Wayland Square Neighborhood Association Calls for Re-Opening of Gano Street Exit in Providence

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

 

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In August, the Rhode Island Department of Transformation announced it will take two of the Providence’s biggest traffic bottlenecks and combine them into one. 

Now, another East Side neighborhood association is calling on RIDOT to rethink the move. 

As GoLocalProv.com reported earlier, the College Hill Neighborhood Association expressed concerns with the plan, and how it would "remove one of the primary means of accessing the East Side has progressed without input from residents who will be permanently affected by this change."

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The Wayland Square Neighborhood Association has followed suit, sending a letter to RIDOT expressing its concerns. 

The new plan calls for the demolition of the Gano Street exit -- the Gano Street exit that has been closed for more than a year undergoing millions of dollars of reconstruction -- and shift the traffic to the Henderson Bridge that enters the East Side of Providence onto the already-congested Angell Street.

De facto all the traffic that enters Providence by exiting on the Gano Street exit would be diverted to the one and two-lane Angell Street. The project will begin in 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in 2024, according to a RIDOT plan

Wayland Square on Record

The group sent the following to RIDOT:

The Wayland Square Neighborhood Association has been following RIDOT’s proposal to permanently close the Gano Street off ramp. It seems that the existing Gano Street ramp will be repurposed as an on-ramp, pushing all off-ramp traffic to the East Side through East Providence and the proposed single lane Henderson Bridge. This would direct all traffic through the already congested and under-sized Angell Street in Wayland Square. 

It would also bring more traffic to an area that has significant pedestrian traffic, endangering personal safety as cars roar through to access the city. There needs to be direct access to the East Side from I-195, both for the East Side businesses and for the residents. The closing of Gano Street off-ramp has already negatively impacted our neighborhood but we were waiting patiently its promised reopening. The exit ramp closing has already reduced business to our local merchants in Wayland Square, whose presence significantly contributes to the value of the East Side neighborhoods. We urge you to re-consider this proposal. 

We would like to request a public meeting soon with the residents and our elected representatives. In public meetings on the Henderson Bridge in June, we were told specifically that the Gano Street off ramp would be reopened before any construction would begin on the bridge. We were thus quite surprised to learn of the new plans for the exit ramp that contradict this. We value the work RIDOT has done so far on the Gano Street exit area. 

Having done all that work to beautify the exit area, RIDOT should now reopen the Gano Street exit as an attractive gateway to the city, as originally planned. We look forward to contributing to this decision in a meaningful way to positively impact the sustainable growth in Wayland Square and the city as a whole.

In August, the Rhode Island Department of Transformation announced it will take two of the Providence’s biggest traffic bottlenecks and combine them into one. 

 
 

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