The City of Providence and RIDOT are about to make a deal behind closed doors to redirect funding from two state bicycle/pedestrian projects – City Walk and the Woonasquatucket River Greenway between Eagle Square and downtown – to pay for city-owned bridges. Work on both bicycle/pedestrian projects, which were already underway, has been halted.
When complete both projects will create safe corridors through Providence, corridors that connect with the greater greenway network and current bike paths to provide safe routes for people who walk and bike.
This is one reason why people choose to live in a city like Providence: cities that are bike and pedestrian friendly, cities where the local elected officials care that there are safe corridors for walking and cycling.
Halting the City Walk and the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Corridor projects to divert the funds to pay for bridges flies in the face of creating the city where we want to live, work and play.
When the mayor and the governor were elected in 2014, bicycle and pedestrian advocates were ecstatic at their promotion of bicycles, strong support for complete streets, and their understanding of what a difference it makes for the city and the state to become biking and walking friendly.
This vision is betrayed by actions like this, and this proposal sets a dangerous precedent. We urge everyone reading this to contact the mayor’s office, the governor’s office and RIDOT.
Make your voice heard, and ask them to reconsider this devastating proposal.
Some talking points for your letter, phone call or email:
- Bicycle funding should be used for bicycle infrastructure projects.
- Ongoing projects should be completed. Abandoning projects mid-stream is wasteful and undermines public faith in city and state government.
- Rhode Island spends far less on bicycle infrastructure than neighboring states as a portion of our budget, and raiding these projects exacerbates that.
- Infrastructure that enables biking and walking is important for the health, well-being and safety of Rhode Island residents.
- These projects serve low-income communities, in places where many do not have other transportation options.
25 Dorrance Street,
Providence RI 02903
Peter Alviti, Jr.
2 Capitol Hill,
Providence, RI, 02903
Phone: (401) 222-2450
Toll Free: 1-844-DOT-ROAD
Office of the Governor
82 Smith Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 222-2080