Jewelry district to Cranston bike path



Jewelry district to Cranston bike path

We received the following via our only contact page:

Hi, I’m interested in trying to commute from home (in Warwick) to my job in the Jewelry District. I can take the Warwick bike path all the way till it ends at the Lowes plaza on Garfield St
in Cranston. I’m looking at Cranston St to Westminster St as a potential route… However, I drove it today in my car, and the stretch of Cranston St seemed high traffic, and a lot of young guys
loitering around on the sidewalk… a little sketchy. Is there any nice route from the end of the bike path to downtown? Should I pack a gun?

Anyone out there with route advice?


  • Brian
    Aug 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I ride narragansett blvd/allens ave into providence from warwick en route to pawtucket. not necessarily the prettiest, but pretty direct.

  • Aug 23, 2008 at 6:25 am

    I also bike from Warwick to Providence. I take Sandy Lane which has a bike lane, then risk life/limb heading North on Warwick Ave (for about 2 miles) up just past the "Hoxie four corners" airport road intersection. The first right turn after that intersection is a nice plat of homes and quiet streets, and takes me through to Nawagansett Parkway (Google Earth/Maps is a great planning tool).

    Instead of taking Naragansett Pkwy I go North on Fair St (it's straighter, and is one big hill instead of several small ones. From there it's Naragansett Blvd, Allens Ave (which technically has a bike lane, if you like sand, railroad tracks and brake/muffler parts. I usually ride in the right hand auto lane).

  • Ghetto Diamond
    Aug 25, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Cranston street can be intimidating both culturally and congestionwise… but traffic is slow and comfort comes quick. The street is faster on a bike than in a car. The most dangerous part is around the rt 10 bridge. Beer is cheap at Tropical (check out the Presidente cooler kept at 0 degrees c). The sidearm is a personal choice for you to make. Guns tend to be a bit heavy to ride a bike with.

  • Aug 25, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Ha… several horrors of RI infrastructure rolled into a single thread.

    I could route you all on safer but more circuitous roads, but the fact is that it's the state's legal responsibility to provide you with parallel accommodations on all those routes you mention, but they haven't to date. Lack of compliance is why the FHWA has cut some road funding to RI. In other words, instead of taking $35 million in free bike money, they'd rather take a cut in auto funding, which they have to match with state taxes. Then float bonds your children will have to forfeit their future paying for. That's some deep routed corruption, powerful lobbyists, and short sighted greed at work.

    The West End is intimidating at certain hours, but the side streets are worse. Depending upon where you're coming from in Warwick, the bike route through Governor Francis farms (Squantum to Algonquin) takes you nicely from Hoxie 4 corners to Narragansett Parkway. From there, Fair St is best route into Pawtuxet.

    As an alternative, you can get off bike path at West Natick Rd (under 295) and cross Rt 2 past the Warwick Mall, then cross Rt 5, safer than it sounds. At the next small intersection, take a left then a right onto Kings St, follow to T. Left to Mayfair. Right, which become Pontiac Ave, goes by ACI. Careful at Tasca's and Rt 37.

    Shoulder is good for several miles to Park Av, right, pass Elmwood at St. Matthew's Church, then left to enter Roger Williams Park, bearing right. Follow road to the rotary with the Falconer. Take right then left on Cyr St into Washington Park and beginning of Eddy St. Eddy goes by RI Hospital, then you're in jewelry district. This is actually more direct to Providence than bike path itself, surprisingly, and not very hilly, but you do have to deal with motorists a lot more.

    I've advocated that they build a bike path along the parallel abandoned rail line that crosses Pontiac near the Pocasset River. RIDOT and DEM say they have their eyes on it, and it's been discussed for years. This would ultimately shoot down along the Pawtuxet River all the way to Allens Ave.

    After being attacked by thugs with baseball bats on the WSBP between Sherman Ave and Uxbridge St (South of the Greek Church) and nearly killed, I hardly ever use it anymore. But the work release patients coming out of the MHI might also accost you, as they have me. Let's face it, despite ideal terrain, except for boonies with its packs of feral dogs, RI reeks as bicycling (living) venue… unless you're a thrill seeker. When buffoons in office are replaced with humans who have functional brains, many of these issues will disappear. That's how Portland got all its infrastructure, a one time mayor who really represented bicyclists' interests.

  • Barry
    Aug 26, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I think Alan is vastly overstating hw bad RI is for biking but I have to agree it is not too easy to get from the north end of the west bay path to downtown. I can point out that it may help to some extent to use the bike rack on RIPTA's #30 line which has 29 trips each way between Cranston St (there is a stop just north of the police station beyond Gibbs School where the bike path ends) and downtown running express on Route 10. Thus for example, a #30 bus leaves Cranston St there at 7:26am and gets downtown to Kennedy Plaza about 10 minutes later. This service runs about every 27 minutes at rush hour, about every 33 minutes otherwise. There is also every 20 minute service on the #31 that leaves from Lowe's on Garfield but that is a local on Cranston St.

  • Paul Klinkman
    Aug 26, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I believe that the Providence waterfront from the Jewelry district south will attract cute boutiques, young upwardly mobile professonal condos and corporate offices. This trend is nationwide. I believe one factory building along the waterfront side of Allens Ave. has already made a conversion.

    Opposing this effort are city planners who want to reserve the waterfront for industrial use. I see their point, that there are few functioning places to unload ships in Rhode Island. Right now the area has an asphalt plant and a few strip joints. Personally, I think the city planners are fighting a losing battle. Buddy Cianci's plan was for a city park along the waterfront down near Thurbers.

    I would run a car-free child-safe bike path from the Point Street Bridge south along the seaward side of Allens Avenue. No major roads branch

    I'd run a car-free bike path from the neck of Roger Williams Park that touches Eddy Street, down through Roger WIlliams Park to Route 12, and then south in Cranston along the outlet stream from Roger Williams Park to the Pawtuxet River, all wooded and undeveloped, then up along the Pawtuxet to an abandoned railroad bridge which crosses Route 95, and then onto the existing bike path to Hartford.

    That leaves half a mile of mean city streets between the waterfront and the park/zoo. I wonder if the quality of that neighborhood wouldn't go up a bit if a bike path went through it.

    That's how I would build a kid-safe bike path from the Jewelry District to Cranston. It would also connect Bristol, RI with Hartford, CT.

  • Paul Klinkman
    Aug 26, 2008 at 11:37 am

    There's no editing once you hit the submit button. The neck of Roger Williams Park goes out to Broad St. Also, no major roads branch out to the seaward side of Allens Ave between the Jewelry District and the oil tank farm.

  • Aug 26, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    I think you've left out the Sewer Treatment Plant… this kind of ruins ambience of the Providence Waterfront.

    I use Eddy Street in favor of Allens Ave.

    People who understate the horrors of RI's bicycling infrastructure are TO BLAME for it. I've said it many, many times… You can make this entire state a bicycling mecca with 35 miles of adaptations to the existing roadnet. Many of those changes ONLY require proper striping of streets, or one way designations, or No Parking signs. This should be the priority. Actual bikeways? Who needs them. It's pretty obvious they've become foci for crime anyway.

  • Aug 26, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    People who understate the horrors of RI’s bicycling infrastructure are TO BLAME for it.

    Not everyone approaches advocacy in the same way you do Alan. It doesn't mean any one method is better than the others, we have yet to determine which method will eventually break through. Let's agree to disagree and keep the focus on how we can better the conditions for cyclists, rather than tossing barbs at each other.

    Actual bikeways? Who needs them. It’s pretty obvious they’ve become foci for crime anyway.

    I beg to differ, bike paths serve a very important role. It's a perfect place for weekend or nightly rolls, families out for weekend rides, or people who just want to ride. Heck, they are even a great way to commute on those days when you aren't in a big hurry or during the nastier weather. I'd much prefer to be by myself, cruising down a bike path on a snowy day than taking my chances with the cars on the road.

  • Aug 27, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Disabuse yourself of some assumptions. I'm no advocate. I'm an activist. I've been at it for a decade. I've written thousands of letters and have made major strides because of it.

    The "advocates" do nothing but capitulate. Bicyclists have rights. They are not second class citizens. I'm working on a class action suit to compel court ordered improvements. If you don't put official feet in the fire, you're never going to get anywhere in this state.

    I've been in direct communication with the FHWA, who say outright, "Get a consensus of opinion, or we're not going to do anything." Interpret this correctly. It means, "Do the impossible, or we'll just laugh you off." Well, they are not laughing anymore. State officials have gotten considerable heat for ignoring public safety regarding bicycling, especially with the high price of fuel. So now you're starting to see signs. Too little, too late.

    All you have to do to make RI completely bikeable is look at the "Guide for Cycling in the Ocean State" map. Wherever there are gaps in the blue and red roadnet, you need an accommodation. I can list them, but they're too many. Yet they short segments, a mile here, a few blocks there. It works out to about 35 miles, mostly just lane striping.

    Today on foot, I watched with horror as motorists on Butler Ave took the breakdown lane at the traffic light, only to realize that the traffic sign mandated it to go "straight", so people in the REAL lane are forced to turn "left only". They've made 3 lanes on a street so narrow it should be one lane, one way. This is plainly irresponsible.

  • Aug 28, 2008 at 4:58 am

    I’m no advocate. I’m an activist.

    Perhaps I should both denounce and reject my advocacy stance in favor of activism then? Sorry, I couldn't resist… in my mind they are the same. I guess I'd be an activist by your definition then; I've written letters, not thousands though.

    Personally, I'm currently saving my energy for when sharrows become official. I think they are the most practical marker for our area.

  • Barry
    Aug 29, 2008 at 12:55 pm


    you say above that bike paths are "foci of crime." A frequent user, I was totally unaware of that. If you have statistics to justify this, please share them so we can communicate concerns to the appropriate police departments. If you do not have statistics to jsutify this, I think it is a completely irresponsible charge that deters the spread of bicycling interest, and undermines support for bicycling just when we need it badly to keep pro-bike programs going in face of RIDOT's financial problems (not caused by bicyclists)

  • Aug 29, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Yeah, I stand by that. Get your own statistics. After being beaten by baseball bats myself, I've gathered a lot of interesting anecdotes about the West Bay path, many of them from policemen. They found a girl dead on Blackstone bikeway recently, too. And the Northwest Trail is a haven for junkies. I even witnessed them shooting up under the Glenbridge overpass. Friends I know were assaulted there, too. I was nearly assaulted 3 times on the EBBP, although I rode too fast for those in cars and on foot to catch. I know what I've seen and suffered. Don't bother, Barry. I've already made all those police reports, and the situation is still deteriorating. Nights rides are out.

    I'm probably RI's biggest supporter of bikeways. I'm not saying they shouldn't build more, and rethink the roads that lead to them, AND do what they're supposed to by law alongside all roads 23' wide, that is, accommodate bicycling. But they should patrol and sweep bike paths better .When are they going to put lights where needed? You're taking your life in your hands these days. If many people used these facilities all year, crime would be deterred. But I'm not using them anymore.

    RIDOT won't prioritize cycling. I rode with their intermodal chief, pointed out defects, he even took pictures and promised action. That was in June. Since then? Nothing. I don't know how often I have to repeat myself. You can't get them to be lawful without dragging them before a judge. Complete irresponsibility rests with the TAC and state officials, not me. They'll find any excuse not to do what's required of them.

    Remember, bike funding is supposed to be SEPARATE from automotive.

  • Sep 2, 2008 at 6:32 am


    I'm sorry to hear about your unfortunate events on the bike paths. My experience is completely the opposite. I've been riding the EBBP on an almost daily basis during the late hours on the off season. Once we get towards the later part of the year and I'm riding home in the dark, I tend to ride the bike path. I find it pretty deserted most evenings and, knock on wood, have yet to experience any sort of incident. Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself here!

    My biggest complaint… I wish other nighttime users would use a light or at least wear something reflective. I can't tell you how many times I've barely seen someone in time. I've gone to running LOTS of light, which naturally garners complaints from some people, but I refuse to put myself and others at risk of a collision.

  • Sep 2, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Muggers definitely prefer warm weather. You can go many dangerous places in the dead of winter and nobody bothers you. But days are short, and night always presents extra difficulties. I use Light&Motion plasma, the brightest headlight available, flashers, reflectors AND reflective clothing. It just makes you a lot more visible to muggers. Sneaking around in the dark or moonlight might have merit. I have flicked off lights on purpose.

    I get into such details this in my book, but suffice to say, you always have to pick your times and venues. A quiet side road one season might suddenly become a dog infested bike trap the next. Every year I hold a group ride early Thanksgiving morning throughout Warwick, right by PVD Airport on deadly Post Road, because there is absolutely no traffic, so everywhere there's pavement is totally available for exploration… and you develop a good appetite for later feasting! I prefer to ride alone, few hassles, but am willing to lead a posse just to prove this point.

  • Nov 19, 2008 at 10:05 am

    You are welcome to contact and join me early on Thanksgiving morning, as I ply all the streets you wouldn't dare ride on during the rest of the year. By 11:00 AM, I'm home, because I'm needed and traffic begins to pick up. Or, I encourage you to do the same from your own tangent.