City Streets for Sale in Providence

Here’s a rather alarming update from Jef Nickerson at Greater City Providence, who alerts us to one of the not-so-imaginative responses to the current fiscal distress affecting many American cities. Providence is selling its streets:

Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr via Marcin Wichary on Flickr

After Brown University and then RISD made agreements with the City to acquire parts of public streets for private parking in exchange for increased payments in lieu of taxes; GoLocal Providence reports that the City will make an announcement tomorrow that Providence College has now made a similar agreement.

So all this begs the question, if you could buy a public street, which one would you want to buy and what would you want to do with it?

In addition to answering Jef’s thought provoker, feel free to share your ideas for wringing more value out of city streets without selling public assets (or issuing more parking placards, another part of Providence’s bargain with local universities).

Elsewhere on the Streetsblog Network today: Greater Greater Washington reports that DDOT wants the public to weigh in on where to add the next 78 Capital Bikeshare stations. Boston Biker says congestion pricing works for Stockholm, and it would work Boston. And Streets.MN readers have made their choice for Minnesota’s best Main Street in a former railroad town.