Street Stories: Dennis Isom

Since the summer of 2020, our Street Team has been doing in-person outreach on Broad Street to talk to community members about the redesign of the street. We typically set up our info table on Friday afternoons in front of Youth in Action, and catch folks as they walk, bike, roll and drive by to discuss the changes. Last Friday was very different: THE PROJECT WAS ALMOST DONE! We shifted the table to the other side of the street, in front of the Providence Memorial Funeral Home, and spoke with people using the brand new urban trail. Dennis Isom was one of the people passing by, and PSC lead organizer Liza Burkin did an audio interview with him about his experiences biking on Broad Street. You can listen to the audio below, or read the transcription:


LB: So what’s your name?

DI: Dennis.

How long have you lived in Providence?

I’ve lived in Providence practically all my life. So let’s talk about 40 some-odd years.

All right and how long have you been riding a bike on Broad Street?

Since I was about eight?

Wow. And what’s it been like for you to ride a bike?

Well, when I was younger, you know, the experience was a little bit more pleasant. People were more cautious when they were driving. But Broad Street has changed a lot. And so some of the driving has been hazardous. And I’ve been a little reluctant to come out here on Broad Street and ride. But I just noticed about a week ago – I saw the illumination of the white stripes and the yellow – it looks like a smart highway, actually. So I feel safe and that’s the most important thing – and I can enjoy the ride.

Definitely. There’s gonna be some green paint on the trail to show where the driveways are and the intersections and stuff. So it’ll be even brighter!

Oh, yeah, that’s what I like – the brightness. You know, because it makes the riding easier. And I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder all the time. And before I used to drive my bike or ride my bike in the opposite direction of traffic. But now I can drive with the traffic, which I think is more safer for both me and the motorist.

Definitely, for sure. Well, thank you so much! It’s great to meet you.

You’re welcome. Yeah, have a great day.