Planning & Development

Moving Ahead With the Cranston Commuter Rail Station

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by Josh Wood Tuesday February 10, 2009

Cranston Commuter Rail Station
The Cranston Commuter Rail Station project still has a pulse.

Cranston Station MapThe area bounded by Elmwood Avenue, Park Avenue and Wellington has been eyed for conversion into a transit-oriented district. Although a commuter rail station is the most exciting component of the proposal, transit-oriented districts include a mix of residential and commercial developments that revolve around the easy access to public transportation.

The commuter rail station proposed for the district will likely remain small in comparison to the stations in Warwick and Providence, but the site is ideally located to incorporate some other form of public transportation, such as brt (Bus Rapid Transit) or light rail. A well designed, transit-oriented district can be an economic boon for a city. It also reduces sprawl and protects existing neighborhoods by concentrating stores and homes in a tight area, it can improve the character of a city by encouraging more pedestrians and reducing traffic, and ultimately help reduce sprawl.

An article in the Journal summarizes the status of the project.

As this project moves forward, I hope for three things: 1) That Mayor Fung and City Planning Director, Peter Lapolla, can keep the momentum of this project going. 2) That the project is planned in such a way that doesn’t sell the site’s potential short. ie: plans for the future. 3) And that the process remains as transparent and as democratic as possible, open to all business interests, and that it doesn’t become a pet project of any one well-connected party.

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  1. Josh,
    There was also an Op-ed piece in the Herald 2 weeks ago by Ken Filarski regarding the project.

    — Rachel McNally · Feb 16, 09:06 PM · #

  2. They are building something just past St. Matthew’s – where the old Wonderbread Thrift store was torn down recently.

    At first I thought this could be the beginning of the rail project, or maybe a restaurant.

    I tried to use my detective skills and think that maybe – sob – it’s going to be a self-storage building.

    Looking for info to find out if I’m right or wrong, and how I hope I’m wrong!

    Anne · May 8, 11:22 AM · #

  3. Hi Anne – I probably did the same thing you did… searched the Cranston City Hall web site for some clues about the new structure.

    Sadly – I think you’re correct. It appears to be a three story self-storage building. It looks like they asked for a variance in order to get they height they needed.

    If it’s true, then I have to say that it’s a very disappointing move by the city – and certainly not “transit-oriented.” I’m hoping that the structure was permitted because the TOD is actually going to set up further south in the Wellington industrial area.

    Josh · May 8, 02:21 PM · #


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