Major Developments Bring Major Concerns about Traffic, Parking in Fox Point
At the FPNA November meeting, neighbors heard a project update from Rebecca Schofield of Pennrose, LLC, the Boston-based firm chosen by the 195 Commission to build a two-structure development on Parcel 9 of Commission land. The development, which will be located near the 195 off-ramp near South Main Street at Bessie Way, will include a child-care facility and approximately 130 mixed-income residential units. Construction of the first building will begin in late Winter or early Spring 2023.
Schofield is a familiar face among Fox Point neighbors, as she has been visiting FPNA regularly since the inception of the project. And neighbors have offered mostly positive feedback, particularly regarding the much-needed childcare facility. But since the early stages of this development—and the several others planned for nearby parcels—residents have raised consistent and pressing concerns about traffic and parking.
Schofield explained in November that the 130 residential units slated for the Pennrose project will be allotted only 30 parking spots; the adjacent childcare center, which will accommodate up to 50 families, has been allotted three. While these allotments meet the City’s zoning requirements, neighbors fear the worst.
“The area is a hot mess already,” commented one resident, who referred to the congestion caused by delivery trucks and patrons at the new Trader Joe’s grocery. This neighbor predicted that the additional demand created by the Pennrose development—plus the influx of occupants at the new BankRI headquarters (planned for the parcels located south of Trader Joe’s)—will create “epic” problems.
FPNA president Nick Cicchitelli proposed a neighborhood meeting with members of the City’s Department of Public Works in order to address current traffic and parking issues before they worsen with new construction. "FPNA hopes to address these concerns as soon as possible,” he said, “by bringing together relevant city- and state-level stakeholders and policymakers. The neighborhood deserves a plan that is more thoroughly and proactively thought out."
Image, Dennis Wood