About a month ago, we posted a copy of our letter to Director Williams. We scanned a copy of his response letter, so everyone could take a read. Unfortunately, it seemed to be a pretty boiler plate response. A large portion of the letter focused on bike trails
… we have nearly 50 miles of bikeway completed across the state and another 40 miles under planning/design
As many transportation cyclists know, bikepaths are often not a practical option for transportation cyclists. Don’t get me wrong, they are an absolutely great place to take a weekend ride with my family. If you are trying to get somewhere fast, they are not the place to be. Director Williams also mentioned RIDOTs efforts to accommodate bicycles on roads
Our road projects accommodate bicycles where possible. Whenever we resurface a roadway, we always consider providing a wider, more bicycle tolerant shoulder. We have bike lanes on Allens Avenue and Promenade Street in Providence.
I think this statement shows RIDOT’s default position on bicycles; they are not full fledged vehicles and should be pushed off to the shoulder. Unfortunately, there is not even a mention of making an effort to better maintain the shoulders (cleaning, cracks, etc.) nor does it state the fact that storm drains and other obstacles are frequently placed in these “lanes”. I think it’s also telling that throughout the entire state of RI, there are only two streets with bicycle lanes.
Hardly a day goes by in the news now that you don’t hear something about global warming, obesity, or traffic congestion. When is RI going to wake up and realize that public transportation is important and that there are other users of the roadways than just automobiles?