Mayor Elorza Announces Expanded Investments along Broad Street Corridor

Highlights $4.3 million in funds for revitalization including bike & pedestrian
safety improvements, cultural tourism initiatives

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined elected officials, staff from
the City’s Planning and Development Department, Department of Public Works, and
Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, as well as Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA)
Executive Director Marta Martinez and President and CEO of the Providence Warwick
Convention & Visitors Bureau Martha Sheridan at the Southside Cultural Center of
Rhode Island’s SouthLight Pavilion to announce expanded art, cultural and tourism
investments along the Broad Street corridor. Mayor Elorza highlighted $4.3 million
in funding for bike and pedestrian safety improvements, creative placemaking, and
cultural tourism initiatives aimed to continue revitalization work in neighborhoods
throughout the corridor.

«There is so much happening on Broad Street, which is why locals know it to be a
great destination for food, entertainment and nightlife, and public art,» said Mayor
Elorza. «I’m excited to announce our increased investments to encourage even more
visitors to experience Broad Street’s unique offerings in the years to come.»

The announcement follows public engagement efforts by the City, including a March
11, 2017 community conversation focused on the future of Broad Street. Feedback
provided by participants showed that residents’ visions emphasized a Broad Street
that celebrates diversity and cultural heritage; provides excellent quality of life;
fosters thriving businesses; realizes improved bicycle and pedestrian
infrastructure; and incorporates better maintenance of the physical environment of
the neighborhood.

The City’s Art, Culture + Tourism Department announced the Celebrate Broad Street
initiative, a cultural tourism partnership with the Providence Warwick Convention
Visitors Bureau (PWCVB), Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA), Quisqueya in Action, City
Walk, and other community stakeholders that will develop collaborative marketing
strategies and introduce a new logo, strategic messaging, and a public calendar of
art and cultural events happening along Broad Street. Calendar listings can be found
on www.artsnowri.com.

«Experiential travel is a big trend in our industry. Visitors want to really explore
a city and see more of its people and culture,» said Martha Sheridan, president and
CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau. «We work very closely
with Providence’s Department of Art, Culture and Tourism to identify unique projects
like Celebrate Broad Street that tell the story of an exciting neighborhood and of
the city’s vibrant Latino culture. »

In addition, the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism will continue implementation
of Illuminating Trinity, their creative placemaking work with Rhode Island LISC and
community partners in the upper Broad Street area. This work, funded in part by the
ArtPlace America grant that made the construction of the Southlight Pavillion
possible, will include new public programming. Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA) and
Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RIBS) will present programming in the pavilion this
spring and summer. These cornerstone organizations for the Southside Cultural Center
of Rhode Island will establish the inaugural season at the pavilion and animate the
square through exciting community events. The City has dedicated $1.3 million
dollars to the Illuminating Trinity creative placemaking partnership.

«In the 1950s Josefina Rosario and her husband, Tony arrived in Providence from the
Dominican Republic looking for a new home. Here they settled into what was at the
time home to Rhode Island’s Irish and Jewish communities. They opened what later
became the first Latino business, a bodega they called «Fefa’s Market» on the corner
of Broad and Baker Streets,» said Marta Martinez, Director of Rhode Island Latino
Arts. «Today, Broad Street is the city’s Latino Cultural Corridor where you can find
Latin American restaurants, bakeries, bodegas and Chimi Trucks galore!»

The Illuminating Trinity Public Art Selection Committee has also selected The Steel
Yard to create a permanent project at 358 Broad Street, the location of Empire Loan
of Rhode Island. The installation will enhance pedestrian-level interaction and
public safety in Trinity Square and will make the streetscape more vibrant. Led by
Providence-based artist Anna Snyder, the project will engage students from the Dr.
Jorge Alvarez High School. Construction is set to commence in May, with completion
expected by July 2017. Further, Rhode Island LISC, the South Providence Neighborhood
Association (SPNB), and Trinity Square business owners have partnered to support of
the cleanup efforts of the non-profit Calle Limpia, by funding a new plan for
increased public access to, and private stewardship of the square’s trash cans.

Recently, the City undertook a study of accidents involving people walking and
biking and it was determined that Broad Street had the most incidents involving
pedestrians and bicyclists out of any corridor in Providence. The area is also home
to numerous public schools and it is reported that nearly 40% of people walk, bike,
carpool, or take public transit to get to work.

Noting a priority to make the corridor safer for children and families, Mayor Elorza
announced that the City is preparing to begin public engagement and design on a
multi-phase, once in a lifetime opportunity to enhance neighborhoods and change the
landscape of the City through a project called CityWalk. The goal of CityWalk is to
improve walking and biking, connecting nine Providence neighborhoods to Roger
Williams Park and to India Point Park through a series of investments in the public
realm.

To make walking safer, the City will be working with the State to invest $500,000
provided by Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) Highway Safety
Improvement Program, into pedestrian safety improvements along Broad Street. An
additional $1.875 million in funds will be invested in the coming two years to make
walking and biking even safer as part of the first phase of CityWalk.

Mayor Elorza also announced that in January 2017, Providence was selected as one of
ten U.S. Cities to participate in PeopleForBikes’ Big Jump Program. Through a
combination of education and infrastructure projects valued at $600,000, the new
initiative aims to double or triple bike ridership in a specific focus area around
the CityWalk project, including Downtown and South Providence over the next three
years.