Despite the negative campaign rhetoric, the “stimulus” program actually provided about $160 million to RIDOT which not only provided jobs to construction workers, it helped RIDOT catch up a bit on Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)projects so much that is there is room in the remaining 2 years of the TIP to add some approved projects that had been deferred for the “future” after 2012.
For bicycling, this means we can consider actually funding some “future” projects in 2011-2012:
- Blackstone Bikeway segments 3A, 3B (Pawtucket-C Falls, Cumberland) and segment 8 (Woonsocket-No Smithfield)
- Warwick bike system
- East Greenwich Bike system
- East Bay Bike Path repairs
Total cost: about $22.5 million, so we need to prioritize.
In addition, the TIP calls for Jamestown bridge bike access ($3.75 million) in the “future.” How does this compare in priority?
Finally, we may be able to move some bike projects now in “study and development” into the TIP after 2012, possibilities incude projects on a Northwest Bikeway, a Shoreline Bikeway in Charlestown, South Elmwood and Pontiac Branch projects in Cranston, the Hope Spur in Coventry, and bikeways in Tiverton and Jamestown. They all have feasibility studies completed but need to be prioritized for possible TIP inclusion.
The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) is considering forming a bike advisory subcommittee to help prioritize all this. Several of us commented that we should emphasize connectivity of the system. But the whole bike community should help.
Remember these are capital, not maintenance, projects that use capital investment funds.
Also note there is still “earmark” money left for Colt Park bike improvements, the Trestle Trail (Coventry,) the Ten Mile River Greenway (Pawtucket/East Providence,) the South County Bike Path (Narragansett) and the Woonasquatucket Greenway (Providence, Johnston)
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