Jamestown Bridge to Open for 10K!



Jamestown Bridge to Open for 10K!

For the first time ever, on Saturday April 23rd, 2011 the Jamestown Bridge will be open to non-motorized traffic.  According to an Active.com registration page:

For the first time ever, The Jametown Bridge is being opened for this Historical 10K Road Race. Don’t miss the opportuunity of a lifetime to run across one of Rhode Islands most spectacular landmarks.

Who will be the first to offer up a ride which allows cyclists to cross both the Jamestown and Newport bridges?

UPDATE:  I’ve heard from a few cyclists now that this is not a first.  There used to be an NBW ride which made it’s way across the bridge and a recent MS150 was granted access as well.  What would it take to give permanent access?


  • Anj
    Dec 22, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Stiff entry fee for a 10K. Maybe to pay for the bridge opening?

  • Dec 22, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for setting the record straight guys. The way they were selling this piece, I thought it had never been done before. I guess I was just asleep at the handlebars during those previous events.

    It sure sounds like a convenience being able to claim homeland security as a reason to restrict access to the bridge. This American refuses to live in fear, I sure wish the country as a whole would get a backbone.

  • MattM
    Dec 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Homeland Security issues? Really? Okay, time to retreat into my cave and never come out again.

    Thanks for the link though, good to know what’s been done before when working on just such a project. As a RI newbie, (3years), had never heard of that ride. I heard that MS150 went over Jamestown and Pell bridges a few years ago as well.

  • Labann
    Dec 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Ridden over Jamestown Bridge dozens of time, both old and new, but not since they made it virtually impossible to exit onto Plum Point Road, which was specifically aimed at denying bicyclists.

  • Labann
    Dec 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    BTW: I-95 over the Connecticut River has a two-way ENCLOSED BIKEWAY on its North Side. This was promised for a decade, a requirement for federal funding, but never materialized.

  • bgeorge
    Dec 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    An annual Bridge Day when two lanes of the Pell Bridge are open to pedestrians and bicycles would be a great start to a more frequent occurrence. Does anyone know if such has been tried?

  • Dec 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Am I incorrect in remembering there were promises made when the new Jamestown bridge was being designed that there would be accommodations for bicycles? If so, does anyone have documentation to back this up?

  • Bill Lewis
    Dec 22, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    The Jamestown Bridge is closed to peds and cyclists in part because of the NIMBY rich folks in Saunderstown and their fight to keep "those smelly commoner fishermen" out of their wealthy enclave. We are just innocent bystanders. I have also walked across the bridge in the past. The walks are wide enough for bikes.

    The Newport bridge expansion joints need to be covered with plywood to allow for bicycle tires, and it doesn't have a sidewalk suitable for passage.

  • Labann
    Dec 23, 2010 at 4:43 am

    2 perfectly suitable solutions for Newport Bridge: 1) a cable car suspended below (would be more sensible than trying to cross on surface without a vehicle and a tourist attraction), 2) Year round ferry service from Jamestown's dock to pier downtown. Complete Streets theory provides "some" accommodation, but need not be a surface lane; train cars for bikes might qualify.

    And as far as exclusivity, it isn't North Kingstown, but Jamestown, who've fought off free access for cyclists. Although North Kingstown has done nothing whatever to comply, it is still a decent venue for cycling (expect for Post Road and Quonset) compared to most other communities in RI, far better than criminal negligence of Providence, Newport, Warwick, but shy of Glocester (except for Rt 44).

  • MattM
    Dec 23, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I wouldn't call that I-95 bike lane in Connecticut (you're referring to bridge over the Mystic river @ New London?) as two-way. Having ridden over it, a few times now, I'd be ashamed to use that as template for implementing non-motorized lanes on bridges. It's better than nothing, but not much better than the current state of the Washington Bridge.

  • Labann
    Dec 23, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Did I not say I-95 at Connecticut River 80 times? I found it acceptable. Not Mystic River, although River Road alongside is a bicycling attraction.

    Never mentioned busses over Newport Bridge. They come infrequently, never on weekends, and some drivers won't confess they're going over bridge when you directly ask them, because they can't be bothered waiting for you to load your bike on those racks. Personally experienced.

    The USDOT issued a formal apology to bicyclists in 1999, almost 12 years ago, vowing to make roads accessible and safer for all non-motorized users. They promised to fund state initiatives to achieve. Then Bush was elected, and he shelved all that because his oil buddies didn't like the sound of it. Now they're back in Congress. Lahood is rewriting his resume, I suspect.

  • Bill Lewis
    Dec 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    OK where to start? You up staters don't read much news from down here. It is the the residents of Saunderstown/Plum Beach that fought the fishing pier idea for the remnant of the old bridge. The Jamestown side of the bridge isn't a problem.

    As far as RIPTA runs go weekdays Rt.14 has 9 runs from Newport and 8 runs to Newport, saturday has 4 runs each way and no sunday/holiday service. Rt.64 has on weekdays 10 runs from Newport and 12 runs to Newport. saturday has 4 runs each way and no sunday/holiday service.

    Altogther there are 19 runs from Newport and 20 to Newport on weedays and 8 runs each way on saturdays. I have never had a driver tell me I couldn't put a bike on the bus. In fact I have had drivers let me put my bike inside if the rack is full.

    And Alan there is ferry service to and from Newport in the warm months .

    The Newport bridge is a problem that will not be solved easily if ever.

  • Labann
    Dec 26, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Bill's "up-staters" reeks of the typical interbred prejudice that Islanders hold against the rest of Rhode Island. When I lived in Warwick and worked in Portsmouth, I spoke to a realtor on buying a property that I passed daily. It was a short conversation. I've never been treated so rudely before or since (and that's saying something). Just as well, because I melded into urban Providence, where there are fewer parochial attitudes, more progressive thinking, and real culture.

    No self-respecting cyclist carries a schedule and waits for a bus. Bus or train connections between cities, however, could make bike commuting to Boston or Hartford possible, much needed since there's talented people in Providence but no jobs for them. About 15% of Rhode Island's workforce already works out of state.

    Ferry service from Jamestown is moot, since you can't ride to dock, and what do you find once in Newport? No bike infrastructure anyway. Newport's lack of urban design matches the poverty of its exclusive attitudes. "Bicyclist begone" is their message, reasoning meal patrons will arrive and retail sales will be carted away in motor vehicles. They ought to be on FHWA's hit list for cycling compliance.

  • Bill Lewis
    Dec 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Well Alan, what I meant was you don't read the local papers from south county or Jamestown or Newport so you don't know what's going on. I would say you must be pretty bad off if you can't ride a bike down Main Road to Narragansett Ave in sleepy Jamestown. And any self restepting cyclist who wanted to get over the bridges has twenty chances every weekday.

    So you just stay over there in culture town where they greeted you with a baseball bat to the head at least that's what you said.

  • Labann
    Jan 3, 2011 at 4:44 am

    You can't hide from crime on Aquidneck Island unless your "bully cops" enforce laws. You have no idea what newspapers I read and who I know. My brother lives in Newport. I blame Carcieri, Ciccilini and Esserman for "culture town" crime… there are things here worth stealing, apparently, but politicians are too busy with their own agendas, like importing illegal aliens, to worry about enforcement of any crime that doesn't return revenue or votes.

    Now that you've elected your own governor in a cheesy 3-way race and 32% of vote, let's see if he's any better. He's vowed to raise your taxes, but for what purpose? I doubt it will be to balance the 2,000:1 ratio of automotive to bicycling infrastructure spending. Yes, state is bankrupt… mostly from spending almost $1 billion on I-way and Q-way, both of which violate FHWA "Complete Streets" mandates. They've ruined Allen's Avenue bikelanes, crossings of Providence and Seekonk Rivers, Davisville intersection of Devil's Foot, Old Baptist and School St. Statewide, bicyclists are losing access faster than motorists are gaining there's, so why aren't you on the bandwagon? Venture a guess… you never leave your neighborhood.

  • island porkrind
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:34 am

    I used to ride the RIPTA bus across the bridges with my bike 2-3x a week to commute to Providence. It is a wonderful service but you can't put a nice road bike on the bus. It would damage the bike. It's only good for street cruisers, hybrids, or just an old touring bike you don't care about. But back to the OT. Biking across the bridge… what does that have to do with a 10k run? It sounds like a first to me. When did they last have a road race across the bridges? I'm assuming it never has been done.