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.
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
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.
All year round, people bring outgrown and otherwise unused bikes to Bike Newport’s community bike project – where they receive a little TLC and find their way to new owners. Bikes are restored and made road-ready by volunteers and by folks who earn the bikes through volunteering. Among the beach cruisers, road racers, and city bikes for grown-ups are dozens of bikes for tikes. With an extra happy holiday push, Bike Newport volunteers cleaned and tightened up 46 sets of wheels over the last few weeks and delivered the bikes to the Pell School to join Santa’s other surprises at a community toy distribution on Saturday, December 8th. Bike bows and shiny chrome brought smiles to lots of little ones who also left with helmets and “Roll Model” lessons on safe cycling. The post Pell School Santa’s Bike Giveaway appeared first on Bike Newport.
As you can imagine we’re THRILLED to be talking about this prospect, excited to be part of the discovery process, and will be helpful however we can to assist with community conversation. 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. Thank you Buddy Croft and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority – we look forward to working with you! Read more… The post Bike Paths on Aquidneck Island’s Bridges appeared first on Bike Newport.
Dear Newport Residents, Bike Newport sent questions to all Newport City Council candidates regarding transportation issues in Newport that we thought would interest you. We thank the nine respondents for their time, effort and consideration. We have shared the answers exactly as we received them. Answers appear in alphabetical order by candidate. At-large candidate Susan Taylor provided one statement which appears at the very end. We hope you find all the answers informative. Thanks to all the candidates for running and for being willing to serve in public office. We encourage everyone to consider all candidates, make a decision, and VOTE. Voting is our greatest responsibility and privilege. Read candidate responses here. The post Newport City Council candidates discuss transportation issues appeared first on Bike Newport.
The Newport Health Equity Zone’s (HEZ) goal is increased resident participation in walking and bicycling for transportation, exercise, and recreation in Newport, RI. Bike Newport partners with the HEZ to ensure they accomplish their goals. Beyond the physical and emotional health benefits of active transportation, any mode of transportation allows residents to access many health related services and reduces the feeling of isolation and stress. So, what can you do to help? For example, you could drive less, walk or bike more. Perhaps organize a walk or bike ride in your community, join a neighborhood association and promote biking and walking, volunteer with Bike Newport and don’t forget you can lobby elected officials to create new/or apply to established funding sources. As a private business or a community organization there are many ways to help empower your employees, customers and clients to be more active and help create an equitable, healthy and vibrant Newport. We have leaflets and resources to help you spread the word and encourage those around you to use active transportation. For example you could install a bike rack outside your business to encourage employees and customers to ride more. (Find out how here) , take part in Bike To Work Day, have bike friendly facilities in your workplace, like showers and lockers. Perhaps you could offer incentives to employee to bike, walk or take the bus, or partner with schools to promote biking. There always something to do to encourage folks to help create an equitable, healthy and vibrant Newport. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit The Newport Health Equity Zone or follow them on Facebook. The post Active transportation – what can you do to help? appeared first on Bike Newport.
FALL BACK and LIGHT UP! Bicyclists are reminded to be visible at night with local bike shops helping with 20% discounts on bike lights. As the clocks fall back, cyclists need to light up. Can you believe it, daylight saving’s time is just around the corner! It will get darker a lot earlier, but that’s NO reason to stop cycling and every reason to make sure you’re WELL-LIT! White lights on front, red lights on back, and plenty of reflectors and reflective clothing. Join us in chanting the mantra “See and be seen!” Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 4th. Area bike shops are joining the chorus by offering discounts and promotions on bike lights at a special “Fall Back and Light Up” sale during the weekend of November 2nd – 4th. Participating stores are: Newport Bicycle on Broadway, Pedal Power on West Main Road, and Ten Speed Spokes on Elm Street. For bike enthusiasts, riding at night can be fun, relaxing, and a delightful end to the day. For bike commuters, riding in the dark is a fact of life. Statistically, there are more crashes at night than during the day. This is due in part to the difficulty motorists have in seeing cyclists at night, and in part to cyclists not seeing unsafe road conditions in the dark. There are several ways to improve cyclist visibility and safety at night: Headlights: Handlebar mounted headlights can be USB rechargeable or run on batteries. There’s a range of brightness, and settings that are steady and flashing. Newport law requires a white lamp on the front of your bike that can be seen from 500 feet. Bike shops can help riders choose the best light based on how and where they ride. Front light on your helmet: Helmet headlamps send light whichever way the cyclist looks. Smart! Rear light: Law also requires a red light on the rear of a bicycle. Many cyclists use red blinking lights throughout the day to be more visible as cars approach from the rear. Rear lights can be mounted on fenders, seat posts, seat stays, racks, or saddlebags. Reflective Vest or Jacket: Reflective material increases visibility exponentially and can make cyclists much more obvious on the road at night. In fact, highly reflective material can be far brighter even than the bike lights. Be careful – brightly colored clothing is not the same as reflective. Bright clothing may be highly visible in the daylight, but no different from any other color at night. Be sure that nightwear is reflective. Please contact Bike Newport at 401-619-4900 for more information about the “Fall Back, Light Up” program. For more bike safety information and local ordinances, click here. The post Fall Back and Light up 2018 appeared first on Bike Newport.