George Redman to be Honored



George Redman to be Honored

A commemorative event for renaming the Washington Bridge, The George Redman Linear Park is getting better all the time. We have confirmed that the event will be November 29th, 2 pm at the State Room of the State House.  You should start to see flyers for this event in the near future.  In the mean time, please spread the word about this event.

For those who don’t know George Redman, you should.  He is considered the “father” of the East Bay Bike Path.  Without his never-ending advocacy, it’s likely the EBBP may never have become a reality.  It would be great to gather a large cycling audience at this event to honor someone who’s work has had a major impact on cycling in RI.

8 thoughts on - George Redman to be Honored

  • Chris
    Reply Oct 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I've been trumpeting this elsewhere too so I'll be brief here: WHY OH WHY are we calling something a "linear park" when it'll really just be a pathway immediately next to a very loud, very high traffic highway? Do you really believe people will want to spend time there?

  • Labann
    Reply Oct 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm


    No offense to George Redman, who's a cyclist's hero and sweet guy, they should have instead fixed the RR bridge between Bold and india Points. Would've a) been more scenic, b) connected 2 actual parks, c) cost a small fraction, d) saved lungs from toxic exhaust and walls from graffiti, e) served cyclists better than having to climb high above river coming and going, and f) still have been dedicated to George without competition from Washington. The millions would be better spent expanding marina adjacent to Bold Point as part of the bridge repairs. Some might say this would restrict commercial navigation of Seekonk River, of which there's hardly any, but part of span could be made to open on demand. Alternatively, a bike-ped ferry. This is something they could easily try out during the impending closure.

  • barry
    Reply Oct 31, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I'm still glad the state is honoring George, even though its less than ideal. Indeed

    Labann makes good points, and there are actually 2 missed opportunities in the area.

    I had asked about using the old railroad bridge but was told the Army Corps wouldn't allow it. I should have followed up to see if this was really true.

    We also could have tried harder to extend the East Bay path northward along the abandoned railroad track and ultimately connect in Pawtucket with the Blackstone bikeway along the east side of the Seekonk River. But East Providence seemed little interested and the rail line has already been partially paved over for a road.

    Its too bad we have no bike facilities on either side of the Seekonk.

  • Reply Nov 2, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Everything we do involves compromise on some level. I choose to look for the positive in any outcome and focus my attention that this. The linear park will be a huge improvement over what we currently have. Is it ideal, no. Will it be a success, absolutely. I ride over the existing pedestrian crosswalk all the time and during the nice weather I do stop and enjoy the view. Would it be better if there weren't traffic noise, sure, but it's still a nice view and I can pretty much block out the traffic noise as it is almost white noise when traffic is busy. I particularly enjoy it when the Brown crew teams are out practicing, it's great to see those boats in action. I do actually believe that people will hang out and enjoy the view. Will they make it a destination, no. But will having a nice crossing increase the traffic over the bridge, quite possibly. If it increases the number of people who walk/ride from Providence to the EBBP rather than get in their cars, then I think it's a success.

    If you have ideas about how things can be made better for cyclists in the state, then step up and join us. Come to one of our monthly meetings. Work with us when we put a call for help. This group is all volunteer run and we can always use more.

  • Labann
    Reply Nov 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    So, what you're suggesting is show up or shut up? Showing up means to select outfit, shave, shower, sit in some hideous vehicle for a duration belching noxious fumes, surreptitiously park in such a way to avoid the dreaded Providence parking piracy patrol, then waste all soap that to be ignored in a popularity contest right out of high school. Worth it?

    Repeatedly offered all sorts of groundwork, ideas, even recorded observations of state violations of federal statutes and stretches of inimical roadnet. Nobody's remotely interested. Yet lately I commute by bike through what might be the most inimical intersection for cycling in all of New England, Warwick's East Avenue and RI-2, which is 8 lane hell 1 block from W.S.B.P, never knowing which phalanx of motorists will charge through randomly rotating lights, worse than even Hoxie, and that's insanely bad. At least there's a tiny refuge you can tuck into midway on highest speed segment, although you have 2 entrances to deal with Eastbound.

    How about doing something about just that? "They never expected to see a bicyclist there…" Well, get used to it. Why should I go 3 miles out of my way to approach same intersection from another angle? There's no other way to get to where I'm going. Who are they kidding?

  • Reply Nov 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    So, what you’re suggesting is show up or shut up?

    I can only speak for myself, but I always listen to respectful comments whether they be in agreement or disagreement with what I believe. This is true whether it's in person or on the web.

    Your current commute sounds like an area that certainly needs attention. This is where the step up part comes into play. Pitch the idea, propose a solution, start writing letters, setting up meetings with state and local government officials, gather public support, etc. It's one thing to go around and point out areas that are unfriendly to bikes, it's another to put in the countless hours to do something about it. You have to go in with realistic expectations though. People aren't going to just sit back, accept what you say as gospel and sink tons of money into projects to make conditions better. The reality is, you need to play by their rules, convince them that for little or no additional money they can make things significantly better and to aggressively go after projects that are in the planning stages. If you let the project get too far along, you'll never get the changes you would want. It takes a long time and it's thankless work.

    I can only guarantee a few things:

    if all you do is point out failures with existing roads, you'll never gain any traction. It's too little, too late. Local and state governments don't have the facilities to track all input from people, you need to time your input appropriately.

    if all you do is attack and berate officials, you'll never get anything done. They have all the power, you need to convince them there is economic value and/or popular support for what you suggest.

    if you are completely unwilling to compromise, you'll never get anything done

  • Labann
    Reply Nov 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Steamroll. Do you know what this word means. They steamroll over anything in their way, including people. Been pointing out planning flaws for decades way before construction phase, illegal stuff they routinely do. Nobody listens. Public seems okay that it took RIDOT 14 YEARS to repave RI-10 – only 4 miles of highway – and it's no better than in 1952 and still prohibits bicycling. Contacted RIDOT on the Apponaug redirect over 3 years ago. There's nothing in those plans that will ease cycling from Post Road, one of the few signed bike routes in state, to sidestreets elsewhere. In fact, after a huge stink about inadequate shoulders on Greenwich Avenue, they repaved it and eliminated shoulders altogether.

    So, you're right. If all one does is complain, they'll perversely exacerbate cyclists' problems. But you're also wrong, because they have no power whatever. Citizens united can pull their rug out, recall crooked politicians, and use the press to set straight these so-called public servants whose egos are boundless only because nobody says anything. There's no compromising to be done. They must follow federal and state law. Period. And that means ADA compliant sidewalks, bike lanes and/or paths, equal accommodations, and no restriction to cycling because of highways, parking, railroads, or such motoring specific developments.

    There's a seldom used entrance ramp to W.S.B.P. a few blocks South of East Avenue, in Warwick. The reason hardly anyone uses it is because there's no crosswalk on RI-2. You have to make a kamikazee run not only across 2 lanes of high speed traffic, but head-on for 2 blocks in the left edge until light turns behind and vehicles slow to a crawl, then squeeze between moving cars to enter street with ramp. If motor roadnet was similarly designed, they'd lynch someone, at minimum fire whoever did it.

    Why waste time typing? a) Nobody cares, and b) Your agenda focuses on what bicyclist do wrong, when roadnet design purposefully makes it hard to bike around RI and thus instigates situations. You can't even bike to certain towns without leaving RI first, because there's no way to bike across bay. The bad actor is always the motorist, who equates cyclists to squirrels or traffic cones and respects speed bumps more.

  • barry
    Reply Dec 3, 2011 at 6:26 am

    I just want to report on the original idea of the post which was about honoring George Redman. That event came off just great. Governor Chafee, Directors Mike Lewis from DOT and Janet Coit from DEM, and George's son all spoke for George who clearly appreciated the effort. Bob Votava who arranged much of the event and who served as MC deserves much thanks for his efforts, and he used the opportunity to note George's interest in re-establishing the State Greenways Council and more. The successful "Walkway across the Hudson" reuse of an old bridge for bikes/pedestrians in Poughkeepsie NY was noted too and perhaps can serve as a model.

    There was also an opportunity to network afterward with George's family, state officials, and reps from the Ribike Coalition, NBW, Recycle a Bike, and several bike shops. I think the whole event advanced the cause of bicycling. Congratulations again George!

Leave a Reply