The Transportation Advisory Committee has received submissions of projects from RIDOT from cities and towns, and some agencies for the 2013-2016 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The news for bicycle users is that it could have been a lot worse. The 2013-2016 TIP will determine priorities for projects to potentially be funded via USDOT programs, though there is a project budgetting component, TIP projects are not guaranteed to be funded or delivered on the schedule indicated. Full details are on page 3 and 4 of the Guide to the TIP Development Process.
Earlier, anticipating a 30% cut in Federal support, RIDOT zeroed out using any discretionary funds for bike projects. However, now expecting at most a 5% cut (the US Senate reauthorizing committee level funded the program) RIDOT does recommend a program of about $3.4 million/year for bike and pedestrian projects as well as $1 million for “safe routes to school.” Which projects? That is to be prioritized by a subcommittee of the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) using agreed on criteria, and reported back to the TAC and later to the State Planning Council. RIBIKE board officers Barry Schiller and Sue Barker are on this committee.
In addition there are about $26 million in remaining earmarked funds for bike projects. This includes approximately $10 million for the West Bay bike path, $5.7 million for the Woonasquatucket, almost $1.7 million for the 10-mile River Greenway, almost $1.6 million for Colt Park bikeways, almost $1.3 million for the South County Bike Path, and $640,000 for the Blackstone River Bikeway.
City/town submissions were often supportive of bike and pedestrian projects. Here are some highlights:
- Barrington: Replacement of the East Bay path bridges (priority #6 of 6)
- Block Island: New proposal for bike signage (#4 of 4)
- Bristol: Poppasquash Rd bike/ped path (#4 of 5)
- Burrillville: Northwest Bike Trail, (#7 of 7)
- Central Falls: Blackstone Bikeway (#2 of 2)
- Charlestown: Shoreline Bikeway (#6 of 6)
- Coventry: a new Bike Route signage program (#4 of 7)
- Cumberland: Blackstone Bikeway (#3 and 4 of 10 for the 2 remaining sections)
- East Greenwich: Town bike plan including a Warwick Connection bridge (#1 of 6)
- Jamestown: Bike access to Jamestown Bridge (#2 of 6) and new Bike/Ped path from North Rd to East Shore Rd (#3 of 6)
- Middletown: Shared use path along East Main Rd (#10 of 14, West Main (#11) and Burma Rd (#12)
- Narragansett: Phase 4 of the South County path (#4 of 5)
- North Kingstown: Wickford to Quonset bike study (#3 of 12) and Jamestown Bridge access (#12 of 12)
- Pawtucket: Blackstone Bikeway (#2 of 14)
- Providence: Bike/Ped bridge on old I-195 piers (#1 of 10)
- Tiverton: Bike path along rail line (#5 of 5)
- URI: Connection from the South County path to URI (not mentioned by South Kingstown)
- Warren: East Bay path extension to Kickemuit River (#3 of 7) and East Bay path bridge replacement (#7 of 7)
- Warwick: Warwick/Ea Greenwich bike network and bridge connection (#6, 8, 9 for different sections, of 17)
- Westerly: New bike path along Atlantic Avenue (#4 of 10)
- West Warwick: Hope Spur from the West Bay path (#3 of 3) (not mentioned by Coventry)
- Woonsocket: New bikeway signage (#13 of 13)
No bicycling related projects were submitted from Cranston, East Providence, Newport, Smithfield, or the RI Economic Development Corporation. For full information on towns and state agency requested projects, see the TIP 2013 website.
Note at the “roundtable” meeting with RIDOT Director, a representative of the RI Association of RR Passengers urged the bikeway in Tiverton in order to preserve the corridor for future rail use.
A public hearing on the draft TIP can be expected in April 2012.