Johnston residents rallying against new Citizens Bank campus

Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A group of residents claims lawmakers have the wrong citizens in mind as construction continues on a new Citizens Bank campus in Johnston, though the mayor says they have nothing to be concerned about.

The project is taking shape in a wooded area near Greenville Avenue, which some residents say is too close to their homes.

The group is getting ready to hold a rally outside Johnston Town Hall at noon on Saturday by creating signs donning phrases such as, “We the people of Johnston do not want Citizens Bank in our yards.”

“We’re going to walk city hall to let them know they can’t do this to us,” said Janet Colardo of the Johnston Homeowners and Neighbors Association.

Colardo’s group was created in response to Citizens Bank big move. The company is relocating its corporate campus from Cranston and working with the Department of Transportation to build new highway ramps off Route 295 to serve the campus.

Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV
Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV

Approximately 3,200 employees will work there.

Colardo said she’s worried about the added noise and traffic.

“We won’t be able to get in and out of our houses to go to work or go to school,” she added.

Citizens Bank referred questions to Mayor Joseph Polisena, who said residents’ concerns are misguided.

“They’re not going to take people’s property, it’s not going to be a four-lane highway,” the mayor explained. “They’re also saying there are going to be other business in the area. That’s not true.”

Polisena blasted Colardo’s organization Friday, accusing them of distributing fliers with false information.

“They’re trying to rally up – I should say – rile up the rest of the neighbors,” he said.

“Our politicians have to stick up for us, and they didn’t,” Colardo added. “They turned their backs on us.”

Colardo said her organization will hold even more rallies until both sides find a resolution.

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