Gubernatorial Statement – Caprio



Gubernatorial Statement – Caprio

We reached out to all the potential gubernatorial candidates and ask them for a policy statement on bike issues.  The first response we have received is from Frank Caprio.  RIBike, the organization, does not intend to throw its support behind any particular candidate.  Our aim is to gather information and foster communication, so each of us can be better informed.

Here is Frank Caprio’s response:

Dear Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition

Thank you for reaching out to my campaign. I share the sentiments of the RI Bike Coalition’s mission “to promote and enable bicycling as a healthy,  enjoyable, efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation” and welcome the opportunity to earn your support.

As Governor, I will work to improve safety for cyclists in our state.  That starts with encouraging safer driving habits.  The recent texting-while-driving ban is a strong step in the right direction.  While we need to respond to new sources of driver distraction, it is equally important that we diligently enforce our existing traffic laws.  Drivers who neglect to use turn signals, for example, are endangering the lives of other drivers and cyclists alike.  I saw one study that ranked Providence near the bottom of major cities in terms of safe driving.  There is clearly a great deal of room for improvement, and as Governor I will work to make our roads safer.

I recently posted the ‘Caprio Clean Energy Plan’ to my campaign website.  I  encourage you to visit my site and review these proposals.  The plan seeks to promote the development of a clean energy economy in Rhode Island so we can cut our state’s carbon footprint while creating jobs and generating economic growth.  Air quality is an important concern for cyclists and as Governor I will work to promote the use of electric vehicles.  With our small geographic area and high population density, Rhode Island is ideally suited to electric vehicles, which would greatly improve air quality for cyclists.

Thank you for extending this invitation to offer my thoughts on bicycle issues. I look forward to earning your support.


Frank Caprio
Democratic candidate for Governor

His campaign website can be found at


  • Alan Barta
    Oct 13, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Hurray. Kudos for your effort to get commitments from candidates.

    Now you see why I am actively campaigning for fiscally responsible treasurer Frank Caprio's election.

    Furthermore, you must question many of the cities and towns with their anti-cycling attitudes. I recently received a summons to appear in court for temporarily carrying a bicycle rack on my motor vehicle. Surprised me, since it's been off and on same vehicle for 12 years and was professionally installed by an LBS.

  • Eric
    Oct 13, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Was it fiscally responsible of Caprio to channel a large state grant to his child's private school? Details here:

    Just reading about Caprio makes me wonder if RI business-as-usual political BS will EVER stop.

  • Bill Lewis
    Oct 13, 2010 at 5:39 am

    I have been keeping up with the election since the candidates started up and my impression is that Mr. Caprio says what you want to hear.

    While that is one way to win people over it smacks of someone not getting the truth. It remains to be seen what will transpire.

    I wonder if there will be any funds left for improving bike/ped infrastructure after the new year.

  • Pete
    Oct 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    My main needs as a cyclist do not include cleaner air. Caprio's clean energy plan is about keeping money in state for green energy. I applaud that goal, but it has nothing to do with my needs as a cyclist.

    Safer driving from those big metal boxes is always a huge need for any cyclist, but Caprio's response about making our roads safer is neither defined or directed; absent of any details it seems like a lot of hot air. I don't expect "Governor Caprio" will make my commute any safer.

    Mostly his response doesn't even address my concerns, leading me to wonder if he knows what a cycling friendly position is.

  • Labann
    Oct 14, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Which is to say, Pete, you question the RI Bicycle Coalition's mission statement, which Caprio merely repeated. Fair enough. Cleaner air seems worthwhile to me, especially after trailing busses to pass on a bike.

    Will always disagree with generalities; the devil is in the details. It's like vehicular cyclists who raved for years about how bicycles are vehicles with the intention of forestalling their removal from streets. In RI, 25% of roads already ban biking and walking. Now lawmakers insist cyclists follow traffic laws, which were intended to protect you from motorists, not restrict self propelling, which is hard enough. Welcome to the law of unintended consequences. Motor vehicles are labor saving devices. But their power turns drivers into competitive monsters who can't distinguish between cyclists and other motorists.

    Still waiting to hear of the media campaign to convince them not to blare horns and pass within 3 feet, because that happened to me several times yesterday while hugging the curb, which I seldom do except on the most cycling challenging stretches, like Mineral Spring Avenue. There's no convenient/safe route from Centerdale to Marieville for cyclists; this is a bikenet lapse of the first order, but one among many.

  • Pete
    Oct 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Which is to say, Labann, that I do not question the RI Bicycle Coalition's mission statement, which Caprio merely repeated. He repeated it in quotes and invited those who support it to hitch their wagon to his star. I read that as pre-text, "Dear Sirs and Madams …." if you will … not as content.

    Of course there is no content. The subsequent points in his response are not relevant or pertinent. On this you and I seem to agree. (huffin' bus vapors aside. I'd say there's plenty of oxygen left for me to ride comfortably- I'm not wheezing towards clean air do-or-die yet.)

    Still, your points are topical and directed. His are not.

    He doesn't seem to be listening, just smiling and talking.

  • Labann
    Oct 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    After 47 years of cycling and 12 in advocacy, there seems to be few citizens and many politicians listening. As I've been told, you need a grassroots majority to agree, then anything is possible.

    Exactly what do bicyclists want from them? More bikeways? I don't even use them much. Surely, they'll cater to non-cyclists first, anyway. Expect sloppy seconds at best. Nationally, they spend $200,000 on motoring for every $1 on cycling.

    I'm in favor of making transitions from bikeways to roadways safe, and repairing the infrastructure black hole between bikeways which is Providence. But some outlying projects make sense, like continuing the Coventry Greenway through to Hill Farm Road, at least; can't have bikeway end in the middle of nowhere. A traffic sign or signal at crossings of Brookside and West Natick might be helpful, too, and I don't mean on bikeway, but for motorists to stop; if they insist on taking shortcuts, they should be inconvenienced, not cyclists, who are ON THEIR OWN HIGHWAY. I mean, really, you don't see stop signs on I-95, do you? You can't even cross interstates on a bike much, either. They'd never dream of putting low impact, non-polluting transportation first. No, instead capitulate to the insatiable stink pot killer.

    Newport and Sakonnet bridges and downtown Newport need bike accommodations. Warwick in its entirety meets no federal or state mandates for complete streets, some ADA compliance, as well.

  • Bill Lewis
    Oct 17, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Jeez here we go again. There is nothing wrong with Newport it is a great place to ride and if anyone tries to put in "bicycle accomidations" I will fight them. Keep your damn door-zone bike lanes up state. As far as the new bridge is concerned it will have bike/ped access. And I think Caprio is a dirty trickster using his daddy like a guido son does.

  • Labann
    Oct 17, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Bill is a vocal minority. It's a strange truth that screaming know-nothings tend to get their way at the expense of the hard-working majority. Newport violates every FHWA, RIDOT, state law, and USDOT mandate for bike accommodations. A class action suit and court ordered fines are not far off. Lay in front of the paint machine and get a stripe across your forehead.

    Newport notoriously caters to motorists for the sake of tourism dollars, when they should be making it a lot easier for cyclists and walkers, who'd actually visit the failing dinky shops to make purchases instead of drive by because there's no parking.