Prioritizing bike projects in RI TIP



Prioritizing bike projects in RI TIP

Despite the negative campaign rhetoric, the “stimulus” program actually provided about $160 million to RIDOT which not only provided jobs to construction workers, it helped RIDOT catch up a bit on Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)projects so much that is there is room in the remaining 2 years of the TIP to add some approved projects that had been deferred for the “future” after 2012.

For bicycling, this means we can consider actually funding some “future” projects in 2011-2012:

  • Blackstone Bikeway segments 3A, 3B (Pawtucket-C Falls, Cumberland) and segment 8 (Woonsocket-No Smithfield)
  • Warwick bike system
  • East Greenwich Bike system
  • East Bay Bike Path repairs

Total cost: about $22.5 million, so we need to prioritize.

In addition, the TIP calls for Jamestown bridge bike access ($3.75 million) in the “future.” How does this compare in priority?

Finally, we may be able to move some bike projects now in “study and development” into the TIP after 2012, possibilities incude projects on a Northwest Bikeway, a Shoreline Bikeway in Charlestown, South Elmwood and Pontiac Branch projects in Cranston, the Hope Spur in Coventry, and bikeways in Tiverton and Jamestown. They all have feasibility studies completed but need to be prioritized for possible TIP inclusion.

The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) is considering forming a bike advisory subcommittee to help prioritize all this. Several of us commented that we should emphasize connectivity of the system. But the whole bike community should help.

Remember these are capital, not maintenance, projects that use capital investment funds.

Also note there is still “earmark” money left for Colt Park bike improvements, the Trestle Trail (Coventry,) the Ten Mile River Greenway (Pawtucket/East Providence,) the South County Bike Path (Narragansett) and the Woonasquatucket Greenway (Providence, Johnston)

For more info feel free to e-mail me at


  • MattyCiii
    Sep 29, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Place highest priority on projects that will serve the most people. Projects where the concentration of people and traffic are high.

  • Ken
    Oct 1, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I think that makes sense. My perspective is a bit different, but likely leads to the same conclusion: Prioritize projects where the investment is likely to put bicycle infrastructure over a critical-mass hump, enough to generate greater interest and use. That could be the driving force behing additional improvements.

    Based on that standard, I'd put the following at the head of the list:

    – Blackstone Bikeway segments

    – Washington Bridge

    – Eventual connection of Blackstone & EB path


  • Labann
    Oct 2, 2010 at 4:39 am

    As I've been saying for 12 years, highest priorities remain:

    1. Bikeways and/or lanes through Pawtucket-Providence from Blackstone to EBBP, Northwest Trail, and WSBP. There are plenty of opportunities for dedicated stretches combined with on-street. But would Providence maintain them? Plus repairing Bold Point to India Point RR bridge would cost 1/50 of George Washington "linear park", already long overdue and stalled.

    2. Bypasses for Apponaug, Greenwood and Hoxie 4 corners. Warwick has special needs with airport, coves, highways, malls, ponds, and railroads, but also plenty of opportunities for bike infrastructure leading to a slew of schools, stores and whatnot. I'm wondering how you're going to safely ride to new train station.

    3. You can already "safely" ride in rest of state, except Aquidneck Island is practically shut off without access on Jamestown, Newport and Sakonnet bridges. Downtown Newport would be greatly improved with a single bikeway along harbor.

    Until these necessities are addressed, I won't support a mile of recreational suburban token bikewayism.

  • Oct 2, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Warwick is where you will get bang for the buck. Something has to be done about all those square miles where it is utterly impossible to travel by bicycle.

    Here is a test to apply before you build any more "recreational suburban token bikeways" – If the bikeway needs a parking lot, then you need to be working on the connectivity and bikeabilty of the area instead.

  • Ken
    Oct 4, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I agree with Andrew's acid test for prioritization. Connectivity is key to building critical mass.

    But, I think application of that test makes a stronger case for completing RI's Blackstone segments and connecting (path or lanes) Blackstone to EBBP.

  • Matt
    Oct 4, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Labann and Andreew are right. Of the 5 (very heavily travelled) roads surrounding the airport, only one has any senblance of bike friendliness. Anyone who wants to get from one corner of the airport to the other certainly can't cut through (can they?). Nor can they take the shortest path around the perimeter, since Warwick Ave, Main Ave, Post Road and Airport Roads are all cycle death traps. It's a heavily populated area with just about zero cycle transportation support.

  • Labann
    Oct 6, 2010 at 5:07 am

    At the risk of repeating myself [oh, yeah, doesn't matter because they wipe this chalkboard clean every week], spoke to Mayor Avedisian as to why Warwick doesn't support bicycling, or, for that matter, walking.

    Sidewalks are nonexistent because they were trying to "maintain the rural quality" of RI's largest, most densely populated CITY. Hasn't that ship sailed? Time to get with the 21st Century.

    Bike lanes don't exist, although they have some signed routes adjacent to and along West Shore Road in sections with adequate shoulders. That makes a long detour that not quite useable, since it's broken from East Ave to Oakland Beach Ave. One might argue that you could use side streets from Buttonwoods to Strawberry Field, then take Sandy Lane if you don't might further detours.

    I advance warned RIDOT and was advised wrongly that Lambert Lind (Rt 5) would be striped. It was the last N-S transit parallel to bike banning Rt's 1, 2 and Warwick Ave. No plan for new Apponaug circulator, I've seen several, has anything close to a bike-ped friendly transit, which is unfortunate given Post Rd South of Apponaug has always been a major cycling thoroughfare.

    When you bring such info up, though, they tend to rush and remove access, as they did on Reservoir Avenue and are doing on Elmwood Ave.