RIDOT’s “bewildering” response to Kennedy Plaza plan TITLE VI civil rights criticism – Uprise RI

In response to the plan of the RIDOT plan, which is fully supported by the governor Daniel McKee – – John Flaherty, Deputy Director of GrowSmart Rhode Island and Dwayne Keys, President of South Providence Neighborhood Association filed a TITLE VI civil rights complaintt against the plan. RIDOT responded to the complaint recently, and Flaherty and Keys respond to that response here:

“The Rhode Island Department of Transportation ((RIDOT) plans to break open the central transport hub Kennedy Plaza If you spread the bus stops and interchange points around the city center, it means more trouble and confusion for transit drivers, longer journey times, more transfers, and more waiting for buses with no access to basic amenities such as public bathrooms. With less than five months to go to planned construction, RIDOT has not proposed an alternative where all transfers can be in a single convenient location with access to amenities.

“RIDOTs written reply The complaint is shallow and flimsy, and ignores the significant, disproportionate, and negative impact RIDOT’s plan will have on the black, disabled, and low-income people of Rhode Island. The trivial response from RIDOT took 85 days, 25 days longer than the department’s Answer guidelines for Title VI (Page 8).

“The conclusions in the 5 point answer are confusing. For example, it states that “no final plan has been established for this project” and “therefore there is currently no breach of Title VI”.

“According to RIDOT’s own RFP For design-bid-build services, an advertising date for construction contracts is planned for June 11, 2021 with “shovels in the ground” through August 27, 2021. Last November 5th, RIDOT participated in one Press event Finding that the multi-hub project is progressing.

“RIDOT’s response is an affront to all who will be negatively affected by this deeply flawed plan, and is in complete contradiction to the President Joe Biden‘s Implementing Ordinance to Promote Racial Justice and Support Underserved Communities.

“It’s been nearly seven years since voters approved a $ 35 million transit enhancement bond for which nothing is to be shown except for $ 2.1 million for the issuance of bonds, legal and Consultant fees. RIDOT’s inability to advance this borrowing project is outlined in it 3-minute presentation from the financial staff of the house to the House Finance Committee on April 7, 2021.

“We urge Governor McKee to hand over the project to them Rhode Island Public Transportation AuthoritY (RIPTA). RIPTA has the expertise to skillfully develop an alternative plan with transit drivers around the table so that we can finally improve the public space in Kennedy Plaza and improve key transit links through Downtown Providence. At the same time, we want to continue with the implementation of the latitude Transit master plan that RIPTA was developed with significant public input to get more Rhode Islanders to where they go quickly, efficiently, and cheaply. For more background information and media coverage of this controversy Click here. ”

Vice Governor Sabina Matos

UpriseRI was at the newly minted lieutenant governor’s first press conference Sabina Matos from Wednesday morning. How Providence City Council President Matos led unanimous efforts to pass a resolution against the RIDOT / McKee plan to dismantle Kennedy Plaza. Now that she is lieutenant governor, a position McKee sees as a partner in his role as governor, how does she feel about the plan?

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About the author

Steve Ahlquist is the co-founder and lead reporter for Uprise RI. He has been reporting on human rights, social justice, progressive politics, and environmental news for nearly a decade.

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