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June 23rd Open House, Public Meeting for Newport Thames & Spring Streets Streetscape Improvements

June 15, 2015 (Newport, RI) — A public meeting and open house for the Lower Thames and Spring Streets Streetscape Improvements thames before-afterproject is taking place at 5:30 – 7:00PM on Tuesday, June 23 at the Edward King House [35 King Street in Newport].

The Lower Thames and Spring Streets Streetscape Improvements project is an open and inclusive process aimed at improving and re-envisioning two street corridors that have been critical to Newport’s history and vitality. Broad public engagement has been an important component to the project—which has consisted of in-person and virtual workshops and forums—and is critical to better understanding the assets and challenges that need to be addressed, building consensus, and moving the project from planning to implementation.

The project is led by the City of Newport with an advisory group appointed by the City Council and transportation engineering and design specialists VHB. Grow Smart RI, the leading advocate for sustainable economic growth, revitalization, and improved quality of place in the Ocean State, is the latest collaborator on the project. At the June 23 public meeting and open house, Grow Smart will help to lead a presentation and facilitate a discussion, including a component for open space programming, public gathering spaces and parking, among others.

“This project is an opportunity to consider the full range of options for improving these two corridors, making them more inviting to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists while improving the quality of life for residents and visitors and better serving local businesses”, said William R. Riccio, Jr., Director of Public Services for the City of Newport.

Scott Wolf, Executive Director of Grow Smart RI says that his nonprofit is eager and well-positioned to help facilitate the dialogue among community stakeholders. “We’ve worked with a number of municipal officials in pursuing what we call “complete streets” planning to include design elements that improve mobility, safety and economic growth in our urban and town centers”, he said, adding “We’re very pleased to be involved in improving quality of place in Newport, as we continue our commitment to helping Rhode Island capitalize on its strengths and assets.”

The agenda for the June 23 open house and public meeting is as follows:

5:30-6:00PM: Open House to review and comment on maps, current plans, and ideas

6:00-7:00PM: Presentation and facilitated discussion with keypad voting

For more information about the project, visit www.thamesandspring.com.

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