Grant will support part-time Broad Street coordinator position

Grant will support part-time Broad Street coordinator position

Mayors Bill Murray of Cumberland, Donald Grebien of Pawtucket and James Diossa of Central Falls announced receipt of a $35,000 grant award last week that will put a part-time coordinator in the driver’s seat of the scheduled $4.83 million overhaul of Broad Street.

Funds are coming from the Rhode Island Foundation, according to Cumberland Planner John O’Neill, who says the new coordinator’s office will be in the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council in Pawtucket.

Tagged as the Broad Street Regeneration 2.0 Initiative, the vision is to upgrade this commercial stretch along its entire 3.2-mile length from Mendon Road in Cumberland, through Central Falls, to its intersection with Exchange Street in downtown Pawtucket.

The new coordinator will assist the planning staffs of the three communities and the staff of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council in outreach to Broad Street businesses to solicit their input on planned infrastructure and landscape improvements along the corridor.

The coordinator will also assist in managing the planning and execution of the monthly meetings of the Broad Street steering committee.

O’Neill notes that this initiative kicked off its outreach efforts with an evening business meeting in September at Navigant Credit Union attended by 15 local business owners, the mayors of Cumberland, Pawtucket, and Central Falls, as well as the planning and economic development staff from all three communities.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s schedule calls for three years of construction disruption, beginning in 2018, a worry that O’Neill says the coordinator will help mitigate by soliciting concerns and solutions from the dozens of affected businesses.

“The three communities want to continue to focus on outreach and collaborative planning for the Broad Street corridor ahead of the planned infrastructure improvements, and getting this grant funding will help us to hire someone that we can dedicate solely to the Broad Street initiative,” Cumberland’s Murray says in a statement issued by the town.

O’Neill describes Broad Street, which is characterized by its 19th-century architecture, as a “tri-community main street, is the major commercial corridor that links Central Falls, Cumberland, and Pawtucket, and is the vital spine of several neighborhoods comprising a three community main street.”

Partnering with Cumberland, Central Falls and Pawtucket are the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, the Pawtucket-Central Falls Development Corporation, Navigant Credit Union and the Pawtucket Foundation.

All are working to engage local community leaders and mobilize businesses, residents and other local activists toward the regeneration of Broad Street, O’Neill said.

The coordinator position is expected to be posted and filled this month.

Comments

A $4.83 million overhaul of Broad Street, but the Mayor told me there's no money in the town to talk about sidewalks, or it's an eminent domain issue, or it's a state road not a town owned road.... Look's like there's money. Let's upgrade Broad street but forget about Diamond Hill Rd and Bear Hill rd...

So the street with town hall on it can be updated of course.... but forget about the rest of the town...
They have sidewalks there, yet you can't walk from the town library to Four Corners without endangering your life.

How many more people need to get killed before something else is done.

Laura Belhumeur hit our son on Bear Hill Rd in May, but nothing can be done about those areas......