“Father” of the East Bay Bike Path



“Father” of the East Bay Bike Path

The people over at eco RI posted a great article about George Redman that reminds us all that

Those who enjoy the East Bay Bike Path have Redman to thank for the 14.5-mile, unobstructed path that takes them through historic towns and picturesque hamlets, past beautiful homes and quaint shopping districts, along coves and marshes, over bridges and into state parks, from Providence to Bristol.

Of particular interest to me is the statement that

Next year, Rhode Island will dedicate a section of the bike path in Providence in honor of Redman, changing its name from the Washington Bridge Linear Park to the George Redman Linear Park, in recognition of the man who many consider to be the “father” of the East Bay Bike Path.

I wonder if RIDOT knows they should have the work complete by the dedication?  I’m still waiting to hear back from the RIDOT planners, but I find it hard to believe they will have the new linear park in place in time for a dedication anytime next year.

My hat is off to you George Redman!  I sure hope I will be able to continue to swing the bicycle advocacy flag when I’m 85 years old!

3 thoughts on - “Father” of the East Bay Bike Path

  • Bruce Masterson
    Reply Nov 6, 2009 at 7:49 am

    George is a true gentleman.

    I have enjoyed every moment I've spent in his company.

  • Barry
    Reply Nov 6, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I agree with Bruce. George is an inspiration, both for his personal contribution and what it shows about the power of citizen advocacy when reasoned and persistent, even in the face considerable oppostion from influential forces including some key elected officials.

    As I recall when the big-shots had the gorundbreaking for the path opening, they didn't even think of inviting him to attend. So it is great that he is getting the recognition for this while still alive – I attended the legislative hearing that named the linear park for George and was gratified that so many East Bay legislators said so many kind words about him.

    Bicyclists that appreciate the bike paths should also remember others that helped significantly to make them possible even if not as well known. George Sisson was the other "George" that was a key public advocate, unfortunately now deceased, as is Tommy Byrnes, a Bristol Representative that was the rare elected official in support. The East Bay path also had a key ally in RIDOT engineering – Joe Arruda was such a hero (I say even though I had disagreed with him about the building of I-84 thru the watershed); The NBW's Ray Alexander played a role similar to George in Cranston (unfortunately for us, he moved south) and those who like the West Bay path also should always be thanking Governor Lincoln Almond (and his aide Sam Reid) who moved that previously dormant project ahead.

    Where such people do not emerge (e.g. Smithfield) we don't make much progress on bike paths.

  • Dennis
    Reply Nov 7, 2009 at 7:30 am

    During the recent Rails to Trails award in Bristol the politicians busily thanked each other, recognized each other, patted each other on the back. One person recognized Mr Redman sitting in the back row. And I don't think Mr. Redman was a bit surprised.

    We had been talking for about 45 min as we waited for the ceremony and it took me about 30 min to realize that this was THE George Redman (when he told me that they were naming the linear park after him). I'm lucky to have spent a few minutes talking to him. That meeting might was one of the highlights of the year.

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