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03-02-21 Great Streets: Safe, Walkable, Bikable, Equitable and Sociable

Guest Martina Haggerty, Special Projects Director at the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development

The City of Providence’s Great Streets initiative is an established framework for public-space improvements developed to ensure that every street safely supports active transportation. The CDC defines active transportation as “any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation, such as walking or bicycling.” The key to the Great Streets plan is providing transportation options that are reliableconvenientaffordable and equitable. Covering 13 percent of the city’s land area, the streets comprise the city’s greatest shared asset. The city’s vision is largely comprised of an Urban Trail Network with off-road separated paths, separated on-road trails, low-stress neighborhood greenways, and other improvements, designed to make Providence more livable and to revitalize and connect its 25 neighborhoods with a safe transportation system that serves everyone.

The transportation sector in Rhode Island accounts for nearly 40 percent of the state’s greenhouse-gas emission. Furthermore, transportation is the second largest household expense after housing.  The more easily we can walk, bike and access public transportation, the more readily we can shift away from our current car-dominated, fossil-fuel-reliant culture and save some money. This episode begins with a city story walk, that leads into a discussion about how to rethink and redesign streets for the 21st century and why this is important.

Martina HaggertyOur guest, Martina Haggerty, oversees planning, redevelopment, and transportation projects and policy initiatives for the City of Providence. She is a passionate advocate for walkable and bikeable urbanism and inclusive planning processes. From 2009-2015, Martina served as a Principal Planner for the City of Providence and, prior to that, as an urban designer in the private sector. She holds a Master of Science degree in Architecture and Urban Design from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Roger Williams University.


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