James Kennedy, over on the Transport Providence blog, posted some conceptual re-designs (done by Jonathan Harris) that RIDOT could do during their upcoming re-working of South Main Street. These two seemed to be best options from a bikecentric view.
The first option would incorporate contra flow bike lanes. To my knowledge this has never been done anywhere in RI. It would provide a safe way for cyclists to flow in both directions along South Main Street. No doubt it would be an uphill battle, since drivers would have to be conditioned into looking both directions before pulling out onto a one-way street.
The second option would include back in parking, presumably it could be angled to reduce the overall footprint of the parking. While this wouldn’t provide two-way travel for cyclists along South Main, it is probably safer from an overall use perspective.
Either one of these options would be a huge improvement over the current conditions. James doesn’t mention what the traffic counts are along this section of South Main and whether or not RIDOT would even consider reducing a lane of traffic.
If you travel this section of road, who doesn’t if you ride around Providence, then we’d encourage you to come out for a public meeting of the Providence Bike & Ped Advisory meeting on Wednesday, February 19th, 4:45 PM at 444 Westminster Street. If you can’t make the meeting, then at least send an email to Eric Weis expressing your opinion on the matter.