Hope Street Temporary Trail

The Hope Street Temporary Trail is live!

Please do not park on the East Side of Hope Street from the evening of September 30th til the evening of October 9th. As of today (10/1), we are almost completely finished with the installation. Tomorrow (10/2) we will finish painting the bus platforms and the accessible parking spots. 

GIVE YOUR FEEDBACK HERE:

We have surveys broken down by travel mode. Please take the survey based on how you got to Hope Street today. (Getting here a different way tomorrow or another day of the trial? Feel free to take another survey with that travel mode):

Hope Street (and side streets) residents, business owners, and stakeholders – we want your feedback too! At the end of the week, the City of Providence will be sending out a post-trial survey for you to share your experience with the pilot. Stay tuned. 

Contact Liza at 401-400-1382 with any questions or concerns.

October 1st-8th 2022, we’re testing something new!

The Providence Streets Coalition, Thriving Places Collaborative, Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition, SPIN Streets, AARP , and 3M Gives are working with local partners, residents, and businesses to test a temporary urban trail on Hope Street in Providence this fall, as called for in the City of Providence’s Great Streets Plan.

The Hope Street Temporary Trail is a community-led effort that will consolidate parking to the west side of Hope Street and create a one-mile trail for walking, jogging, rolling, and biking on the east side from Lauriston Street to Olney Street (Frog & Toad to Tortilla Flats). The temporary trail will be in place for one week*, and give residents and business owners a chance to experience this potential change in 3D, interact with it, and give their informed feedback.

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UPDATES (9/19):

  • Our in-business survey is live now through the end of the trial (October 8th). Please take the survey when you shop or dine on Hope Street!
  • Our final pre-trial community meeting will be on Thursday, September 22nd at 6pm at the Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street. Join us in person or on Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82506411555
  • Join us for an outdoor movie night on Thursday, October 6th at Festival Ballet. We’ll be hosting a free screening of THE STREET PROJECT, a new documentary on the global movement for safer streets. RSVP here.

 

Example of a temporary two-way trail from San Pablo, CA

 

Example of a temporary bus boarding island from San Pablo, CA

During the installation, we will assess safety, parking and business impacts, and collect community feedback that will help inform potential future designs. The data collected before, during, and after the demonstration will help local community groups and the City of Providence as they plan future street interventions for safer, more sustainable, and more inclusive mobility. We want to know what YOU would like to see happen as part of this temporary trail experiment!

Timeline:

  • Fall 2021: Public meeting held with Councilwoman LaFortune
  • Fall 2021: Community surveys and parking study collected
  • Fall 2021-Summer 2022: Business and resident direct engagement
  • Winter/Spring  2022: Funding applications
  • Spring 2022-Summer 2022: Physical planning: engineering drawings, logistics, procurement, volunteer recruitment
  • October 2022: Installation
  • December 2022: Final report and community meetings

*At this time, the City has no funding or timeline to implement a permanent trail or other street design changes. Click here for an example of a temporary trail on Broad Street.

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Pre-Demonstration Parking Study: Summary of Findings

  • We counted parking availability and occupancy on Hope Street from Olney to 4th Street and one block to the east and west
  • 30 volunteers collected occupancy on a Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday Counted 4x / day, each block counted 16 times
  • 132 Parking Spaces are located on the east side of Hope Street, which represents 9% of total parking spaces in the area
  • The average occupancy rate is 24%, meaning 76% of parking spaces are open for parking
  • The highest occupancy rate at the busiest time (Saturday afternoon) is 35%, and there are 452 vacant spaces
  • In the northern section of Hope Street, there is an occupancy rate of 46%, with 322 vacant spaces
  • The lowest occupancy rate at the least busy time (Monday afternoon) is 15%, with 1164 vacant spaces
During the Hope Street Urban Trail temporary demonstration project, 132 parking spaces will be repurposed for the trail, which represents 9% of the total parking spaces available in the study area. We anticipate that 1318 parking spaces will remain available. A few of these spaces may be converted into loading zones for the businesses in the area, additional accessible (handicapped) spaces, and buffer zones to allow for safe passage from the west to east side of Hope Street. This graphic demonstrates the number of parking spaces that will remain available, by block.

 

The highest occupancy rate in the parking study area occurred on Saturday afternoon, when 34.88% of spaces were occupied. This high occupancy rate was concentrated primarily in the business district in the north, particularly around Rochambeau Avenue. During the busiest time, there are 844 vacant spaces, particularly on the side streets directly adjacent to Hope Street. 322 of these spaces are in the northern section of the area, next to the business district.

 

The lowest occupancy rate in the parking study area occurred on Monday midday, when 15.02% of spaces were occupied. During the least busy time, there are 1233 vacant spaces in the area.

The highest occupancy rates in the north section (i.e. business district) of the parking study area occurred on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, when 45.48% and 35.34% of spaces were occupied.  However, even during these busiest times, ample parking is available on the side streets in the area.  On Saturday afternoon, there were 386 vacant spaces available in this section and on Saturday night, there were 558 vacant spaces. 

The highest occupancy rates in the south section (i.e. residential district) of the parking study area occurred on Monday morning and Sunday midday, when 26.02% and 24.03% of spaces were occupied.  We are aware that Sunday midday is a time when many churches in the area have services, and we will be working with them to assure that parking is as accessible as possible during that time. On Monday morning, there were 435 vacant spaces available in this section and on Sunday midday, there were 443 vacant spaces. 

Pre-Demonstration Community Survey: Summary of Findings

  • We conducted an online survey, November-December, 2021 and received 496 responses
  • 55.4% of respondents either live on Hope Street or within 2 blocks, another 25.4% live within a quarter mile.
  • 16 business owners responded, 10 do not support a permanent trail
  • 63.8% of respondents expressed support for an urban trail on Hope St.
  • 63.5% of respondents say they would be more likely to ride on Hope St. with a safer trail
  • 48.9% of respondents who currently ride a bike on Hope St. have safety concerns
  • Top concerns: parking; safety for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians; impacts on business

 

 

Community feedback

“While biking home I took the lane, impatient driver behind me couldn’t wait and pushed me into adjacent parked cars (near Frog and Toad) and screamed at me. Many other similar incidents without physical contact.”

“More space between those walking and those dining outdoors! pushing a stroller down the sidewalks is a nightmare!”

“I’m worried that trying this for just a few days will bring all the anger and confusion from drivers without the time to adjust and appreciate the benefits. Recommend lots of “this is an experiment” signage!”

“I am excited for this project! Hope St is such an important connection for cyclists but it is only for the fearless that are willing to contend with impatient drivers.”

“While parallel parking, a passing car hit me as I was adjusting the car into the spot. Was technically my fault but another factor is that Hope Street becomes very narrow where cars are parked on both sides.”

“It is just very congested, and very trying, with all the side street intersections.”

 

Next Steps:

  • July & August:
    • Full canvass #1
    • Design and deliver business survey
    • Install counter to start collecting user data
    • Community meetings and BBQs: Friends of Rochambeau, YMCA, Mount Hope Community Center, faith institutions, school PTOs
    • Order materials
  • September:
    • Full canvass #2 right before installation
    • Event planning – movie night, Bike & Walk to School Day, Providence Bike Jam
    • Volunteer coordination
    • Installation plan
  • October: install!
    • Data collection:
      • In-business surveys
      • Intercept feedback
      • Trail user surveys
      • Counters
  • November & December:
    • Post-installation community survey
    • Data analysis
    • Report writing
    • Final community meetings

Studies on Active Mobility Infrastructure in Business Districts:

There is an abundance of evidence around the globe that shows how good active mobility infrastructure is for businesses and city life at large. Poirier’s 2018 study in Transportation Research acknowledges that merchants often object to bike lanes for fear of loss of potential business because they are unaware of the data. But Poirier found that bicycle lanes in a dense city like Providence “rarely produce profoundly negative outcomes,” and “that they are often associated with positive business performance outcomes.” Poirier also adds that cycling brings societal benefits such as “positive public health outcomes, reduced pollution, lower cost to travelers, and reduced demand on road space, freeing right-of-way for alternative uses.”

Harvard School of Public Health Professor Anne Lusk, who has studied bicycle planning worldwide for over 37 years, has shown that bike lanes contribute to economic development and also reduce crime (Alveano-Aguerrebere et al. 2018). Published this year, a literature review on 23 studies in U.S. and Canadian cities shows that the creation and improvement of active travel facilities has had “positive or non-significant impacts on retail and food service businesses abutting or within a short distance of the facilities” (Volker and Handy 2021). A 2019 study showed that in a downtown retail corridor, there were “no negative economic impacts associated with the bike lanes,” and that during the study, the number of customers actually increased (Arancibia et al. 2019)

 

In Providence, a phone poll of 600 residents found that:
  • 63% of people say Providence should have more protected bike lanes that are separated from driving lanes, even if it means reducing driving lanes and less on-street parking, up from 58% in 2019
  • 64% of people say they are more likely to support a business that demonstrates a commitment to non-car transportation solutions
  • 80% of people believe that developing alternatives to driving is the best way to reduce our city’s traffic issues, up from 77% in 2019.
  • 71% believe that better transportation options, like public buses and safe biking, makes it easier to get to work on time
  • 70% would like to ride a bicycle more often, up from 58% in 2019.

CONTACT:

Liza Burkin, Lead Organizer, Providence Streets Coalition. liza@ourstreetspvd.org, 401-400-1382

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