some small advances in highway safety??



some small advances in highway safety??

The 2012 RI General Assembly has adjourned! Though our vulnerable road user bills never made it out of committee, the Assembly did pass “complete street bills” (H7352 Martin, S2131 DiPalma) that now have been transmitted to the Governor who has 2 weeks to decide what to do. The bills improve current law a bit by standardizing the complete street language, require a RIDOT report on implementation, but ultimately I think it is up to local groups familiar with local RIDOT projects to ensure compliance with the idea of making roadways properly serve bicyclists, pedestrians, as well as motor vehicles. I think thanks are due the sponsors (above) the AARP for being the primary advocate, and RIDOT for their cooperation in getting this passed.

The Assembly also passed legislation (H7467A) that ups penalties when hit-and-run drivers injure someone, it too has been transmitted to the Governor. However, a bill to up penalties (H7551) when a motorist driving thru a red light, or stop or yield sign at an intersection results in someone being injured or killed, passed the House and was recommended by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But it never made it to the Senate floor, even though they were up to after 3am at the last session. Similarly a bill to allow judges and magistrates to require ignition interlock devices in some drunk driving cases passed the House, but the Senate apparently made changes and never sent it back to the House. A Senate version passed but was never transmitted to the House. So it seems no progress on combatting DUI.
Wait ’til next year!


  • KillMoto
    Jun 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    So… Should we all call the Governor and urge him to sign Complete Streets into law? Or is that somehow a given?

  • barry
    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:17 am

    It would seem to me it cannot hurt to show interest by calling the Governor's Office, 222-2080, to support the complete streets bills H7352, S2131, which as of now (Tues morning) have apparently not been acted on. Though we expect him to sign it might also help for future advocacy to show interest in this.

  • Labann`
    Jun 20, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Or we could threaten a lawsuit, as complete streets concepts and implementation is already mandated federal law, lest you risk all road funding assistance.

    So what's the deal with the paved path beneath the "Hinder"son Bridge on East Providence bank? Looks like a road more than a bikeway. Will it have bike lanes? Who said they could appropriate a railbed belonging to public? Unless it's a public road, I hope taxpayers are somehow compensated.

    • MattMoritz
      Jun 20, 2012 at 11:27 am

      That street is being paved from Warren Ave, is about 1 mile long, and is costing $6 million to do. Supposedly it is being used to test new, less polluting road paving techniques, so portions of the money are coming from DOE and other related sources.

      We had some chatter here when the project was first announced a couple of years ago, and work has been ongoing for well over a year. If I recall correctly, but it's a project of the City of East Providence and I think they're hoping that street will lead to development along the waterfront. Again, my recollection is that the announcement indicated the hope was to attract more industrial users of the space, which of course seems to be counterintuitive and low value use of potentially very high value commercial and residential land.

  • Labann
    Jun 20, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for the speedy reply. I'm still miffed, nevertheless. I'd like to see the striping plan. Metacom Avenue stinks as it is, but I use is anyway. About the only good news is the frequent speed trap as bridge users race north from exit in a restricted speed zone.

  • Labann
    Jun 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Maybe what Ribike needs to do is sent Mayor Rogers a letter reminding him of his complete streets obligation.

    Just think about it… only new road in years soley focused on commerce and industry, not public access, adjacent to the end of an existing, highly successful bikeway, with implications for a central corridor connecting to another bikeway in Pawtucket. A paranoic cyclist might think they're blocking the way on purpose. Then you look up street past Broadway to discover a crucial bridge out for at least a year so far, and likely a few more, given RIDOT's track record, maybe a dozen.

    You can work around by taking Central to 114 and Pleasant Street to 152, which was recently and welcoming repaved in Seekonk in sharp contrast to the moonscape they call pavement at the Turner Reservoir. But if you mention such things, something will happen to pinch that off, too.

  • barry
    Jun 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    While responsibility for the failure to extend the East bay Bike path along the abandoned P&W line now being paved for cars lies in East Providence government, it is also our failure as a bike community to have a sufficient presence on this, George Redman being too old to do it again. I certainly asked about this on the TAC but that committee can only review proposed projects and East Providence proposed only a highway. Labann is right that we should watchdog to ensure they at least do the "complete streets" thing, something barely done on the stretch from Warren Ave to Bold Point that I am familiar with. owever, that seemed OK bor bicyclists because traffic was so light.

  • barry
    Jun 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    update, the governor did sign the complete street bill and th bill to increase hit and run penalties when someone is injured

  • Labann
    Jun 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Let's count the fatalies and injuries in the last year so direly foretold by opponents caused by the Blackstone Boulevard complete streets initiative: 0.

    Let's investigate all planning documents that don't include complete streets, for example, the new Apponaug Circulator, which will cut off cycling altogether along a major corridor, just as Greenwich Avenue leading into it was recently deprived of shoulders. Or Reservoir Avenue in Providence, which passes a school, was given an unnecessary center turning lane to avoid a bike lane. Broadway finally did get the stripes, but they suddenly stop before Olneyville, as do ones on Allens Avenue, leaving nothing for cyclists between Eddy and Point streets.