Vision, 5 Year Plan
Riverside has a unique history of families that have remained in the area for generations intermingled with a diversity of new community members. The RRM’s vision is for the betterment of the Riverside neighborhood of East Providence making it an increasingly desirable place to live (and young people will want to come back to live), work, and visit.
To that end, the RRM is invested in promoting community safety, beautification, cohesion and social networking, health and wellness, and preservation of our parks and environmental/natural resources well into the future. We envision a thriving “small town” economy that promotes capitalizes on the unique local culture (including our nautical and amusement park past) where residents and tourists can “Shop Local” and feel proud to do so.
Finally, Riverside has the potential to increase educational quality and access at all levels from elementary to secondary and beyond, increasing the rates of high school retention/graduation, trade and post-secondary certifications and degrees.
The RRM also promotes a vision for revitalization of Riverside Square and our “Main Street” (Bullocks Point Avenue) as an “Arts District” consisting of work-live spaces that incorporate art galleries, restaurants, independent first floor retail, music venues, and dynamic public spaces. The potential is to promote the area as a destination for creative expression complementing the existing historic and recreational resources, including Crescent Park, the Looff Carousel, Sabin Point Park, and the Pomham Rock Lighthouse. In addition, the East Bay Bike Path runs directly through Riverside Square and has become a magnet for some of the state’s largest road races and recreational biking.
The long term (5-year) vision of the RRM includes:
- Improvement of public safety across the Riverside neighborhood, including advocating for a police substation in Riverside Square, making Riverside Square an inviting location for tourists, homeowners, and businesses
- Improved public access to the waterfont, including upgrades to Crescent (Rose Larissa) and Sabin Point Parks, improving water quality in order to facilitate increased water recreation and beach use, and ongoing promotion of the East Bay Bike Path.
- Increased community programming, including concerts and festivals across the Riverside neighborhood, especially at our waterfront parks, Crescent (Rose Larissa) and Sabin Point Parks.
- Advocate for a comprehensive plan to address the problem of coastal erosion including its effects on homeowners and public parks. This includes erosion mitigation techniques, stabilization, and improving our stormwater drainage system.
- Either reopening or repurposing Oldham Elementary School in such a way that it promotes community engagement, recreation and the arts.
- To increased retention in secondary education among Riverside youth, and to increase access and quality of secondary, trade, and post-secondary educational opportunities for adults through opportunities that are affordable and close to home.
- Increased investment in and awareness of services targeting those most at need in our community, including soup kitchens (Good Neighbor, Riverside Congregational Church) and affordable health and mental health clinics (East Bay Community Action Program).
- Maintain close working relationships with the East Providence Planning Department, including the Office of Community Development, the East Providence Chamber of Commerce, the Riverside Branch Library, and the various nonprofit organizations benefiting the Riverside neighborhood.
Riverside Square Specific:
- Preservation of the “downtown” character of Riverside Square, including attracting a developer(s) with interest in history preservation and investment in the arts as a catalyst for community improvement and development. Promoting mixed use development in and around Riverside Square marketed to artists and small independent business owners.
- Improvement of streetscapes in the Riverside Square, including and not limited to upgraded lighting and light fixtures, pedestrian friendly features (e.g. bike racks, bike lanes, crosswalks), off-street parking, coordinated color and architectural themes, and promotion and enforced maintenance of existing housing and commercial properties
- Promotion of commercial loan program programs and tax benefits through advocacy with local and state officials in order to promote small independent businesses. Promotion of Riverside Square as a “hub” or destination for such businesses.
- Ongoing promotion of public and environmentally friendly transportation through Riverside Square.