If you didn’t see J’s comment (that sounds familiar…), tonight’s City Council meeting (7pm, City Hall) will include a public hearing on the issue of returning the “200″ block of Main Street to 2-way traffic. There is evidence that some of the brighter minds in town will lobby for a larger, more inclusive assessment of the overall downtown traffic situation. Clearly, this section of Main Street is part of a complex traffic pattern that, if not FUBAR, is certainly SNAFU.
I must say that I am all optimism at this point. I have asserted for years that the almost maniacal complexity of Pawtucket roads is our #1 problem. Our reputation as the Getting Lost Capital of the Universe is very, very real, and represents a near-universal barrier to visitors. If visitors could simply trust that they could come to Pawtucket, reach their destination and leave again without getting lost, that would be a game-changer for retail businesses.
Public Hearing not Public Meeting
As with the Rosa’s liquor license kerfuffle, this is a Public Hearing at the City Council, not a more free-form public meeting. You need to arrive at least 30 minutes early (6:30pm) to sign up to say something.
Also, according to the agenda (PDF download, natch), simultaneous public hearings will also cover:
- Zoning issues associated with the historic district, MBRD district, and use regulation
- Pet services
So go figure.
A Plea for the Least (Motorized) of Us
Lastly, I’d just like to go on the record as saying that traffic does not equal cars. Traffic is everything that moves, like pedestrians and bicycles. I recently wrote the essay Complex, Adaptive NYC about the way three levels of traffic in New York mesh seamlessly in a highly anarchic but also highly efficient manner.
For basic economic reasons, less-affluent communities like Pawtucket tend to have higher-than-average numbers of bicycles and pedestrians. Yet our infrastructure is designed almost exclusively for cars. I’ve been blogging about this topic from the earliest days.
Please, if you’re going to speak, include something to the effect that all kinds of travelers should be taken into account, not just those in cars.