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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.
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.
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
The winning number for Today’s Bike To Work Day raffle is: 368592 Congratulations to Alex for winning a fine assortment of prizes, including a Cleverhood rainhood and messenger bag and donkey boxes from Legend Bicycle.
MapQuest posted on their blog today that Due to popular demand – and our desire for options – we’ve just released worldwide pedestrian and bicycle routing on all of our open.mapquest.* sites along with domestic transit routing on our Open.MapQuest.com READ MORE
Injury Prevention Center of Rhode Island Hospital is seeking volunteers for 3 bicycling safety rodeos during Bike Month.