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Park Place plans draw concerns

September 14, 2012

This ‘Wrong Way’ sign could change to ‘Two Way’ on Park Place West if a proposal is eventually accepted by officials to make this section of Park Place to Main Street open to two-way traffic. However, at a neighborhood meeting held Wednesday night, local business, non-profit and church leaders raised concerns about the loss of on-street parking that would likely occur under the redesign. Planning officials say they will revisit the proposals.

PAWTUCKET — The intent is good: to make Park Place more of an efficient entryway to the downtown. Yet, a proposal by the city's Planning Department to make the westerly side of the street two-way and remove the existing on-street parking has upset many who are involved in local businesses, churches and non-profit agencies located there.
On Wednesday, the Planning Department held a neighborhood meeting at the Forget-Me-Not Gallery, part of the Samaritans of Rhode Island's headquarters at 67 Park Place. Planning Director Barney Heath and DPW Director Lance Hill outlined several different proposals designed to improve traffic flow on Park Place and encourage a greater use of the green space at the nearby Wilkinson Park.
One of the proposals, that of making Park Place West open to two-way traffic to Main Street, caused the most controversy, as it also involved the suggestion of removing the parking lane.
Heath said that the concept of making the westerly side of Park Place two-way would eliminate the “awkward” movement that it takes for motorists to get to the downtown.

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