Attention RI Bike Nation–we need your help again. Largely because of your action earlier this year, RIDOT withdrew its proposal to cut $27 million from the Transportation Alternatives Program but is now seeking to transfer $37 million away from current and future bike-related projects over the course of 10 years. RIDOT is proposing this move despite having recently received $358 million in new funding for roads and bridges.
If adopted, Major Amendment #19 would postpone the Trestle Trail paving in Coventry indefinitely, delay and cut spending to the O’Neill Bike Path extension, and drop several Green Economy Bond projects off of the STIP, making them much harder to track.
Finally, and most egregiously, RIDOT’s Major Amendment #19 seeks to divert money earmarked for implementing the Bike Mobility Plan, which is awaiting final approval by the Governor. This means that bicycle and pedestrian projects recommended by residents in a robust public process across the state will be forestalled.
Although $37 million represents a tiny percentage of RIDOT’s overall budget, it would make a world of difference for people who bike or walk. Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is very inexpensive to build and is proven to save lives. RIDOT has shown its reluctance to fund infrastructure, even when there is ample money to do so. We have to stand up against this, once again.
This proposal requires a public hearing and two have been scheduled by the Transportation Advisory Committee.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
Narragansett Town Hall
25 Fifth Avenue, Narragansett, RI
Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
RI Department of Administration
One Capitol Hill, Providence RI
Conference Room 2A, 2nd Floor
In addition, you may send comments in writing to the Secretary of the Transportation Advisory Committee Michael D’Alessandro, RIDOA, Division of Statewide Planning, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908 or email to Michael DAlessandro (Michael.DAlessandro@doa.ri.gov).
All comments on the STIP Amendment must be received prior to 3:30 pm on August 22, 2019.
A more detailed call to action will be forthcoming soon.