FPNA Board Meeting, 7 p.m., Monday, February 8th at the Vartan Gregorian Bath House Community Room, 455 Wickenden Street.
To Meter, or Not to Meter?
FPNA Board member Vincent Scorziello, who also is president of the Wickenden Area Merchants Association, WAMA, will be exploring ways to improve the shopping area, in particular its lighting. “We will need to work with the City and others to find funding sources for a long-term project like lighting Wickenden Street,” Scorziello said. “Of course, WAMA would wish the kind of lights found on Westminster Street in downcity.
Councilman Seth Yurdin attended FPNA’s December board meeting and suggested starting to work with the Providence Department of Planning & Development, before contacting other agencies.
As it so happens, FPNA’s January meeting (which was after this publishing deadline) will be attended by Christopher Ise, a principal planner with the planning department. “FPNA and WAMA will be brainstorming ideas with him to see what might be possible to help revitalize Wickenden Street,” Scorziello said.
The City has recently developed a Neighborhood Planning Liaison Program by assigning planners to be liaisons to specific neighborhoods, Ise wrote in an e-mail to FPNA. “Our goals are to gain a better understanding of community needs, solve neighborhood issues, build on opportunities, and improve communication between Planning and neighborhood residents, businesses, and other stakeholders.”
“Our first goal of this program is to work with neighborhood stakeholders to update the action plan for your area to make sure that it reflects your current ideas and needs, Ise added. “Once the action items are updated, we can help to identify funding to complete specific projects, build on opportunities that exist, and resolve other issues as needed.”
Looking for ideas, Scorziello told FPNA about a November meeting that he attended of the Hope Street Merchants Association. “They unveiled and explained their lighting project called Off-Grid on Hope Street,” he explained. “They worked with Jonathan Harris, an engineering professor/industrial designer at Johnson and Wales, to design custom, off the grid solar-powered lights,” Scorziello said. “Their goals were not necessarily to light the street, but to tie the street together with an "identity piece," work with local designers and materials.
After about two years they have the design finalized and are starting to fundraise for the project, which will cost $150,000 to have the lights made, installed and maintained for five years of maintenance, he continued.
Unfortunately their solar solution would not work for Wickenden Street, which is a narrow, tree-lined street,” Scorziello said. “Our goal is to actually provide more light on the sidewalks, which is insufficient, at present.”
If you are interested in working on improving Wickenden Street, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Scorziello, who will be leading advocacy efforts as liaison between the two organizations, needs the talent of someone in seeking funding grants.
Worst Winter Remembered…
“Living in Fox Point during last winter was transportationally challenging to say the least,” FPNA Vice President Daisy Schnepel said. “Our streets are narrow enough and were further restricted because only single lanes were plowed on side streets.”
It was impossible for two cars to pass easily,” she continued. “Oftentimes it necessitated backing up to allow another car to get through.” Extra travel time always had to be added to any venture out, she said. “Even with overnight parking restrictions, the City was unable to adequately plow the streets before the parking bans were lifted.”
In a meeting with all neighborhood associations, Mayor Jorge Elorza introduced Adolfo Bailon as the Director of the Mayor’s Center for City Services, MCCS, to coordinate response to citizen complaints involving all city departments. He can be reached at 401-421-2489, Ext. 5527, and email@example.com. Also introduced were Grace Diaz, MCCS Senior Advisor on Community Relations and Alexandra Batista, MCCS Community Relations Representative.
FPNA Donates to PTO Project
FPNA’s Board voted to donate $300 to the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School to help pay for a snow blower for Freddie Bucci, lead custodian. The effort to supply the snow blower was initiated by the school and the Parent Teacher Organization, PTO. A spokesman for the PTO said the city was quite slow to respond last year, causing the custodian an unreasonable amount of work removing the snow. “It is a token of appreciation of his work that will make his job easier and safer for those walking in and around the school,” PTO Board Member Tomoko Shibusawa said.