I happened upon another blog posting stating that:
Tina Dolen, the Executive Director of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, announced that they had secured $500K from RIDOT for a “holistic,” island-wide traffic study.
“We made proposal to RIDOT to conduct a corridor study,” said Dolen, “A comprehensive analysis of how traffic moves across this island, as well as making sure that it flows.” And she promised that two items of interest to Portsmouth would be fast-tracked: the Town Center and the potential impact of Burma Road.
If there ever was a time to impact cycling on Aquidneck island, now might be our chance. Any cyclists living down there looking for an advocacy project? I’m concerned about the “potential impact on Burma Road” comment. This is the only decent road for bicycles traveling the length of the island, are they going to shunt more traffic down there? Apparently they are already planning to reconfigure some striping along East Main Road:
Citing the “success of the restriping of Turnpike Avenue,” Smith described a reconfigured East Main Road that would be two 12-foot travel lanes, with a 12-foot center turning lane, and 2-foot shoulders. Not only would it be safer for pedestrians, who would have less live traffic lanes to cross, but it would help reduce the rear-end collisions which make up the majority of accidents on that stretch. And since it’s just a matter of removing the current lane markings, it could be done fairly quickly.
Naturally, there is no mention of bicycle safety. It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden either East or West Main and I don’t remember there being a shoulder at all, but two feet sounds pretty narrow for a road where cars are traveling at speed. By law, all road projects conducted by RIDOT must attempt to accommodate bicycles.