Restaurant owner worries Providence street closures could be detrimental to business

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The pilot program “Slow Streets” goes into effect in Providence on Saturday. Through the program 14 city streets will close to create extra space for walking, running, and biking.

Nearly 13 miles of road will be closed to through traffic, but emergency vehicles, trash/recycling vehicles, and people who live on the street will still be able to drive through. As well as those who need to access the street for essential business, or are making local deliveries.

The speed limit will be temporarily reduced to 10 miles per hour on the Slow Streets.

Some small businesses on the Slow Streets worry the closures will further reduce their foot traffic at a time when they’re already hurting.

“This is going to have a severe impact on us,” said Rebecca Brady, co-owner of Hometown Poke.

Her restaurant is located on Camp Street, one of the roads set to close.

“There was no sort of communication from the mayor’s office or from the city that this was going to be happening,” said Brady.

Right now her entire business depends on take-out and delivery. Brady is worried closure barricades might scare customers away.

“Any time there is roadwork or anything where there are barricades it confuses customers. It confuses people. And most of the time they turn around and think they can’t access us,” said Brady.

She said she cannot afford anymore disruption in her business.

“It feels a bit like a kick when you’re down,” said Brady.

The following streets will be temporarily closed to through traffic starting Saturday, May 2:

  • Oxford and Ontario streets (between Elmwood Avenue and Eddy Street)
  • Vermont and Farragut avenues (between FC Greene Memorial Boulevard and Michigan Avenue)
  • Waverly and Peace streets (between Union and Elmwood avenues)
  • Elmdale Avenue, What Cheer Avenue, and Moorefield Street (between Plainfield and Whitehall streets)
  • Leah and Roanoke streets (between Atwells and Academy avenues)
  • Brown and Camp streets (between Meeting Street and Stenton Avenue)
  • Federal and Ring streets (between Tobey and Dean streets)
  • Governor Street (between Wickenden and Angell streets)
  • Amherst Street (between Erastus and Bowdoin streets)
  • Pleasant Valley Parkway and Nelson Street (between Rosebank Avenue and Walton Street)
  • Parade Street (between Chapin Avenue and Westminster Street)
  • Eastwood Street (between Merino and Heath streets)
  • Camden Street (between Douglas and Chalkstone avenues)
  • Roger Williams Park Loop Road (FC Greene Memorial Boulevard, Maple Avenue, and Cladrash’s Avenue)

The following “greenspaces” are to reopen for active use:

  • Blackstone Park
  • Dexter Training Grounds
  • Donigian Park
  • Gano Street Park
  • India Point Park
  • Neutaconkanut Park
  • Riverside Park
  • Roger Williams Park
  • Wanskuck Park

Parking lots in these areas will remain closed. Courts, fields, and playgrounds will also remain closed.

For more information about the closures and the new program visit www.pvdcovid19.com. The city says they encourage residents to post on social media using the #PVDSlowStreets hashtag to share their experience.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Rhode Island