Author : All posts by bgeorge



(Note:  we’re having some difficulty with our calendar – but we should be up and running within a few days!)

THREE great local charity rides coming up – have fun and support three great causes!

1) Bike to the Beach, Friday, 8/31, Boston to Newport, about 75 miles, enter code “bikenewport50” for 50% discount, benefits Autism Speaks.

2) Star Ride, Saturday 9/15 – 7/15/30 miles, benefits Star Kids.

3) Tour de Newport, Sun 9/23, 10/25/45 miles, benefits Newport County Community Health Center



Workshop video HERE.  Newport Daily News report HERE.

Report on the newport City Council Workshop regarding the RIDOT proposed pedestrian and bicycle improvements to Memorial Blvd, Wed August 15, 2012:

The RIDOT plan was presented to the City Council by Bob Rocchio, RIDOT Manager of Traffic Management and Highway Safety; Peter Pavao, RIDOT Traffic Engineer; and Bill Desantis, Bike/Ped Corporate Director at VHB. It was a very informative and positive discussion focusing on the placement of the dedicated bike lanes, transitions to shared lanes and presence of wide buffer zones to keep cyclists at a distance from beachgoer street parking. Questions by the Council were thoughtful and helpful. Comments and suggestions by audience members were insightful and respected. 

The configuration of thru lane, shared lane and dedicated bike lane changes over the length of the boulevard. Where there is no parking, a dedicated bike lane is present. Where there is street parking, there is either one shared lane, or two lanes – one thru and one shared.  The plan considers reducing speed, maintaining traffic flow and accommodating volume.  Additionally, the plan addresses pedestrian crossings and vehicular left turn lanes at the major intersection with Bellevue, adding left turn signals in all directions and replacing pedestrian crossing signals with countdown timers.

The details and description of the plan can be viewed in their entirety on the video of the Workshop posted HERE.  Newport Daily News coverage of the Workshop by Joe Baker can be viewed HERE.

In other news:  In his presentation, Bob Rocchio, , commended Newport on being proactive on safety issues in the context of both municipal and state Complete Streets initiatives.  He shared that RIDOT would like Newport to be a pilot city for the new statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. This is very exciting and promising news and we look forward to being part of this major step for the state in backing up the Complete Streets promise.

The progress reported here is significant, and is thanks to RIDOT, the Newport City Council, Mayor Harry Winthrop, Rep. Peter Martin, City Manager Jane Howington, Director of Public Services Bill Riccio, and the many residents who volunteer their time and talent in the best interest of cyclists and pedestrians.  We extend our appreciation to all.



Newport City Council will hold a public workshop with RI Department of Transportation to review RIDOT’s proposed changes to Memorial Blvd to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  City Hall Council Chambers, Wed 8/15, 6:30pm.

Interested residents and advocates are also invited to view and discuss the plan in advance of the Council Workshop at Bike Newport’s monthly community meeting, on Tues 8/14, at 8am at Empire Tea and Coffee, 22 Broadway.



Tuesday, August 7, 6-9pm at the Preservation Society of Newport County, 424 Bellevue Avenue

For residents of Aquidneck Island, provided by Bike Newport.


Looking to increase your bicycling confidence on the road? Thinking about how to avoid obstacles, hazards and distracted tourists? Wondering if the guy yelling at you to get on the sidewalk is right? Not sure what to do when there’s no shoulder? If you’re riding in traffic, you want to be knowledgeable, predictable and visible.

This 3-hour class is designed to give cyclists the confidence needed to ride safely and legally in traffic.  We’ll learn lane positioning, how to conduct bike safety checks and practice on-bike skills, crash avoidance techniques and night-time visibility.  Know the rules, know how to protect yourself, and get out there and ride!

FREE Bicycle Safety Class

for Residents of Aquidneck Island (age 18+)


Tuesday, August 7, 6:00-9:00pm

at the Preservation Society of Newport County

424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport


First come, first served. Class size limited to 15.

Presented by the LCIs* of Bike Newport

*League Certified Instructors, trained and certified by the League of American Bicyclists



Yesterday, the State House announced that RIDOT has four proposals for road improvements in Newport before the State Traffic Commission:

1)   Rebuild the railroad crossings at Elm and Poplar Streets

2)   installation of a crosswalk on America’s Cup just south of the Brick Market.

3)   a crosswalk on Memorial Blvd at Thomas Street, and

4)   the redesign of Memorial Blvd following a fatal bicycle accident in June.

 These recommendations are excellent news for ALL users of our roads – agreeing in spirit and in practice with Complete Streets resolutions passed by both the City of Newport and the State of Rhode Island.

 As we’re moving forward carefully and steadily, major strides are being made here in Newport – in particular for the cycling community.

 In April, our City Council passes a resolution to work together with Bike Newport to become a Bicycle Friendly Community, potentially the first certified Bike Friendly Community in Rhode Island.

 In June, we celebrated the first bicycle road marks in Newport, when the City marked a route from Bellevue to Fort Adams in time for the America’s Cup World Series.  The payoff was more than 600 people trading cars for bikes to attend the event, contributed to a significant reduction in traffic congestion.  That success is now the model for the upcoming Folk and Jazz festivals.

 Weeks later, we’re facing the second road mark, a major road improvement, potentially the first bike lane on Aquidneck Island.

 By marking Memorial Blvd, we’ll dramatically improve the understanding of road sharing on one of the busiest thoroughfares in the City.  We’ll establish rules and protocol for road sharing that will help establish better practices throughout the City.  We’ll provide a road sharing structure for our police officers to support and enforce. We’ll have our first efforts be a joint effort of city and state. And we’ll have a model in place that we can continue to replicate.

 Because the Memorial Blvd project will be limited to road markings, it can potentially be completed by the end of August. RIDOT will come to town very soon (stay tuned for the announcement) to present their plans to the public. Meanwhile, the City Council is reviewing the plans to render their official opinion.  

 Thank you to Representative Peter Martin, to RIDOT and to our City Council for moving things along efficiently and deliberately. 



Here is the text of a State House press statement released today, including announcement of the review of Memorial Blvd for bicyclist safety:


Crosswalk approved for Newport’s Americas Cup Avenue 

STATE HOUSE – Acting on a request submitted by Rep. Peter Martin (D-Dist. 75, Newport), the State Traffic Commission has approved installation of a crosswalk on Americas Cup Avenue in Newport, at the intersection of Thames Street, just south of the Brick Market Place.

The RI Department of Transportation expects the crosswalk work can be completed by the spring of 2013. It will include signalized pedestrian lights that will work in conjunction with the currently existing traffic lights at the same location.

Representative Martin, a former secretary of the Newport Planning Board and former chair of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, attended the STC meeting in support of the crosswalk request and other proposals for Newport that were considered. He said approval of the crosswalk was especially pleasing in light of the recent enactment of the “Complete Streets” bill that he sponsored in the House. The new law requires DOT, as it addresses transportation needs, to include non-vehicular improvements such as pedestrian infrastructure, traffic calming measures and bicycle and mass transit accommodations.

The STC ordered a design study on a proposal to rebuild the railroad crossings on the Newport Secondary Line at Elm Street and Poplar Street, to include accommodations for pedestrians and bicycles.

The STC also issued a contract for a review of the design of Memorial Boulevard, based on a request from the Newport City Council following the death of Dr. Elliot Kamanitz of Middletown, who died after he was struck by a car while biking on Memorial Boulevard earlier this year. The DOT indicated that because the project will be limited to road markings, the project can be completed by the end of August, pending a review by Newport city officials.

The panel also took under consideration a request for a crosswalk on Memorial Boulevard at Thomas Street, to provide another safe crossing place along the road between Spring Street and Bellevue Avenue.

For more information, contact: 

Randall T. Szyba, Publicist

State House Room 20

Providence, RI 02903

(401) 222-2457




Newport City Council Meeting, tomorrow, WEDNESDAY, July 11, 6:30pm at City Hall includes the ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION “commending RIDOT for plans to conduct an investigation of cyclist safety issues on Memorial Boulevard and asks that the RIDOT investigation be conducted as soon as possible – J. McLaughlin, N. Neville, H. Winthrop, J. Napolitano”

For the full resolution, please click HERE

For the meeting agenda, please click HERE and select the DOCKET for JULY 11.



For adult residents of Aquidneck Island – 18 yrs and up. This 3-hour class will be offered free of charge on Wednesday, July 18, from 6:00-9:00pm at the headquarters of the Preservation Society of Newport County, 424 Bellevue Avenue.  Class size is limited. Please click here to reserve your spot.
The class will be geared to adults and will review the basics of riding in traffic as well as hazard and crash avoidance techniques – and, of course, the all-important “how to change a tire”.



Interest in development of a west side bike path adjacent to the rail continues to grow. if you have interest in an Aquidneck Island Bike Path, please attend the AIPC forum described below , featuring past studies and commentary by AIPC, RIDOT and VHB.  Monday, June 18, 6-8pm at the Best Western on Admiral Kalbfus opposite Newport Grand.  NOTE:  you must RSVP by Friday, noon, to Tina Dolen,

If you’d like to bike to the forum, please meet at Touro Park (Bellevue/Pelham) for a 5:30pm departure. We’ll ride Bellevue/Kaye/Rhode Island/Broadway/Bedlow/Hillside/Adm Kalbfus to the Best Western. Hop on along the way if you like. Please wear a helmet and be lit/reflective for the ride back. Thanks!  And please pass the word!
ALSO:  while we have your attention, please visit – our new website of information for people bicycling in Newport. Please pass that on, too!




Congratulations to Newport’s League Certified Instructors
Thanks to the generosity of supporters at our successful winter fundraiser, 12 local bicycle advocates participated in a three-day intensive training with the League of American Bicyclists  – to become League Certified Instructors. We’re now ready to teach bike skills, traffic safety, smart cycling and road sharing workshops to students of all ages – and to serve as knowledgeable resources to city organizations, schools and agencies as we move forward to become increasingly bicycle friendly as a community and a municipality. 

(sitting) Bryan Diggle, Chris Tompsett
(standing) Matt Moritz, Chuck Albrecht, Allison McNally, Jenna Yu, Tim McMahon
(rear) Stephen Miller, Jimmy Flynn, Steve Heath, Bari George, Chris Yalanis