Residents question sidewalk installation at Roger Williams Park
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) —
More changes are coming to Roger Williams Park in Providence.
First, the city installed bicycle and pedestrian lanes to pave the way for a one-way traffic route throughout the park. Now, city workers are shifting a portion of the lanes over to add a sidewalk that leads to the Temple to Music.
“I’m appalled by the city's decision to do this. Leave my park alone. It was fine the way it was,” said Tyrone Robinson, who lives in Providence.
He said he's frustrated that city workers will be re-striping bike and pedestrian lanes less than two months after they were painted.
Workers are adding a sidewalk for runners and walkers along Maple Avenue to the access road at the Temple to Music. It's about a half-mile stretch.
The sidewalk will replace one of the three lanes that the city painted in an effort to make the park safer for drivers and pedestrians. The two bike lanes will also be shifted along that route to make room for marked parking.
“That's more money wasted,” said Providence resident Rosa Serrano. “And I don't think it's fair. At the end of the day who pays for it? We do.”
NBC 10 News asked the city why the sidewalk wasn’t installed before the city painted designated pedestrian and bicycle lanes. City spokeswoman Emily Crowell said that as funding becomes available, projects are initiated.
City workers said the construction is part of their ongoing efforts to enhance the park and open up a few more trails, but some residents said the city should have thought ahead.
“I think it's foolish for them to do that because it's a waste of taxpayer money, like they should have thought about this before they even put it down,” Robinson said.
The city estimates that it will cost $120,000 to install the sidewalk along Maple Avenue and re-stripe the lanes.
Crowell said the city plans to add sidewalks in the fall, if funding is available.