The rebuilding of the 6-10 Connector in Providence has been an issue we’ve worked on a lot at RIBike, especially through the Fix the 6-10 Coalition over the past six months or so. We’ve been involved because the state’s focus on the corridor’s crumbling bridges is a huge opportunity to make transportation decisions as a state that invest in local, bike-friendly trips rather than regional, car-dependent trips. We’ve had two big goals in this effort and a few smaller goals. The two big goals have been that we want to see it rebuilt as a local road, not a highway, and we want to see the design incorporate a connection between the Washington Secondary Trail, the Woonasquatucket Greenway, and Downtown Providence. Yesterday the State and the City of Providence jointly released their compromise plan, and while the 6-10 Connector will still be a highway, they clearly prioritized the bike connection.
As RIBike Executive Director writes on RI Future, there are a lot of good things about this plan, and not many bad things. This is a conceptual plan, and we need to keep the pressure on RIDOT to stick to the good things so they don’t wiggle out of them in design, engineering, and construction. With the inclusion of the bike connection, and the City’s endorsement of this plan, we don’t anticipate at this time continuing to fight for highway removal, but instead to focus on maximizing the implementation of positive details in the plan as it was released yesterday.
It was because of the persistent and judicious efforts of advocacy groups that we forestalled RIDOT rebuilding the highway as-is. We have heard from many quarters that our impact was huge, that the Governor heard us and directed RIDOT to work with the City toward a compromise. While there is still a lot of work left to do, we are proud of our part getting to where we are today on this project, and we thank everyone involved with the process, from our individual members who voiced opinions to our coalition partners who worked hard on this to the government professionals who redirected this project closer to the will of the people.