lot. The project requires an archaeology investigation and the City is expecting to have someone on-board within the next month. Construction is slated for spring of 2011. Exchange Street Sidewalk Project As a RIDOT enhancement project, the Exchange Street Sidewalk project is currently in the early planning stages. The project will include improvements to the sidewalk on Exchange Street. The project would likely be constructed one to two years after the design is completed. Conant Street Bridge Project (Bridge 915) The Conant Street Bridge (Bridge 915) is currently closed to vehicular traffic. According to the RIDOT Bridge Design section, design plans have been developed to the 100 percent design phase and the project is ready to go out for construction bids. However, the project is currently on hold pending legal agreements between Amtrak, who own the railroad track below. An agreement regarding accessing Amtrak right-of-way, long-term maintenance and insurance is needed. Once reopened, this bridge will provide a north-south connection over the railroad tracks. Blackstone Valley Bike Path Project Currently the Blackstone Valley Bike Path is 11.6 miles long from Cumberland, RI to Woonsocket, RI. This goal of this project is to connect the Blackstone Valley Bike Path to the East Bay Bike Path in Providence, creating a continuous bike path from Bristol to Cumberland, RI. This bike path connection will be constructed in a series of contracts. Proceeding from the southern terminus of the Blackstone Valley Bike Path, the next two mile segment to be constructed will be very difficult to design and expensive to build as it involves hazardous materials, walls, and bridges. Design of this segment of the project has not yet been initiated and is not expected to begin for at least two to 2.5 years. It is expected to be designed as two or three separate sections. In the fall of this year, the next four mile stretch will go out to bid and will consist of “on-road” bike path (with a mix of dedicated bike lanes and shared bike lanes). This stretch extends from the Pawtucket Landing (south of Division Street) to Richmond Square in Providence and includes Blackstone Boulevard. Design of the final 0.5 mile stretch between Richmond Square and the East Bay Bike Path is expected to begin in two years. The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) is currently working in this stretch and RIDOT will likely utilize the NBC corridor for the bike path.

48

existing conditions report


NAT

ION S

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VIE WW AY

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PLE ASA NT

STR EET

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E

RO UTE

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BRO BLA

KE

BLAKE ST.

ST.

LAW R

FRONT ST.

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NT

ADW AY

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1

Figure T2 - existing 2010 pm traffic volumes

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ENCEST.

N AV

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T YR

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RS ST

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ST.

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SUM

ST .

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OL

SPENCER BUFFUM ST.

CT

PE

ST.

KE

FF

NA VE

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1

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ATR count locations & volumes from Bridge 550 project

RO

ERST. WAT TIDE

ST .

PATT ST.

HARVEY

ERS

ST.

UT

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BE

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*** The count data is based on 2010 Peak Hour background traffic volumes from the Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rails Feasibility Study

MAGILL

ST .

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LA VE

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NN

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Pawtucket downtown design plan

49

MANNING ST.

BA KIM

. NT ST

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Y ANTHON

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CO

CT .

L TA

.

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RIA

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LEY

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** The count data is approximated based on short duration counts.

SISSO

OO

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The count data is based on 2010 PM peak hour counts.

TO N

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TH OR N

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ST.

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TERRY

McCUSKERCT.

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Additional counts available from commuter rail study - see appendix ER

D

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Legend & notes

. ST

T.

AV

. ST

WINTER ST.

RY S

IN

OS

ST.

MA

. D ST

DLAN

WOO

PR

T.

MA

PON

HO

JAMES ST.

HIL TON S

WEBB ST.

D

SC

PINE ST.

GARDEN ST.

WEST AVE.

MULBERRY ST.

WASHINGTON ST.

WHITE ST.

ART

ST.

CT.

ST.

N ST. STU

MERRICK ST.

DELANEYST.

ST.

ING

PLEASANT ST.

.

BROWN

MELTO

CARSON ST.

ST.

AVE

ST.

SPR

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TAFT ST

NEY

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HA

RD

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.

.

EHAM

SHOR

CT.

ER

LL

OE

N

SO


Traffic Counts McMahon Associates

Broad Street Regeneration Initiative Action Plan The Broad Street Study was completed in November 2008 and provides an action plan to revitalize the three-mile Broad Street commercial corridor in the communities of Central Falls, Cumberland and Pawtucket. It aims to preserve its historic character and stimulate economic development through the densely populated communities that surround it. Several design improvements were developed to implement pedestrian and streetscape improvements, parking management strategies, and design for overall community safety. Pawtucket MBTA Commuter Rail Station This project will create a new stop in Pawtucket on the MBTA Commuter Rail line from Providence to Boston. The Station is proposed to be located at the Providence Worcester Railroad Yard, which is bounded by Broad Street, Clay Street, Montgomery Street, and Barton Street. Project approval to enter the preliminary engineering phase is anticipated within the next few months. This phase will involve designing station platforms and potential spurs.

EXISTING CONDITIONS Roadway Conditions The assessment of existing conditions consists of an inventory of the study area intersections including, traffic control devices, collection of peak-period traffic volumes, and field observation of existing traffic operations. Figure T1 presents a summary of our existing observations at the study area intersections. Brief descriptions of the six key intersections in the study area are provided below: Goff Avenue at Dexter Street The signalized intersection of Goff Avenue at Dexter Street is a very wide intersection with an exclusive left-turn lane and two through travel lanes for each approach on Goff Avenue. There is also a channelized right-turning lane for westbound vehicles on Goff Avenue, as well as a raised center median on the eastern approach at this intersection. Striped pedestrian crosswalks are provided on all four approaches; however, there are no traffic islands to provide relief for pedestrians crossing this wide intersection. Goff Avenue at Exchange Street/Broad Street/Summer Street Goff Avenue is a five-legged intersection with Broad Street and Summer Street and is under signal control. Summer Street is a one-way roadway feeding into the intersection and Broad Street southbound is a one-way roadway feeding out of the intersection. Goff Avenue changes into Exchange Street at this intersection. This intersection is also very wide and provides up to two travel lanes in each direction, except at the western Goff Avenue approach which includes an exclusive left-turn lane and two through travel lanes. There is a channelized right-turn lane on the Exchange Street eastern approach and a center raised median on both Exchange Street and Goff Avenue. Striped pedestrian crosswalks are provided on all five approaches of the intersection. This intersection is considered to be very busy with vehicles, buses and pedestrians. The RIPTA bus stop at this intersection is considered to be popular among residents and comes on a frequent basis. George Street at East Avenue George Street and East Avenue is a T-intersection is under signal control with George Street to the north and south and East Avenue to the east. George Street is a two-way roadway separated by a center median barrier providing two lanes of travel in each direction. At its intersection with East Avenue, an exclusive left turn lane is provided in the southbound direction and a channelized right turn is provided for the northbound approach. East Avenue is a one-way roadway heading away 50

existing conditions report


REE

T

REE

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PLE ASA NT

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Pawtucket downtown design plan

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** The count data is approximated based on short duration counts.

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Legend & notes

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Traffic Counts McMahon Associates

from the intersection. The signal operates under a two-phase operation with a lead phase for protected left-turns for southbound vehicles on George Street. There is one striped pedestrian crosswalk at this intersection on the East Avenue approach. Main Street at High Street/East Avenue The Main Street at High Street/East Avenue intersection is under signal control and provides an exclusive pedestrian phase. East Avenue is a one-way, two-lane street feeding into the intersection and High Street is a one-way, two-lane street heading out of the intersection. The Main Street western approach is also a one-way street heading into the intersection. Main Street to the east of the intersection carries one travel lane and on-street parking is permitted along the south side of Main Street. At its intersection with East Avenue and High Street, traffic on Main Street lines up in two lanes. The eastern approach of Main Street provides two-way traffic and is wide enough to carry two travel lanes in each direction. On-street parking is allowed in the vicinity of the intersection on East Avenue. There is moderate pedestrian, bicycle and RIPTA bus volume at this intersection due to its close proximity to the bus station on Roosevelt Avenue. Overall, traffic operations at this location work well. Division Street at Pleasant Street At this signalized intersection, Division Street runs in an east-west direction and Pleasant Street in the north-south direction. The Pleasant Street southern leg of this intersection is a one-way roadway feeding into the intersection. The signal operates with three phases which includes a lead protected left-turn phase for eastbound vehicles on Division Street. Each approach to the intersection consist of one travel lane except for Division Street western approach which has an exclusive left-turn lane and a through travel lane. There are striped pedestrian crosswalks on each approach except on the Division Street westbound approach at this intersection, and there is missing pedestrian signal post in the northeast corner at this intersection. Exchange Street at Roosevelt Avenue The intersection of Exchange Street and Roosevelt Avenue is under signal control. All approaches to this intersection are two-way roadways. Each approach provides two lanes except for the northbound approach. This intersection is very wide and has no medians or traffic islands for relief for pedestrians. The signal operates under a three-phase operation with an exclusive pedestrian phase. Significant pedestrian, bicycle and RIPTA bus activity was observed in the area due to the close proximity to the bus depot located on Roosevelt Avenue. Striped pedestrian crosswalks are provided on all four approaches at this intersection, however, this intersection is still considered to be one dangerous in terms of pedestrian safety. Vehicular Traffic Volumes This study evaluates existing traffic operations at study area intersections for the weekday evening peak-hour traffic conditions. Figure T2 presents the PM peak hour traffic volumes for the six study area intersections. In addition to the traffic volumes referenced from the Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Study, McMahon Associates collected Manual Turning Movement counts (MTMs) during weekday evening peak hour traffic on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the following two signalized intersections. • George Street at East Avenue • Main Street at High Street/East Avenue The PM peak hour of the above two intersections was found to be between 4:30 PM and 5:30 PM. MTM traffic counts were also collected on Thursday, June 10, 2010 for short duration (15 minute) counts during the weekday evening peak hour. The following two intersections were counted with short duration traffic counts and adjusted based on the peak hour traffic counts conducted. • Division Street at Pleasant Street • Exchange Street at Roosevelt Avenue 52

existing conditions report


Vehicular Traffic Operations As a basis for this assessment, intersection capacity analyses were conducted for the six study area intersections to evaluate the 2010 Existing PM peak-hour traffic conditions. The analyses were based upon actuated signalization with optimized timings and were conducted using Synchro capacity analysis software, based on procedures contained in the 2000 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM). Operating levels of service are reported on a scale of A to F with A representing the best conditions (with little or no delay) and F representing the worst operating conditions (long delays). Typically in an urbanized area, LOS D is considered adequate. The results of the signalized intersection capacity analyses are presented in Table T1 and discussed below. 1. Level-of-Service 2. Average delay in seconds per vehicle 3. Volume to capacity ratio The capacity analysis indicates that all of the study area intersections are currently operating well at overall LOS C or better during the weekday evening peak hour. The capacity analysis also indicates that there is available capacity at most of the study area intersections with a volume-to-capacity (v/c) ratio less than one. The purpose of this project is to look for ways to improve the Downtown corridor and the existing analysis will serve as baseline conditions for comparison to build alternatives. Pedestrian Volumes and Amenities In addition to vehicular traffic, McMahon also collected pedestrian volumes during their weekday evening peak hour traffic counts and made observations at the six study area intersections. The PM peak hour pedestrian and bicycle volumes are summarized in Figure T3. Although the PM peak hour is the heaviest for vehicle traffic, the midday peak hour is likely the peak hour for pedestrian and bicycle volumes. Moderate pedestrian activity was observed at the intersection of Exchange Street at Roosevelt Avenue as well as at the Main Street at High Street/ East Avenue intersection. Existing pedestrian amenities consist of deteriorating sidewalks, wide intersections with long crosswalks and poor handicap (ADA) accessibility amenities. Several intersections provide an exclusive pedestrian signal phase. However, during our observations, it was noted that many of the pedestrians do not use the pedestrian button and instead wait for a gap in traffic to cross the street. The study area intersections are not pedestrian friendly. At the Division Street and Pleasant Street intersection there are missing pedestrian signal heads and the existing pedestrian push buttons do not meet ADA requirements. Several intersections, including Exchange Street at Roosevelt Avenue, Goff Avenue at Broad Street/Summer Street and Goff Avenue at Dexter Street are very wide intersections with long pedestrian crossings. From our observations it was also noted that many intersections have inadequate wheelchair ramps. At the Exchange Street and Roosevelt Avenue intersection the existing pedestrian signal heads are non-compliant with the latest Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) standards.

Table T1 Intersection LOS Summary Table

Bicycle Volumes and Amenities In addition to vehicular traffic and pedestrians, McMahon also collected bicycle volumes during their weekday evening peak hour traffic counts and made observations at the six study area intersections. Some bicycle traffic was observed at the intersection of Main Street at High Street/East Avenue and Exchange Street at Roosevelt Avenue. The bicycle traffic was observed riding on both the sidewalk and on the roadway. Currently, there are no bike lanes in the Downtown area of Pawtucket. RIPTAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rack Nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ride program allows bus patrons to store their bicycles on the front of their 40-foot buses free of charge. Pawtucket downtown design plan

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Zoning & Landuse Horsley Witten Group

1. INTRODUCTION The first draft of this Regulatory Baseline Report is to outline the current conditions of the City of Pawtucket’s Zoning Ordinance provisions as they pertain to the Downtown area and also begin to identify where there may be obstacles to revitalization and economic development. This baseline assessment focuses exclusively on the Zoning Ordinance. Subsequent revisions will also include a review of the Subdivision and Land Development regulations.

2. PAWTUCKET DOWNTOWN ZONING DISTRICTS Table Z1. Pawtucket Downtown Area Zoning Districts Table Z1 summarizes the districts in and around the vicinity of the zones of interest in the Downtown of Pawtucket. The attached map shows the Downtown zones of interest in relation to the zoning districts. ZONING DISTRICT

CODE PURPOSE

Primary Zoning Districts Commercial Downtown CD Commercial Local CL Commercial General

CG

Industrial Built-Up

MB

Industrial Open

MO

Residential Elevator

RE

Residential Multifamily

RM

Riverfront Public Open

RD1

Riverfront Mixed-Use

RD3

Overlay Zoning Districts Historic District - Mill Building Reuse

MBR

Intended to enhance and restore the downtown area. Intended for neighborhood commercial areas that primarily serve local neighborhood needs for convenience retail services and professional office establishments. Intended for commercial areas that serve City-wide needs for retail, services and professional office establishments. Intended for existing high density industrial structures that are used for manufacturing and storage purposes. Intended for light industrial uses that accommodate a variety of manufacturing, assembly, storage of durable goods and related activities. Intended to establish high-density residential structures around the downtown area. Intended to continue single-household and multihousehold dwellings of specified density and building height in those areas where such development is prevalent. Intended to promote and preserve public spaces, including parks, riverwalks and public amenities along the riverfront. Intended to promote a mix of residential, commercial and light industrial uses that are compatible with uses along the river, including housing and commercial buildings; preserve and adaptively reuse existing mill-type structures; promote variations in the siting of structures and amenities; and to enhance view corridors to the river. Intended to provide the preservation of structures of historic or archaeological value. Creates a zoning overlay district within the MB and MO Zones on sites containing obsolete or underutilized manufacturing and/or industrial buildings; allows the development of such sites according to a master plan for mixed use.

3. SUMMARY OF DISTRICT PROCEDURES 3.1 Primary Zoning Districts 3.1.1 Development Plan Review Development proposals within the City’s Downtown area are subject to a development plan review (DPR) process put forth in Article IIIA, §410-15.1 of the City’s Zoning 54

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CG zoning & overlay districts

CG RM

RM

RD3

RE

CG

CL

MO

RE

RD1

CG

CG MB MO

CD

RD1

MB PC

RS CG RD3 RE CG RM CG PC

RD1

RM CG CG

Legend Commercial Downtown

Residential Elevator

Commercial Local

Residential Multifamily

Commercial General

CL Riverfront Public Open

Industrial Built-up

Riverfront Mixed-Use

Industrial Open

Cemetery

RT

RD1 RD3

Overlay Districts Pawtucket downtown design plan

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Zoning & Landuse Horsley Witten Group

Ordinance. These applications are either reviewed by the City Planning Commission (Commission) or the staff of the Department of Planning and Redevelopment (Staff) dependent on the characteristics of the development. Projects that require review by the Commission include: • Construction of any new structure on parcel(s) containing 10,000 square feet or more; • Exterior addition with a gross floor area of 200 square feet or more to an existing structure on parcel(s) containing 10,000 square feet or more; or • The construction of any new residential structure with three or more units Projects that are reviewed by the Staff include: • Any infill development on lots of less than 10,000 square feet in established neighborhoods or commercial districts. “Infill development” is defined as any development or redevelopment on a lot in an established neighborhood or commercial district which is served by public facilities (sewer, water, utilities). • Any permitted use that is specifically referred in writing to the Staff by the Building Official or the Director of Zoning and Code Enforcement. • Any other use for which the application for a variance or special use permit (SUP) is specifically referred in writing to the Staff by the Zoning Board of Review (ZBR). 3.1.1.1 Pre-application conference Before submitting a development plan, the applicant may meet with the Staff to review the proposal and determine the information the applicant must submit for consideration by the Staff or the Commission. 3.1.1.2 Application filing For applications that require review by the Commission, a public hearing is held by the Commission within 30 days of receipt of a complete development plan application. Applications must be certified as complete at least 21 days prior to the next scheduled meeting; although, submission of an application 21 days prior to the meeting does not guarantee that the application will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting. Owners of real property within 200 feet of the proposed project will be notified by certified mail of the hearing. For applications that require review by the Staff, the Staff will meet and comment on the application within 30 days of receipt of a complete development plan application. 3.1.1.3 General standards for approval In order to obtain development plan approval by the Commission/Staff, the applicant must demonstrate how it has met the City’s standards, which are identified in §41015.1.F(3), General standards for approval, and §410-15.1.G, Development and landscaping design standards. The general standards, abridged here, include: • Consistency with the goals of the City Comprehensive Plan and purposes of DPR; • Provision of adequate erosion control; • Provision of adequate stormwater management; • Provision of convenient and adequate vehicular and pedestrian access; • Provision of all necessary utility, infrastructure, street, roadway, sidewalk, walkway and parking area improvements; and • Compliance with off-street parking and loading requirements. 3.1.1.4 Final Action The Staff/Commission must take final action within 60 days of receipt of a final application. In the event of an application denial or approval with conditions, modifications or restrictions, the Staff/Commission will issue written findings explaining the reason why any standard(s) have not been met and setting forth the basis for either the denial or the imposition of any condition, modification, or restriction. 56

existing conditions report


3.1.1.5 Appeals Appeals to the Zoning Board of Review (ZBR) may be taken by a person aggrieved by any final action of Staff/Commission. The appeal must be taken within 20 days of the final action by filing with the ZBR a written notice of appeal specifying the grounds for appeal and the specific finding(s) of Staff/Commission in its final actions which are challenged, if any. 3.1.2 Subdivision and Land Development Review Where the development is subject to DPR and constitutes a subdivision, the DPR and Land Development and Subdivision Review proceed concurrently. 3.1.3 Variances and Special Use Permits (SUP) - Zoning Board of Review An application for a variance or SUP is filed with the Director of the Department of Planning and Redevelopment. The Director then transmits the application to the ZBR and also provides a copy to the Commission. The ZBR then requests that the Commission report its findings and recommendations, including a statement on the general consistency of the application with the goals and purposes of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, in writing to the ZBR within 30 days. The ZBR then holds a public hearing on the application for variance or SUP in an expeditious manner and gives public notice at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing. 3.2 Special Districts 3.2.1 Riverfront District Design Review All development in the Riverfront Zoning District is subject to design review by the Riverfront Commission, as defined by Article III of the Zoning Ordinance; where the project is subject to DPR, the two processes will proceed concurrently and the standards of Article III take precedence. 3.2.2 Overlay Districts In addition to DPR pursuant to §410-15.1 and Subdivision and Land Development Review, if applicable, where development is proposed within either of the City’s overlay districts, the Historic District or the Mill Building Reuse District, this development project must also follow the review processes set forth for these districts. 3.2.2.1 Historic District Construction, alteration, repair, removal or demolition within the Historic District requires a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic District Commission (HDC). Applications for certificates of appropriateness are filed with the HDC at the Department of Planning and Redevelopment, whose staff will determine if the application is complete and then forward complete applications to the HDC for review. Application requirements include, but are not limited to, site plans, elevation drawings, photographs or other information deemed appropriate by the HDC as set forth in the HDC’s rules and regulations. Decisions by the HDC will be provided in writing. Timelines and decision criteria are not part of the Zoning ordinance, and will be reviewed in a subsequent draft of this Baseline Report. 3.2.2.2 Mill Building Reuse (MBR) District To approve a MBR development, the Commission must find that: • The plans for the reuse development are consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan; • The MBR development is not displacing an active manufacturing and/or industrial use and that there is no reasonable expectation that manufacturing will continue at the site; • The MBR development will not create a serious conflict with adjacent manufacturing and/or industrial businesses in the MO and MB Zones; • The developer has a plan to notify all tenants and owners of the buildings and units in the reuse development that they are in a MO or MB Zone and that allowed industrial zone uses that may be perceived as a nuisance or otherwise Pawtucket downtown design plan

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Zoning & Landuse Horsley Witten Group

obnoxious shall give them no cause for action against such industrial and/or manufacturing activity; and • The plans for the reuse do not include the demolition of more than 25% of the existing structures.

4. SUMMARY OF DISTRICT STANDARDS 4.1 Use As long as the scale of the activity and form of the structure is suitable to the area, uses that are typically appropriate in Downtown areas generally include: • • • • • • • • • •

small-scale retail businesses personal and business services financial services business, professional, and government offices restaurants community and government services recreation and entertainment uses cultural and educational uses small-scale inns and bed-and-breakfasts residential uses on the upper floors of mixed-use buildings

The attached table (Attachment A) provides a selection of the uses from the City’s Table of Use Regulations (410 Attachment 1) that fall within these categories and would be well-suited for the Downtown area; the table also summarizes where these uses are currently permitted (Y), not permitted (N), permitted by SUP (S), and permitted as an Accessory Use (A) for each of the Downtown area’s Zoning Districts. Although most of these uses should be permitted within the CD district and other Downtown area districts “by right” through DPR, many require SUP approval; most notably, mixed residential/commercial uses (1.L.) and multitenant commercial uses (7.F.) require a SUP in the CD district. Other SUP or prohibited uses that could be allowed by right include: • • • • • • • • •

Multifamily (five dwelling units and over; 1.D.); Bed-and-breakfast home (one dwelling unit; 3.A.); Trade or vocational school (5.L.) Civic, social, fraternal organization (5.Q.); Restaurant exceeding 2,500 square feet of gross floor area or providing dancing and entertainment (7.C.); Services to dwellings and buildings (9.A.); Pest control (9.E.); Security systems, services and locksmiths (9.H.); and Veterinarian (10.B.).

In addition to the Table of Use Regulations, there are specific uses requiring SUPs identified in §410-59 and §410-60 as well. It should be noted that there were minor inconsistencies between the Table of Use Regulations and §410-59 and §410-60, which will be rectified as part of this project. In addition to the SUP requirement, §410-60 suggests that for mixed residential/ commercial uses, the number of dwelling units permitted is based on one dwelling unit per 2,000 square feet of land area (§410-60.F(2)); this is far less dense than what is desirable for the Downtown area. For multi-tenant commercial structures, a minimum side yard of 12 feet is required for this use; and for multi-tenant industrial structures, there is a minimum lot size requirement of 20,000 square feet and minimum side, front, and rear yard widths 58

existing conditions report


of 20 feet (§410-60.J and §410-60.S). These requirements could discourage the density and community character that the City would like to see in the Downtown. Overlay districts are not included in the Table of Use Regulations. For the MBR District, permitted uses include those permissible by right in the MB or MO Zone as well as the uses in Table 2, listed by Table of Use Regulations category. For the Historic District, the underlying districts’ use regulations apply. Table 2. Uses permissible in the MBRD District in addition to those permissible by-right in the MB or MO Zone Table 2. Uses permissible in the MBRD District in addition to those permissible by-right in the MB or MO Zone Use Table Reference Number 1. (D, L, O) 5. (C, N, O, P, Q, R) 6. (A, B, C) 7. (A, B, D, F) 8. (A, E, F, G) 10. (A, B, C)

Use Residential uses Public, semipublic, education and recreation uses Neighborhood commercial uses General commercial uses Personal services Offices uses

4.2 Dimensional Regulations Dimensional requirements for all Downtown area zoning districts and uses are contained in the attached table (Attachment B), adapted from Article VI, Dimensional Regulations, §410-44, Enumeration. Dimensional standards should be flexible in Downtown areas to accommodate increased density and focus buildings close to the street. For the CD district, the maximum lot coverage of 100% and front, side and rear yard setbacks of zero are appropriate for a Downtown area; however the lot frontage standard of 50 feet could be more flexible. In addition, more flexible dimensional standards could be incorporated into the districts just outside the CD district, but still within the Downtown area and zones of interest. 4.3

Parking and Loading

4.3.1 Parking Space Requirements Parking and loading requirements are contained within Article IX of the Zoning Ordinance; although parking is referenced in other sections as appropriate. The attached Parking Requirements table (Attachment C) specifies the minimum number of off-street parking spaces required for each use. Often times, because parking standards are based upon standard peak parking estimates, minimum parking requirements can be converted to maximum parking requirements. In general, onstreet, shared and off-site parking outside of the downtown should be encouraged to promote pedestrian and bicycle mobility. Although parking as a principal use (i.e. parking garage) is allowed in most of the Downtown area zoning districts (see Table of Use Regulations), shared parking and off-site parking lots are considered permitted special uses requiring approval by the ZBA (§410-59). Within the CD District and surrounding zoning districts, all shared parking must be permitted by SUP; shared parking is also not allowed to include residential uses. The CD District and MBR District allow off-site off-street parking lots to a maximum of 400 feet from the site without a SUP; however all other Downtown area districts require a SUP for all off-site parking lots (§410-59 and §410- 76). These parking schemes are desirable in the Downtown area where there are many opportunities for shared parking, and reductions in on-site parking needs. Beyond the permission of off-street parking lots to a maximum of 400 feet from the site, there are a few other special parking allowances for the CD District and MBR District. With the exception of places of worship, parking requirements are reduced by 50% for structures or uses in the CD District and MBR District. In addition, parking requirements for eating and drinking establishments in the CD District are zero (§410-76). Pawtucket downtown design plan

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4.3.2 Sizing For parking areas for more than four cars, parking spaces must have the following dimensions. â&#x20AC;˘ Minimum width: nine feet â&#x20AC;˘ Minimum length: 18 feet â&#x20AC;˘ Minimum aisle width: o 90 degree angle: 24 feet o 60 degree angle: 16 feet o 45 degree angle: 12 feet o 30 degree angle: 11 feet o Zero degree angle (parallel parking): 12 feet 4.3.3 Paving Parking areas, where subject to wheeled traffic, shall be treated with bituminous, concrete or equivalent surfacing and shall have appropriate bumper or wheel guards where needed. Porous paving material should be permissible where appropriate and standards for their design, and construction should be provided. 4.3.4 Lighting Any light used to illuminate parking areas must be arranged as to reflect the light away from the adjoining premises in a residence zone and from adjoining streets. Lighting standards should be provided that promote energy efficiency and reduce unnecessary light pollution. 4.3.5 Landscaping Parking area landscaping requirements have been established for industrial, commercial and residential zoning districts. For industrial and commercial zones, a three-foot planted strip with one shade tree for every 40 feet of frontage, and a threefoot planted strip with one shade tree for every 50 feet of interior lot lines is required. In residential zones, along the street frontage, a three-foot planted strip with one shade tree is required for every 40 feet of frontage. Along interior lot lines, a threefoot planted strip with one shade tree is required for every 50 feet of interior lot lines. Planted areas totaling 2% of the parking area must be provided in residential zones as well, and one interior shade tree may be substituted for every 200 square feet of required planted area. Best practices in landscaping suggest that a three-foot wide strip may not be wide enough to support healthy landscaping in urban environments. Also, parking lot landscaping can be designed to treat stormwater runoff through the use of low impact design (LID) standards, and best management practices such as bioretention facilities. These LID parking lot landscaping techniques should be promoted in the Zoning Ordinance and/or Subdivision and Land Development regulations. 4.3.6 Mixed use parking If a lot or structure is subject to more than one use, the number of off-street parking spaces required for each use shall be determined, and off-street parking facilities for such total number of spaces shall be provided. As discussed in Section 4.3.1 of this document, a SUP is needed for shared parking, and residential uses are not to be included at all in shared parking schemes. 4.4 Supplementary Regulations The City has developed many supplemental regulations to set specific conditions and dimensional criteria for uses or areas where the general regulations are not applicable.

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4.4.1 Accessory uses Onsite renewable energy facilities as an accessory use are becoming more important to all levels of redevelopment. The capacity for onsite renewable energy facilities are limited in downtown areas because of the District’s dense development, the setback requirements for some renewable energy facilities, such as wind facilities, and in downtown Historic Districts where rooftop solar collectors are often not permissible. Ground-mounted solar collectors as an accessory use are often the only option for downtown Historic Districts. In Pawtucket, solar collectors are not listed as an accessory use and would therefore require a variance. The standards below would also limit the use of accessory ground-mounted solar collectors. These are some of the standards for accessory uses in residential zones established in §410-46.A: • No accessory use, other than required off-street parking, a private garage and a shed of less than 100 square feet, shall be located on any lot having an area of less than 5,000 square feet. • No accessory building or structure shall be permitted between the front of a main structure and the street. 4.4.2 Screening and fencing Screening is only required for trash containers and on-ground utilities. Although fencing is not required for other uses and districts, fencing material and height requirements have been established by zoning district, which are provided in §410-47.C. Barbed wire fencing is permitted within most of the Downtown area (all manufacturing, commercial and public districts) over the height of eight feet. More appropriate fencing and screening standards for materials and use could be incorporated to promote the Downtown character desired by the City. 4.4.3 Roof structures permitted above maximum height The City has identified certain uses (i.e. skylights and steeples) that are permitted above the maximum height as specified in the Zoning Ordinance provided that the total area of the appurtenances is not more than 1/3 of the total roof area of the building. Solar collectors along with several other rooftop appurtenances are further limited as they must take up less than 1/3 of the total roof area of the building and also must be set back from the edge of the roof a minimum distance of one foot for every two feet by which they extend above the roof. Rooftop mounted wind power facilities are not listed as a permitted rooftop appurtenance that may exceed the maximum height threshold. 4.4.4 Yards to apply to only one building No required yard or other open space around an existing building may be considered as providing a yard or open space for any other building; nor can any yard or other required open space on an adjoining lot be considered as providing yard or open space on a lot whereon a building is to be erected. This provision could limit the potential for clustered development and shared open space. 4.4.5 Number of buildings on a lot Pursuant to §410-53, the number of buildings on any one lot is limited to one primary residential structure and up to two accessory buildings on one lot, except in industrial zones where there may be more than two main buildings on a lot. More than one building per lot may be allowed by SUP for residential or commercial developments that are approved by the Commission through the DPR process. This provision could discourage mixed use and/or multi-structure development, because of the SUP requirement.

Pawtucket downtown design plan

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Appendix Urban Design Community Questionnaires Zoning Attachment A Table of Use Regulations for Downtown Area Uses Attachment B Downtown Area Dimensional Requirements Attachment C City of Pawtucket Parking Requirements Traffic Appendix Traffic Count Data

Pawtucket downtown design plan

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PDDP Volume 1 : Existing Conditions Report  

PDDP Existing Conditions Report