Detour Confusion?



I was driving home (I know, gasp…) the other evening and as I was heading East over the Washington Bridge, I could see a kid riding a bike going West over the bridge!  Obviously, this kid put himself in an extremely dangerous situation, but I found myself wondering why he was doing this…

  • Was he of the age where he just didn’t care and thought of himself as completely invincible?  I’m certain most of us remember going through this phase, perhaps some of us are still at this point.  Did he just not stop and think about the potential danger he was in, riding a bike along a highway with cars driving by at extreme speeds?
  • Did he end up on the bridge by mistake?  I would assume all the entrances are posted with no bicycle signs, but I plan to go by them myself and check on this.  If he found himself on the highway by mistake, it could be quite terrifying.
  • Was he trying to get into Providence and simply didn’t know how to get across?  With the closing of the Washington Bridge pedestrian walkway, people who don’t know the area really have no clue how to proceed.  This is something I plan to follow through on with the DOT.  They will be putting up many signs during the upcoming Henderson Bridge work, it would be great if we could also get some bike detour signs up for while the Washington Bridge remains closed.

Regardless of the actual reason, this was an extremely dangerous situation.  it seems to me that we can actually ensure that the second two possibilities don’t occur again.  The first… well time and experience is probably the best cure for that one.

1 Comment

  • May 30, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Steve Church and I investigated some of the on-ramps in the last day. To our surprise, we discovered that none of the entrances onto 195 Westbound that we checked had bicycles prohibited signs! At least we couldn't see any in the distance we were willing to ride along the approach to the highway. We've taken some pictures and will be forwarding them onto the RIDOT Maintenance Department.