Bike To Work Day 2008

24

Apr

Bike To Work Day 2008

Across the United States cities are gearing up for the 52nd Annual National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 16, 2008. Providence will be hosting its own press conference and festivities for Bike to Work Day. Taking place at Bank of America City Center in downtown Providence, bicyclists will convene at the skating rink entrance at 7:00am for refreshments and kick-off press conference at 7:30am. Providence Mayor David Cicilline, Richard Godfrey, Director of Rhode Island Housing and Chair of The Providence Foundation Bike to Work and College Committee, and Mike Lewis, Director of the RI Department of Transportation, will lead the way to the event as they cycle into downtown for the press event. Joining Mayor Cicilline at the podium will be Richard Godfrey, Mike Lewis, Chris Wilhite of the Sierra Club (RI Chapter), and Providence City Council member John Lombardi.

Breakfast and refreshments will be served to cyclists from 7:00am until 10:00am. At 3:00pm the skating rink comes alive with bicycle-related vendors providing safety tips and demonstrations, local environmental organizations, information about upcoming bicycle signage and lane striping, Rack n’ Ride demonstrations by RIPTA, refreshments, a bike raffle and entertainment.

Promoting a healthy ride for energy independence, Bike to Work Day seeks to raise awareness about bicycling as a healthy and viable transportation alternative. Among the goals of Bike to Work Day are to help reduce traffic congestion, reduce the demand for parking, reduce air pollution and make Providence a better place to live and work. The American Automobile Association cites that the estimated cost to own and operate a vehicle in 2008 is $8,121 – a $298 increase from last year. While the costs for automobile maintenance, insurance and depreciation have actually decreased from 2007, higher prices at the fuel pump have more than offset these savings and pushed the overall costs of vehicle ownership and operation higher.

“Riding a bicycle or RIPTA bus to work everyday represents one of the strongest actions a commuter can take to reduce global warming pollution and our dependence on oil,” said Chris Wilhite , Sierra Club Rhode Island Chapter Director. “By making it safer and easier for cyclists to commute to work, Cool Cities like Providence can be significant leaders in ensuring that Narragansett Bay stays cool enough for its fisheries and wildlife.”

To help promote and support bicycle commuting in Providence, The Providence Foundation and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) have invested in the installation of over 100 bicycle hitches throughout downtown Providence including locations at the Amtrak Station, Bank of America City Center and Exchange Terrace. The City of Providence Department of Planning and Development has completed plans for the striping and signing of bicycle routes along many of Providence’s thoroughfares. It is expected that this project will be completed this fall. Among the streets included in this project are Elmwood Ave, Broadway, Smith Street, Charles Street, and Hope Street.

Bike to Work Day is funded by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) through a grant from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). Administrative and organizational support is provided by The Providence Foundation. The Providence Bicycle Coalition, an advocacy group of citizen-cyclists who work to promote and enable bicycling as a healthy, enjoyable, efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation in and around Providence, is organizing this year’s Bike to Work Day event with the US Open Cycling Foundation.

For more information on Providence’s Bike to Work Day and for information on RIDOT’s Bike RI program visit www.dot.state.ri.us/bikeri/. For information on what The Providence Bicycle Coalition is doing to support bicycling in Providence visit www.bikeprovidence.org. And, for more information about the efforts of the RI Chapter of the Sierra Club to support and promote clean, affordable transportation alternatives, please visit www.rhodeisland.sierraclub.org.

Feel free to download a pdf version of the Bike to Work 2008 Press Release and distribute this to your friends, family, and colleagues.

5 thoughts on - Bike To Work Day 2008

  • Bruce
    Reply Apr 28, 2008 at 3:09 am

    I didn't see the NBW mentioned. Have they been left out or have they declined to participate?

  • Reply Apr 28, 2008 at 3:29 am

    We'd be happy to have the NBW involved with B2WD, just haven't heard anything from them until now. If NBW does want to be involved, please have them touch base with me.

  • Rey (Prov)
    Reply May 15, 2008 at 7:00 am

    I started riding my bicycle to work this week. I am a seasonal rider. I don't work in Downtown area and riding for the event is much further than my work. It's nice to find out the Providence is hosting the event.

  • Reply May 22, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Attended the morning session again. Yawn. Every year it gets smaller and smaller. I don't know why taxpayers should allow it. They promise exactly the same thing, which at least economizes on speech writing. We who refuse to pay $4/gallon for gas don't need bicycling awareness. What we need is INFRASTRUCTURE. Build it and people will bike.

    For what they pay to hold this event, they could've painted bike lanes on Broadway (a day's work promised 5 years ago), or put up signs that direct riders coming off real bikeways in adjacent cities (notably Cranston and East Providence) through that dangerous labyrinth called "down city" to important points, like the Henderson Bridge, the only way to cross the Seekonk River except for an intolerably long detour through Pawtucket. But you'll have to be agile to cross on sidewalks after they otherwise close Henderson, highway to nowhere, to cycling forever.

    In 2012 (maybe later), when they finish the Geo Washington/Redman Bikeway/Bridge, there still won't be any safe route between it and the lowly but reliable Point St Bridge. They let a golden opportunity to connect Allens Avenue's bike lanes and East Bay Bike Path slip through their fingers when the I-way was designed. What were they thinking? With newly opened Exit 2 dumping traffic into Wickenden snarl, bikes will get further deselected. Does anyone but me notice that Providence is losing all its limited charm to highway construction? Capitol city is becoming an ugly tangle of cycling banned throughways while state's deficit edges toward a half billion. As it stands, the only thing cyclists are sure to get is hollow recognition. Sure, bike to work, save the city, but where's the welcome mat?

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