14Nov2011 RIBike Meeting Minutes



14Nov2011 RIBike Meeting Minutes

RIBike Advocacy Meeting 14Nov2011 Brown Library Call to order 6:03pm Adjourn at 7pm
Present: Matt, Betty, Dick Leo, Eric, Barry, Absent: Mark, Sue Guest: Cameron Moquin

General Meeting
Brief Officer and Committee heads report
President: Matt Moritz Report: Attended Elmwood Neighborhood Association Meeting on Saturday 12Nov11. They are looking for Improved Road crossing safety around the Knight Library, the community center and the Buckland Park area issue with RIDOT Report from RIDOT addresses this area, road safety assessments done. Question: could there be bike lanes? Requested feasibility of bike lanes: would have to eliminate parking lanes, no bike lanes…will add sharrows. City of Pro planning not engaged.
Very little bike traffic on Elmwood Avenue. Just local bike riders. Letter of support to Elmwood neighborhood to develop Elmwood Avenue to become more bike friendly, perhaps a city bike route.

Legislative: Barry: TIP development, 3.5 million/year for bike program: need priorities: Barry and Sue are on priority setting Committee. Concern about Tiverton project. Barry will send out more information
Frank’s law: before the legislature, increases penalty for vulnerable user violators,
Treasurer report: no report
Secretary: will post October and November minutes

Membership/Technology update: Mark/Matt
The web site can generate the letter and fill in a membership card
Let’s turn it on as soon as possible. Mark et al, need to talk to the rest of the bike shops to see if they are going to grant discounts.
Volunteers for contacting shops: Blackstone: Leo, EMS: Leo, REI: Matt will talk to Rita at REI
Read the letter and send Mark any suggestions, edits, changes.
Launch on Friday 18Nov2011 if possible
PayPal integration needs to be completed

Commuter Guide Update: Leo
The guide is coming together. Leo has looked at a lot of examples of guides from other states and organizations.
Bikes Belong have a very good edition: Bruno Meyer is the Bike Belongs contact. Leo will contact him
Rough draft for beginning of January
How distributed? Bike to work day, shops, PDF at our site

Light Up The Night wrap up Matt, Betty
Distributed about 85-90 lights. 10-15 lights left over. Very successful event.
RAB would love to do an event in Olneyville square.
Bike Newport will be getting ~ $500.00 worth of lights. Newport is targeting restaurant workers in their Light Up the Night campaign.

Ceremony honoring George Redman Tuesday, November 29, 2011 2pm state house. Be there if you can! Encourage others to attend.


  • MattyCiii
    Nov 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    "Very little bike traffic on Elmwood Avenue. Just local bike riders."

    Realizing this is just the minutes of what someone else has said…

    Bike lanes are the ultimate realization of "if you build it, they will come". It's been proven in NYC, and very recently in Boston. And in countless cities in Europe. Build bike lanes and people will use them – many year round. Instead what do we get on Elmwood Ave? A crappy center turn lane that drivers are to clueless to use. As a biker I'm frustrated about the wasted space. On the rare occasion I drive, I'm frustrated people (habitually) don't use them as designed. What a waste of untaxed property.

    That notwithstanding, Elmwood is a pretty goof North-South route, and is one of like what – three – bicycle accessble Pawtuxet River crossings into Warwick. That said, Prairie Ave to Broad St. is a better North-South route in my opinion and so leave Elmwood to the cars I say. There's very little bike traffic there, only local bike riders.

  • Labann
    Nov 29, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    "Leaving Elmwood to cars" is NOT AN OPTION. Elmwood is a surface artery that's greater than 23' wide, not a highway, and so is compelled under federal and state laws to accommodate both bicycling and walking. For the most part, there are ADA compliant sidewalks from Trinity Square (where Broad St takes over) to Post Road in Warwick. Where it fails is bicycling.

    In theory, a wide breakdown lane or shoulder acts satisfactorily to allow cyclists to shift out of the travel lane, where they belong, to permit motor vehicles to pass. For the most part, shoulders along the length of Elmwood are wide enough; only in certain segments are they too narrow or rough with sewer grates and such. Sharrows are only needed where lanes were badly restriped recently in violation of law. Sharrows can't be the band-aide to shoehorn in another lane for impatient drivers.

    If another road parallel were upgraded to a bicycle boulevard, say Bucklin Street, that would satisfy intent of the law, so leaving some of Elmwood to motor vehicles, but not all, so where's the advantage?

    Not many cyclcists use all of Elmwood because its shoulders aren't continuous, especially from Adelaide to Carlyle, and Park to Post. Cyclists do use the corridor from Trinity to Columbus Square, Reservoir, then either Wellington or Pontiac. In fact, from my observations, that's one of the most frequently used non-marked on-street corridors in RI. Broad and Prairie have bad reputations for gun violence, as anyone who listens to the news can attest. They veer off on another line. I prefer Eddy St from the city to Washington Square, from which I go through Roger Williams Park to compliant Park Ave.

  • MattM
    Nov 30, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Please remember when reading these, that sometimes statements are not the opinion of RIBIKE representatives, but are relayed impressions from other sources and meetings being summarized to help frame the work that needs to be done.

    I can say that Elmwood is not a done deal just yet, and we're not giving up on bike lanes, I'll be detailing what's going on in a separate post that I am long overdue to write.

    Elmwood is the only continuous route from Downtown to the Roger Williams, and as a destination, MUST be included in the citie's and state's bicycle network. The problem with Prairie and Eddy are they don't serve the same destinations and communities and at least Prairie is in poor repair. The problem with Bucklin and the parallel roads on the eastern side (Hamilton, etc) is they don't continue for the full length. Why should bicycle riders be expected to make random turns and detours when a straight road serving their needs is so close by.

    Labann – If you can point me to the statutes that backs up what you're claiming about bicycle accommodation/completed streets, I'll happily include it in my messages to RIDOT, City Planning and inform the Neighborhood Association of this as well so that they can push on that issue as well.

  • Labann
    Nov 30, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Americans with Disability Act – Federal – which mandates that all future sidewalks for public use have reliefs that don't restrict disabled or wheelchair use.

    I direct your attention not only to FHWA's Planning Requirements and Prohibition of Route Severance http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/polichttp://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/fapg/
    based on federal law…

    but also federal law itself, 23 CFR 450.208 Statewide Transportation Planning Process, Factors, a.3:

    (a) Each State shall, at a minimum, explicitly consider, analyze as appropriate and reflect in planning process products the following factors in conducting its continuing statewide transportation planning


    (1) The transportation needs (strategies and other results) identified through the management systems required by 23 U.S.C. 303;

    (2) Any Federal, State, or local energy use goals, objectives, programs, or requirements;

    (3) Strategies for incorporating bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways in appropriate projects throughout the State;

    Note under 652.5, Policy, the mandate to include not only include bike-ped facilities but limit detrimental effects of motoring upon them. In plainspeak: You can't have a bikeway with dozens of motor crossings for which cyclists have stop signs (EBBP), or bikeways that end just before entering a city, then resume on other side, or loss of critical access to bridges or other facility segments due to motorway/sewer/whatever construction.

    Note under 652.7, Eligibility, the emphasis on "transportation" not recreation.

    This explains why the State of Rhode Island adopted corresponding laws, which I can't immediately put my finger on, but which stipulate, to paraphrase, that all construction projects on roads 23' or wider must include bicycling and pedestrians accommodations. Without such legal compliance entered into law, RI couldn't participate in 100% federal funding of up to $4.5 million/year for bike-ped specific infrastructure OR funding for most motoring infrastructure.

    ASSHTO, RIDOT, and USDOT say likewise, but none enforce. FBI, GAO or US District Attorney would have to get involved. FHWA has already investigated RIDOT for failure to meet mandates. It's my understanding that some funding to RI road projects has been withheld based on their poor record of compliance, but that hasn't stopped state from overextending themselves with bonds and borrowing on past boondoggles while now helpless to ensure current bridge safety. Plainly: Keeping shoulders by correctly painting stripes helps state receive federal funding. Caving into motoring lobbyists who bully everyone else off road costs taxpayers their fair share.

  • Labann
    Nov 30, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Furthermore, I disagree about bike amenable Eddy St, since it's only 1 lane in each direction with an adequate shoulder, and is a shorter from city to Roger Williams Park (Broad St side), whereas half of Elmwood is 2 lanes undivided without shoulders, worst arrangement with highest incidents of accidents of all types, and somewhat longer to Carlyle side where Casino and Zoo are. I'd argue both are important bike routes, since widely separated, but a Cranston/Bucklin corridor is continuous from Hoyle to Columbus Square and could serve as an alternative. Agree, however, that this becomes a political question, since wherever they invest in a bike boulevard, with its additional lighting, police presence, road resurfacing, and sweeping, will revitalize neighborhoods in line. Determining factors ought to include doability, existing traffic quiet, presence of libraries, parks and schools (safe routes to schools initiative), and useable space for parking transition from motoring to biking. Small bike-ped bridges across RR or water or bikeways segments shouldn't be overlooked as cheap solutions for less than ideal routes.

  • MattM
    Nov 30, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Thanks for the links and excerpts. I was aware of the should consider accommodations language of http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/statutes/title31/31-… which I think is the 23-foot rule to which you are referring. I was aware of this rule, however, my reading doesn't interpret it as anything terribly binding on RIDOT.

    As to Eddy Street, depends on where you're coming from and going to and willingness to deal with the rolling hills within the park..

  • Labann
    Dec 1, 2011 at 6:05 am

    No bicyclist thinks there are hills in Roger Williams Park. "Bimps" or bumps, yeah, maybe a grunt or rise. Only hills in Rhode FlatIand are North or West.

    Most bicyclists going any distance are crossing Point Street Bridge, which is our pivot around Narragansett Bay (so why is there no official bikeway from PSB to EBBP?). Unless you're coming from NW across Glenbridge or West End, all other points from NE, E, SE can follow Eddy Street out of downtown to Allens Ave (ugh, sand & tracks) or under I-95 dangerously past that blind new exit at RI Hospital. Even if I must go to Columbus Square (or too worn out for even slightest bimp), I go Eddy to Thurbers, then zig on Broad to Adelaide. Other routes are plagued with bad pavement, gangs, gun violence, lack of police presence, parked cars, and traffic flow insanity. Doesn't deter me from riding everywhere, but shame on Commissioner Paré and Mayor Taveras. Clean it up!

    There is a "ring road" transportation theory that argues that bending around periphery of traffic snarl, although somewhat longer, actually speeds flow. A bike route could do that if streets picked are very flat and avoid crossings (possibly through bike-ped bridges and underpasses). You'd have to consider points of access; official routes need viable entrances and exits. I envision a couple of intersecting oval macrosystems to which cyclists could safely gravitate, but that would take considerable planning and political will. Community action groups can't even get them to reduce domestic violence or murder rates. Without a vision of what could be, Providence is plagued with unaddressed problems.