Open since mid-August, Providence’s new pedestrian bridge has quickly become a landmark. Within walking distance of JWU’s Downcity Campus, the bridge links downtown with the city’s East Side and offers spectacular night views of the skyline.
With built-in hardwood benches, decks, chess boards and planting beds, the bridge offers a clean, contemporary and scenic spot to take a break. It’s book-ended on both sides by landscaped walking paths and green spaces. And on the East Side, it’s just across the street from 10,000 Suns, a public art installation of more than 10,000 sunflowers — a stunning sight in full bloom.
Students Weigh In
On a recent late summer day, 6 JWU students put the bridge to the test. While walking across they took in the views from the bridge, which serves as a good vantage point for the city’s surrounding landscape.
Looking east from the bridge is a panorama of the historic East Side dotted with colonial-era houses, churches, parks and museums. To the west, is a fusion of modern office buildings and historical architecture, larger than life public art murals, and iconic Superman building (also the state’s tallest).
The students agreed the bridge is an excellent addition to the city and cited their observations:
“I’ll use the bridge a lot when I need of a change of scenery. A walk along the water is perfect when you need a break from all those books! It’s also a convenient and fast way to get to Plant City, a new vegan restaurant. Being a vegetarian, I’m thrilled about this recent discovery — no need to rent an Uber when you can make the easy walk across the pedestrian bridge!” -Emma Powers ’20, Criminal Justice
“It adds more character to Providence … I love to sightsee, so I will definitely go to the bridge to look at all of the places in Providence I can see from there — the Biltmore, the State House and even some of the JWU buildings.” -Alyssia Mosley ’20, Health Science
“The bridge will make it so much easier to go to my favorite coffee shops on Wickenden Street. Providence has an amazing coffee scene, and the bridge makes it a lot more accessible for trying out all the local businesses over there. I can't wait to relax by the river and watch the skyline of my favorite city.” -Megan Carroll ’19, Tourism & Hospitality Management and Marketing
“I like the bridge because it gives us more access to the other part of Providence that we don’t get to see as often. I don’t have a car and walking up College Hill to get to the East Side is not my idea of fun. There is so much to see and do there that I never explored before like trying new restaurants on Thayer Street.” -Maggie Halstead ’20, Baking & Pastry, Food Service Management
“I like the bridge because it gives us more access to the other part of Providence that we don’t get to see as often.”
More to Love About Providence
While the JWU students plan to make the most of the new pedestrian bridge, there are other ways students, professionals, locals and tourists can enjoy Providence. And the food is at the top of the list.
Throughout all of Providence, you’ll find cafés, coffee shops, food trucks and restaurants. This is no surprise since Providence has one of the highest per-capita number of restaurants among U.S. cities and many are owned or operated by JWU alumni (see Related Reading below).
Some of the city’s other attractions include WaterFire Providence, RiverWalk, Providence Place Mall, Roger Williams Park and the nearly 15-mile long East Bay bike path.
In addition to being home to more than 30,000 college students, Providence is a popular New England tourist destination. Each year it is named to several “Best Of” rankings and earns good press for its many qualities. Recent accolades include:
- CNN: The USA’s Most Artsy City (2019)
- Business.org: Top Cities for Entrepreneurs and Startups (2018)
- U.S. News & World Report: 125 Best Places to Live in the USA (2018)
- Boston Globe: “Providence is Bursting with New Things to See, Do and Eat” (2018)
Alumni Restaurant List (PDF)