Providence considers street closure to help with social-distancing

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The city of Providence is looking into closing some streets to automobile traffic and opening them for pedestrians only, so they have more room to spread out and social-distance when outside.

The Department of Public Works submitted a request to spend an extra $15,000 on signage to close or limit traffic on city streets, giving the public extra space beyond the sidewalk.

“I think it’s a great idea, fresh air and exercise are so important,” said Providence resident, Joanne Bridges.

According to city spokeswoman, Emily Crowell, there is not yet a list of streets to potentially close. But officials have been working this week to nail down specifics, which may include turning some busy two-way streets into one-ways.

“If they open them, it’s excellent because we have a lot of people with anxiety and depression and this will give them a way outside,” said Felix Duran of Providence.

In a statement, Providence mayor, Jorge Elorza, said in part, “We want to help maintain the well-being of all neighbors and neighborhoods, as we collectively work to maintain physical distance.”

However, the mayor is not budging on his highly-criticized order to close all city parks and trails, saying too many large gatherings were happening in them.

The Providence Board of Contract and Supply will consider the funding request for street closures next week.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Rhode Island