The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. More here – Black History Month and Bicycling
We are gathering an Advocacy Team comprised of community members throughout Newport and surrounding areas, who are passionate about creating complete streets in Newport. We will be holding discussions, attending relevant meetings of the city council, and helping with moving any planned complete streets projects forward. If you are interested in using your voice in support of complete streets for all road users, influencing decision making and policies and to increase ridership within our city, please consider joining our Advocacy Team here and click ‘Advocacy for Bicycle Infrastructure.’ In addition, the public are very welcome at the Newport Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission meetings on the first Monday of the month at 5:30-7pm – the next meeting is Tuesday Feb at the Newport Library meeting rooms (downstairs.) Let’s do this! The post Join our Advocacy Team! appeared first on Bike Newport.
Rhode Island Department of Transportation Proposal Slashes Bicycle and Pedestrian Project Funding Statewide (Jan 26, 2019) The “Major Amendment to the State Transportation Improvement Plan” presented by RIDOT to the State Transportation Advisory Committee on January 24th includes 33% cut to the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) over four years. TAP is the primary source of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects statewide. According to a press release from the RI Bicycle Coalition: “While RIDOT asserts that shortfalls from the General Assembly’s Capital Budget, delays in constructing toll infrastructure, and deteriorating bridges are the cause of the amendment, very little of the proposed change will fund bridge work. Instead, one new $28.8 million highway project in western Cranston is one of the biggest proposed changes, along with large allocations to build toll gantries ($61.6 million) and ‘Headquarters Operations’ which includes more than doubling the ‘Legal’ line item to $24.9 million.” The $27 million in proposed cuts includes eliminating the $5 million Bicycle Improvements Contingency Account funded by the 2016 Green Economy Bond. Bike Newport’s Executive Director, Bari Freeman, sits on the state’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and Bicycle Mobility Plan Committee, and is a member of the statewide coalition Paths to Progress that advises the state on bicycle and pedestrian project planning and funding. “The TAC created the contingency fund in response to these statewide coalitions and in order to ensure assignment of those funds to align with the statewide Bicycle Mobility Plan priorities. Those funds are untouchable. Our state electorate resoundingly voted those funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects by 79%,” Freeman stated. “That’s not approval – that’s a mandate, and they will not be redirected to highway or any project other than those for which they were intended.” The proposed amendment eliminates, cuts or delays funding to 35 bicycle and pedestrian projects statewide, including separated bike paths, sidewalks, and critical on-road connections. On Aquidneck Island, the Melville Connector and the Mount Hope Bay Path in Portsmouth will be eliminated; the shared use path and sidewalks on East Main Road in Portsmouth and Middletown will be eliminated; and scheduled improvements to Thames Street, Spring Street, Farewell Street, Bellevue Avenue, and Marlborough Street in Newport will be delayed to 2023 and beyond. Portsmouth Town Councilor Daniela Abbott is one of many bicycle and pedestrian advocates opposed to the cuts, “East Main Road is finally getting the sidewalks and bike paths so desperately overdue for transportation safety. These cuts are not considering people’s safety, connectivity, or economy. RIDOT needs to, and will be, better informed by the people of this state who intend to walk and ride to get where we’re going.” Bike Newport and Aquidneck Island Planning Commission are planning community information and discussion meetings to take place in addition to the upcoming public meetings scheduled by RIDOT. These meeting dates will be announced next week. For more information and updates, please follow Bike Newport online at www.bikenewportri.org and @bikenewportri on social media. The post ALERT: RIDOT Proposal Slashes Bike Funding appeared first on Bike Newport.
Dear Friends, Thanks to all who are following the situation with the DOT recommendation for a “Major Amendment to the TIP” aka Major Amendment #11. This amendment proposes major reduction to Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funding to make up for shortfalls in pavement and bridge funding. TAP funding is the primary source for bicycle, pedestrian, and transit projects. The first presentation of this proposal took place at the monthly meeting of the Rhode Island Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 5:30pm – Department of Administration, One Capitol Hill, Conference Room A. The meeting was open to the public. We’re all in this together! Everyone’s participation at meetings, discussions, and online in social media is always valuable. Let’s keep awareness high and information flowing. More public meetings coming soon. I am a member of the TAC but was unfortunately out of town for this important meeting. I asked my colleagues on the TAC to consider these requests at the meeting: 1) Please consider and honor the concerns of those community members in attendance. The proposed reduction to TAP funding included in RIDOT’s recommendations is staggering and has long-term and ominous implications to TAP projects already funded, and to the statewide progress on all things active transportation. Specifically, please consider the urgent request to extend the period of community comment from 30 days to 90 days to ensure that everyone affected has time to receive, process, and respond to the Amendment content and for DOT to gather and process that response for our informed consideration. 2) Although the State Bicycle Mobility Plan is not yet adopted, it contains information and recommendations culled and developed over many months by a statewide coalition of expert stakeholders which are significant to improved planning. These recommendations should be considered valuable and relevant by state and municipalities alike even in advance of formal adoption of the plan. 3) Additionally: Considering bicycle, pedestrian, and transit projects as “alternative” – as in “Transportation Alternative Program” – and separating them in planning and funding is an outdated practice that inherently maintains a car-centric culture which is cost-inefficient in planning, design and building our transportation network. While we are beholden to the language of federal funding, there may be ways for us to use this time to demonstrate what is possible when we look at bicycle, pedestrian and transit planning/accommodation as part of pavement and bridge planning. Is this a time when we as a state can demonstrate the budgetary efficiencies of complete streets planning – ie considering all road users in every road plan. We need assurance of due diligence to serve the public interest and solicit their input. Public meetings should include presentations of the proposed changes and the public’s board – the TAC – needs to weigh these interests before making recommendations to the State Planning Council. With thanks to all for your commitment to better roads and transportation planning for all road users. Feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts or questions. Sincerely, Bari Freeman Executive Director The post Letter to the Public: Major Amendment to the TIP appeared first on Bike Newport.
Did you know Rhode Island and Massachusetts have draft statewide Bicycle Planning Guides? Massachusetts Department of Transportation has a ‘Draft Municipal Resource Guide For Bikeability,’ and Rhode Island has a draft ‘Bicycle Mobility Plan.’ Give them a read and see the future when all road users are treated equally and we leave car-centric planning behind. These plans share missions: Biking will be a safe, comfortable, and convenient (MA) and safe, fun, and practical (RI) option for everyday travel. They are encouraging and informative documents that assist people in choosing bicycles, and municipalities in planning for bikeable places. Well done, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We hope to see them adopted soon! The post Statewide Bicycle Planning Guides appeared first on Bike Newport.
It’s Friday morning in Newport. The Bike Newport office that’s home to the Bike Garage is buzzing with Rogers High School interns. Teenagers are spread out across the garage floor, working on bicycles in different stages of repair. The sound of gear changes and a steady clank of pedal wrenches fills the room. An assortment of vintage, road and mountain bikes hang from bike stands awaiting further repairs to become road ready steeds. The teenagers are participating in an internship program, the result of a partnership between Rogers High School and the Bike Newport. The students learn the craft of bicycle refurbishing, maintenance, and troubleshooting under the guidance of Art Spivak, a volunteer bike mechanic mentor. These skills prepare them for a personal interest in bike repair and, more importantly, future employment in the growing bicycle repair industry. Bike Newport also offers Bike Garage times that are open to the public — including three evenings a week and a Saturday afternoon – for people to come in and service their own bicycles. During this time, community members have full access to the shop’s bike stands, specialized tools, and the staff’s expertise. As a non-profit, Bike Newport opened its doors in 2011 with the mission to ‘improve, encourage and facilitate bicycling in and around Newport for the health and well-being of our youth and families and as a viable and enjoyable method of transportation for residents and visitors.’ Whether it’s reaching out to Rhode Island’s youth or opening its doors to the community, Bike Newport is excited for 2019 to continue to having a big impact on the people of Newport and surrounding areas. Bike Garage – Mon, Wed, Thur – 4:30-7pm / Saturday 1-4pm 62 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840 bikenewportri.org The post Connecting people and bicycles. appeared first on Bike Newport.
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. View the original here: A Great Start For Our 2019 Interns
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. More: Paths for everyone: why it matters.
This summer we had the first Bridge Bike Shuttle to get you over the bridges with your bike. Imagine the day when we won’t need that because you’ll be able to pedal yourself over the Narragansett Bay. As you can imagine we’re THRILLED to be talking about this prospect and excited to be part of the discovery process. To help deliver this ambitious vision we will be working closely with the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA), the city, state and a broad range of other organizations. “It’s time for us to look to the next 50 years. And you can’t look to the next 50 years without connecting people and communities, and looking into mobility…This is a first step in a journey,” – Buddy Croft, the Executive Director of Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority Bridge infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians returns consistent high economic and health benefits. The studies are extensive, numerous and consistent. We’ll explore this prospect together and look to deliver on a truly promising dream for 21st century transportation for our island and our region. “I can’t wait for the bridge paths to be complete. Connecting our communities and giving people more transportation options is very exciting. I personally can’t wait to ride my bike to Jamestown” – Nate Giblin • Bike Newport Educator Thank you Buddy Croft and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA)! The post Imagine being able to ride over the bridges! appeared first on Bike Newport.
The kids of Newport have been telling us for a long time that they need a place to be kids. Somewhere they can ride, play and learn. A place they can call theirs. Imagine this: all the buzz and excitement as kids gather for play time and spring/summer camps at the Big Blue Bike Barn. Here they’ve learned bike care and road safety skills. Many have restored a bike of their own. They’re riding freshly cleared trails in Miantonomi Park all the way to the tower, and they’re looking out over their hometown. Work is underway at the Big Blue Bike Barn to make this dream real. We’re outfitting the interiors of two big shipping containers with bike racks and shelving. Metalworkers are preparing to cut doors into the sides. Students from Roger Williams University School of Architecture are designing the awnings and work areas. All donations will be doubled – Donate today! “It’s going to be fun to ride around with other kids at the Big Blue Bike Barn. Everyone will go because they’ll learn so much and be off the roads and in the woods instead. For kids, learning to work on their own bikes and seeing the progress they’re making – riding and having a place to go and work on bikes – is so great. The Bike Barn will be so cool” – Matthias Wildes, 16. East Bay Met School intern. Traffic-free, safe and healthy places for young people to learn and grow are essential – help us make it happen! Visit our website for more stories from our Bike Newport family. Together, we’re making progress. All donations will be doubled – Donate today! The post Meet Matthias and Newport’s Bike Hub appeared first on Bike Newport.