The next version of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is due out really soon now. The MUTCD defines the standards used by road managers nationwide. The next release will include sharrows, which we’ve talked about both online READ MORE
^ the new sharrows on Broadway position bicyclists right behind cars that are backing up. Over the weekend, the full length of Broadway was painted with much-anticipated “sharrows” – road markings indicating shared use by cars and bicycles. But wait – these sharrows are located immediately next to backing out cars. Is that where they belong? The sharrows on Broadway are currently in the far-right of the lane, adjacent to diagonal parking, where visibility is at its worst for everyone. How many of us already back out of those spots with trepidation? According to NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) Guidelines: “On streets with posted 25mph speeds or slower, preferred placement is in the center of the travel lane to minimize wear and encourage bicyclist to occupy the full lane.” That’s where they are on Spring and Thames, and where we expected to see them on Broadway. People on bikes – and people in cars – will think that bikes are required to be that close to the cars. Therein lies the great danger. We ask that the City move the sharrows away from the parked cars to the recommended center of the traffic lane. Where to ride: Bicyclists are cautioned to ride in the center of the lane on narrow streets such as lower Broadway, Spring, and Thames – away from the parked cars. Where bike lanes are present, as on America’s Cup and Memorial Blvd, use the bike lane unless cars, sand, debris or other hazards are in your path. Bike lanes and sharrows are guides, not requirements. Bicyclists: Body language and communication are everything. Cars have horns and lights; you have arms, eyes, and voices. Always scan behind you and signal with your arms when merging or turning. Assume drivers have not seen you, until they signal their awareness. Use your voice to thank or alert other road users. Remember to stay off the sidewalks and always ride in the same direction as traffic. Drivers: Please understand that bicyclists are required by law to be on the road, and are both allowed and encouraged to take the lane for our own safety. On Broadway, and in congested summertime Newport in general, everyone is forced to move more slowly than usual. Remember to give people on bikes enough room. No degree of frustration is worth putting someone in danger. Put safety first. Ride and drive cautiously on busy Broadway. Be kind out there! The post How to ride a bike safely on Broadway appeared first on Bike Newport.
The Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) is the official city body for advising the Mayor on bike/ped issues. The current commissioners are Eric Weis (chair), Matt Moritz (coincidentally RIBike board president), Michelle Cortez-Harkins, Laura Bozzi, and Jef Nickerson. READ MORE
Bike Newport’s Liza Burkin reveals the unique Bike Friendly Business of the Year Award – a Gilded Penny Farthing by artist Howard Newman – and presents it to Laura Murphy (l) and Jan Doda (c) of the Preservation Society of Newport County.
NEWPORT’S 4TH ANNUAL BIKE TO WORK DAY was another rollicking success! Widespread local media coverage leading up to the event let Rhode Islanders know the many benefits of biking to work and promoted the activities that took place throughout the day in Washington Square – Newport’s historic center.
In the morning, bike commuters enjoyed a breakfast buffet provided by Teas & Javas Café, Jonathan’s Café, A Market and Stop & Shop. As the cyclists chatted and fueled up for their work day, our partners shared information about a range of active and sustainable transportation options: RIPTA demonstrated how to put bikes on the bus ; AARP-RI promoted the Livable Communities Initiative; and Zipcar shared information about car sharing.
Over the course of the day, we registered 40 bicycles! Registered bikes deter theft and are easier to identify when searched, found, or sold. (You can register your bikes online at no charge.)
The afternoon saw a lineup of speakers announcing Newport’s many advances in bicycle friendliness. City Councilor Justin McLaughlin welcomed all with remarks about how far Newport has come in such a short period of time. Assistant City Engineer Frank Marinaccio announced the City’s many plans for 2014, including: a new requirement for bike-safe road grates; the painting of 1.22 miles of designated bike lanes on America’s Cup Avenue; 4.3 miles of roadway resurfacing; new bike racks at Storer Park, City Hall, Narragansett Ave and Thames Street; improved painting of the sharrows on Thames and Spring Streets; and a City-wide GIS mapping initiative that will include bike rack locations as well as the most suitable roads for cycling as mapped in the Newport Bicycle Map.
Sarah Atkins of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission presented updates on the Aquidneck Island Bikeway, and Superintendent of Newport Public Schools Colleen Jermain (who biked to work, meetings, and the afternoon event) spoke of the district’s commitment to provide bicycle education to Newport students.
Newport Housing Authority Executive Director James Reed announced that Bike Newport’s Bike Garage North will now have a permanent home in the Florence Gray Center. The program, generously funded by the Frederick H. Prince Memorial Foundation at Newport Hospital, teaches youth in Newport’s north end to maintain and safely ride bicycles. Until now, the Bike Garage North had been weather dependent – but no longer!
Next, Officer Jimmy Winters of the Newport Police Department affirmed the NPD’s sustained enforcement of safe road sharing by cyclists and motorists, prevention and management of bike theft, and plans to reward youth wearing helmets with tasty treats this summer. Bike Newport Director of Education Mark Chesterton spoke of the many ways to get involved with the Newport cycling community – by visiting our Bike Garages, volunteering, going on group rides, and more!
2014 Bike Friendly Business of the Year!
Finally, Bike Newport crowned the Preservation Society of Newport County as Newport’s Bicycle Friendly Business of the Year! The distinction was awarded to the PSNC for friendly support of biking by providing bike racks at every mansion property; encouraging employees to bicycle for fun, fitness and transportation; supporting community bicycle education by providing space and resources; helping to fund and distribute the Newport Bicycle Map; and for being a model partner in all regards since Bike Newport began its efforts to improve and encourage bicycling in 2011. The award itself was a penny farthing gilded by local sculptor Howard Newman – a perfect reference to the Gilded Age of Newport, the period of most of the Preservation Society’s magnificent mansions.
After all that talking, it was time to ride! A 4-mile City Loop transported us through the beauty of a Newport spring afternoon. We arrived back at the Square for a knee-slappin’ performance by Attleboro bluegrass act Cactus Attack and delectable Middle Eastern snacks from Genie’s Hookah Lounge – the best possible way to end Bike to Work Day 2014.
One more thing – HUGE thanks and mea culpas to CJ and the team at Empire Tea and Coffee for the vat of utterly delicious Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea that we forgot to pick up (!) THAT will never happen again …
Join us next year! Bike to Work Day 2015 will be Friday, May 15th.
Bike Safe. Bike Happy. Bike!
Bike to Work Day 2014 in photos:
The February meeting of the Providence Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Commission will be held at 4:30PM on Wednesday February 20. Meeting will be held in the 1st floor conference room of 400 Westminster Street, Providence. Agenda: Bike Plan update (Bill READ MORE
Aquidneck Island has its first bike lanes, but what do those white markings mean? There are two new symbols on Memorial Blvd now and many of us are unfamiliar with them. One means the lane is for bikes only and the other means it’s a shared lane used by bikes and cars.
BIKE LANE – A narrow separate lane for bicycles only. Cyclists are protected in the bike lane, but continue to have a right to the main road and will move into the road whenever a hazard exists in the bike lane. Cars should never be in the bike lane and should cross the bike lane with extreme caution.
SHARED LANE (or SHARROW) – A lane marked for shared used by cars and bicycles. A cyclist should ride in the right side of the lane when possible, but ride the center of the lane in the vicinity of parked cars to avoid car doors, when preparing to turn left, or to prevent a car from passing too closely
And don’t forget, give cyclists plenty of room: Rhode Island state law mandates that a motorist may not pass a cyclist unless there is enough room for the cyclist to fall over sideways into the driving lane and not be hit by the vehicle. This law is written to protect cyclists from serious or fatal injury. Please be patient and courteous when sharing the road.
Bike Newport’s goal is for everyone to understand and practice safe road sharing. Please help us spread the word. Click here to read and print Bike Newport’s flyer on road sharing for cyclists and motorists. Additionally, our certified Smart Cycling instructors are available for presentations on road sharing to groups of any size anywhere on Aquidneck Island free of charge. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.