It’s only taken six months, but thanks in a large part to the efforts of James Toomey of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, it looks like we are going to be allowed to post a sanctioned detour guiding people around the closed Washington Bridge. James received a letter from Kazem Farhourmand (Chief Engineer with RIDOT), giving us their blessing to post detour signs. James is still in discussion with local municipalities to gain their approval, so this is not a done deal, but things are looking promising.
Who would have thought it would be so hard to get approval to sign a detour, around a major route outage, when external groups will be funding the entire cost? There were great concerns over the liabilities associated with guiding cyclists over unsafe roads! While the roads may not be as safe as a bike path, cyclists are left with little choice but to find alternate routes during the two year closure of the Washington Bridge. There are people who rely on their bicycle as a mode of transportation, in some cases it’s the only mode they have! To completely abandon them, when a major piece of infrastructure is under construction, is truly unfortunate. It’s no wonder we have a hard time convincing more people to take up cycling as a mode of transportation when it’s still often treated as a mere pleasure activity by State and Local officials.