The process for developing the next 4 year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) is starting despite uncertainties about total funding, or even if bike related programs will survive in the Federal law in light of the anti-environment atmosphere in the GOP that now runs the US House of Repreentatives.
What’s in it for the bike program?
First there is a question about finding funding to complete the Blackstone Bikeway, already approved for construction in the current TIP. There is a similar situation with regard to Jamestown Bridge bike access, bike routes in Warwick and East Greenwich, and East Bay path repairs. There is also uncerainty about the future, if any, of bike projects in “study and development” which means no commitment to build. These include bikeways proposed in the northwest, in Tiverton, Jamestown, Charlestown, the Hope Spur in W Warwick/Coventry, and along the Pontiac branch in Cranston. Propsoals for any bike path along the Seekonk River or Wickford Jct to Wickford, on Aquidneck Island, are not even in study/development.
With so many expensive highway/bridge repairs needed, it is not clear what will be left for cities and towns for local road projects. Some of us are hoping for a program whereby localities can implement small scale innovative inexpensive projects that promote mobility, especially for bikes/pedestrians.