RIDOT updates bike program outlook



RIDOT updates bike program outlook

At our meeting yesterday with RIDOT Director Mike Lewis, the agency (thanks to Steve Church) handed out a bikepath update sheet including the following info on what projects might move ahead:

to be advertised for bids in spring 2011:

signed on-road bike route thru Pawtucket connecting the Blackstone path to Providence (3 miles) and segments 3B of that bikepath in Cumberland (1 mile) , and 8A and 8B in Woonsocket (3.5 miles total) all the way to the MA line;

east end of trestle trail in Coventry (4.8 miles) The west end will be bid in 2012 (5.2 miles) The DOT indicated there are $15.65 million left in earmarked funds or this peoject;
the Redman linear park on the Washington Bridge;

summer 2011:
.85 mile extension of the 10 Mile River Greenway in Pawtucket ($3.75 million earmark left for this)

Projects listed but not yet scheduled::
Colt Park bikeways, Bristol ($2.5 million earmark left for this;)

south county bike path spurs, So. Kingstown;

Woonasquatucket bikeway extensions ($12.5 million earmark left;)

Aquidneck, Tiverton bikeways;

Jamestown Bridge access;

Warwick/Ea Greenwich bike network.

The Director indicated he hoped to spend the earmarks before they are lost but there could be problerms with not enough money left, community lack of consensus, or environmental permitting. While in general, earmarks are not a good planning tool, if that system continues RIDOT is likely to include the Blackstone bikeway in their earmark request. RIbike is invited to suggest their priorities.

Mr Lewis indcated that prospects for a new federal Highway bill are highly uncertain, but the continuing resolutions that extend the current law work out OK for Rhode Island.

9 thoughts on - RIDOT updates bike program outlook

  • Reply Nov 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Nothing in "rogram" about the Apponaug Circular bike access, Hoxie bypass (which is already on Warwick's Transportation Plan), Providence-Worcester RR rights-of-way that slashes along Cranston-Warwick Line from Fay Field to Pontiac Mill (owned by state), or Rts 116 and 146 Interchange in Lincoln (where they removed a critically important bridge at Conklin Limestone). The latter needs several adaptations to move it closer to some semblance of complete streets; at least on the East side of it, you can ride Great Road to 116, then River Road, but from West side you can't ride to Reservoir Road, Ironmine Hill or Sayles Hill.

    Warwick is such a mess of noncompliance it's hard to say where to start. How about a bike lane from Pontiac Mill to WSBP? A spur from WSBP at East Avenue to CCRI and Tollgate campuses is long overdue. Linkage along length of West Shore Road instead of shoulder winking out from Oakland Beach to East Avenue might be nice, too.

  • Reply Nov 24, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Path this path that. When are we going to actually build lanes?

  • Barry
    Reply Nov 26, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Victor, where do you think there should be "lanes?"

    By the way, RIDOT has modified the above schedule a bit. Apparently the Coventry Greenway extensions on the Trestle Trail are being delayed a year, the east section projected advertising date is put off to 2012, the west section to 2013. A concern might be that the earmarked funds for this might be taken back by the new Congress.

    However, some possible exrensions totalling 1.2 miles of the Woonasquatucket Greenway are possible in 2011.

    The RIDOT bike web-site has pretty good information on all this at http://www.dot.ri.gov/bikeri This includes quite detailed info on the Colt State Park bike improements

  • Victor Martelle
    Reply Nov 26, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Lanes should be on every street, just like car lanes. We are vehicles, how come we're not being treated the same way?

  • Labann
    Reply Nov 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm


    If you ever see the western segments of Coventry Greenway in our lifetime it will be a miracle. I'd be satisfied with a paved street out to RT 117 after Suburban Propane, minimally at Acres of Pine Rd., better Hill Farm Rd. Once they complete this short link, you could use Rt. 117 all the way to Oneco, CT without difficulty from rare traffic.


    Bicycles are not vehicles any more than roller skates or sweat suits, more something you wear than drive. Self propulsion is basic motility akin to walking. But fed/state laws say cyclists have a right to use roads, there for public to share. Anything less is tyranny. The problem is that motorists think they have exclusive rights to travel lanes. Nothing can be further from the truth.

    As I repeat ad nauseum, motoring is a licensed PRIVILEGE you keep by not driving out of control and running over vulnerable users, including children, cyclists and pets. Lately, a lot of deer strikes have been injuring motorists. This is why the de facto speed limit is only 25 mph unless posted otherwise. I very seldom drive anymore, particularly when I can bike there almost as easily on what excellent infrastructure does exist… just not worth the risk.

    Bike lanes are good in cities, dedicated paths in suburbs, and signed routes in country. Cities don't usually have any available, contiguous rights-of-way, so you have to annex existing roadways and sidewalks and share their use. Ideally the roads you treat this way line up with dedicated suburban paths, so there's a direct flow of self propelled traffic. The object of signed rural roads with wide shoulders is to collect sparse cyclists into bikenet or connect end points between states.

    RIDOT should be acting with all haste towards an unbroken statewide bicycle network. As the smallest state in the nation, we should have installed that a a decade ago. With RI ridership up 22% according to the latest CENSUS, lapses in the bikenet are increasingly problematic. These lapses are easily identified by simple studying "The Guide to Cycling in the Ocean State" and noting where blue or red ends. The hard part is dealing with highways, RRs and topographical features, like airport, bay, coves, hills, industrial sites, ponds, rivers and swamps, which form barriers. However, the latest segment in Coventry easily dealt with half of those issues because it was built on rail bed constructed over a century ago by smart civil engineers.

    But I hear your frustration. Bike lanes are just paint and require few resources compared to bike paths.

  • Victor Martelle
    Reply Nov 27, 2010 at 9:07 am

    In my opinion, bicycles are "vehicles." Roller skates are "vehicles." Running is a "vehicle." Just because we don't pump out pollutants doesn't make us any less than a car. We all pay taxes for the roads.

    State law in america is terrible, plain and simple. They say we have the "right to the road" but they make us stay all the way toward the left. How do I make a right turn?

    RI is still in this mindset that bikes are only recreation, therefor they only make recreational things (bike paths).

  • Labann
    Reply Nov 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Vehicular cyclists want bikes to be vehicles because they fear being excluded from the roadways. Well, they are not, really, and they've already excluded pedicyclists from fully 25% of public byways, esp. bridges, highways and interstates, yet regulate cyclists like motorists, even worse, 16 additional statutes above and beyond. It's tyranny, pure and simple.

    But RIDOT and TAC don't accommodate bicyclists like motorists. According to law, wherever they shut down access to pedicyclists, they're supposed to supply an alternative route. Up to now, they've relied on RIPTA to bridge these oversights. No self respecting cyclist wants to sit and wait for days or hours for a rack-n-ride to cross 5 minutes of bridge or go miles out his/her way to resume to destination.

    Are you aware that you can see Newport from North Kingstown, only a few minutes away by motor, but to legally bike there the detour is 75 miles through Providence? Not saying they should allow cycling over Newport Bridge, but where's the alternative? Ferry is seasonal. A cable car could be suspended below for a real alternative and unique tourist attraction. Jamestown Bridge was built with FWHA funds that specified bike accommodations like the CT River I-95 bridge, enclosed on one side. Plans are in the works, for Jamestown and Sakonnet, although the Mt. Hope is more intimidating than both and is now bike legal.

  • Victor
    Reply Nov 29, 2010 at 11:13 am

    They should simply allow bikes on the bridge. Again, a seperated and safe bike lane can be put on the highways, or any bridge to fix that problem.

    Bikes are vehicles, (and their usually faster in the cities).

    Walking is a form of transportation, so that should NEVER be left out. Sidewalks and crosswalks should be everywhere, and never to be shut down.

    RIDOT sucks to put it nicely. They say "We try to acomidate all modes of transportation" but if you see how poor our streets are compared to other cities, we are so behind.

  • Bruce Smith
    Reply Feb 26, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Warwick is such a large number of disobedience it's exhausting to mention wherever to begin. however a couple of bike lane from Pontiac Mill to WSBP? A spur from WSBP at East Avenue to CCRI and gate campuses is long delinquent. Linkage on length of West Shore Road rather than shoulder winking out from city Beach to East Avenue could be nice, too.

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