Does it matter which route you take if the destination is the same?
That’s the question that state officials have decided to answer as they tout the benefits of locating a business in what is known as Warwick’s “Station District.”
The destination is a vibrant commercial and residential district abutting T.F. Green Airport, centered on the recently completed Interlink intermodal transportation center.
For years, the R.I. Airport Corporation and successive governors have been saying that lengthening the airport’s runways would bring in more traffic and help the region develop into a major business hub.
Successive delays in making that plan happen – currently Warwick City Council has challenged the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of expansion plans – seem to have slowed the momentum to make the expansion a reality and in turn have hampered developing the Station District.
So instead of waiting for the airport to create the critical mass of traffic that would support further development in the neighborhood, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and Gov. (and former Warwick Mayor) Lincoln D. Chafee have announced a partnership with the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce to market the area.
The plan is to create a mixed-use neighborhood with walkable access to multiple modes of transportation (with or without an expanded runway) in the middle of the state’s second-largest city.
As a byproduct of the development, the airport would get increased use, which would put added pressure on the state and federal government to complete the work at Green. And in the end, all of Rhode Island would benefit. Sounds like a good plan. •
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