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Branch Village Revitalization
North Smithfield, RI

The Town of North Smithfield and the Branch Village Task Force, in continuing their efforts to revitalize Branch Village, a mill village in the northeast part of the Town, retained PARE to prepare an analysis of full-build and reduced buildout options and to recommend multimodal transportation improvements.  The existing auto-dependent character of the 300-acre village core of mixed residential, commercial, and industrial activities conflicts with the goal of a pedestrian-oriented, neighborhood-based economy. 

PARE developed a GIS-based geo-database Buildout Analysis Model to assess impacts of various development scenarios on residential, commercial, office, and industrial use.  The Model assessed value of properties, projected number of residents and employees, anticipated municipal expenditures for education and public safety, and included projected water and sewer demand and traffic impacts.

Project planners and engineers worked with the Branch Village Task Force to explore the results of the Model. The feedback of this group was instrumental in guiding development of reduced build scenarios that would not adversely affect traffic flow while meeting project objectives.

Continuous wide sidewalks, landscaping, median pedestrian refuges, and crosswalks were some of the strategies proposed to create a more attractive and safer roadway for both drivers and walkers in the village center.  A roundabout configuration was presented for consideration in the future.