Tags : newport

26

Jan

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.

25

Jan

The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Jump to original:  TAC Meeting – Letter to Members re: Major Amendment to the TIP

08

Jan

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.

24

Nov

2015 has been a banner year!

Bike Newport continues to gain traction on the roads, in the community, and around the region. Our “By the Numbers” card details exciting progress: more bike education, more bike infrastructure, and more bike riders. That’s the Bike Newport story – MORE and BETTER bicycling.

No matter why you ride, or even if you don’t ride, you’ll love the community we’re working to create. A bike-friendly Newport will also be a kid-, pedestrian-, elder-, business-, and environment-friendly Newport. Newport will be a better community for motorists, as well. We’re working to educate all road users about safety – better bicyclists, better pedestrians, and better motorists.

Our efforts are all based on a three-part promise of more and better infrastructure, education, and ridership:

On the road to this bike-friendly vision, we’re working toward more bike lanes, more bike parking, better bike routes, better bike education, better road sharing, and, yes, dedicated bike paths on Aquidneck Island – starting with the First Mile. We will hold our course until we have connected the North End with the center of town, and we have afforded our residents and visitors a healthful and enjoyable way to arrive in Newport walking and biking. That First Mile of bike path will be one more step on the path to a bikeable and walkable island – for transportation and for recreation. We can do this – with your help. We can hold our course and continue to strengthen our partnerships, deepen our traction, and advance our progress.

Please support us today. Because dreaming bike-friendly is easy. But funding bike-friendly is hard.

Every contribution helps! Donations are tax-deductible.
Contributions over $50 will receive a free Bike Newport 2016 membership.

Join us, visit us, be part of the action.

Take a class, rescue a bike, come for a community ride, share your road knowledge, mark the maps, teach a kid to ride or to keep her tires inflated, help park some of the 3,369 bikes at the Folk Festival! Stop by our HQ at 437 Broadway any time and say hello. Grab a Newport Bike Map and a Commuter Guide while you’re here. Visit our Bike Garages and get a tour of the inventory, learn a little about wheel truing from an expert, or how to fix a flat from a recent basic bike maintenance graduate. Bear witness to the crowd of kids circling Miantonomi Park on Bike Library bikes.

We need your help to make it all happen! To keep us in the saddle and at the tables where decisions are made. We need your help to keep the doors open to our Bike Library, the tools busy at our Bike Garages, the routes shared in our Bike Map, the spotlight on local and statewide Bike Plans, and funding for safer on-road biking as well as multi-use paths.

If you have ideas, questions, feedback, please reach out to us. Our email is info@bikenewportri.org. Our phone number is (401) 619-4900.

Explore this website – it’s chock full of great information, maps, and resources.

THANK YOU! For your support, and for being part of Bike Newport.

Bike Newport Board:

Dawn Euer, Chair; Allison McNally, Vice Chair; Don Jagoe, Treasurer; Laura Murphy, Secretary; Sarah Atkins, Renee Kaminitz, Peter Harty, James Ryan, Chip Young

Bike Newport Staff:

Bari Freeman, Executive Director; Mark Chesterton, Director of Education; Liza Burkin, Program Manager

The post Dreaming Bike-Friendly is Easy. Building Bike-Friendly is Hard. appeared first on Bike Newport.

27

Jan

(above graphic: www.looksavealife.com)

Two pedestrians died this week in Newport – in two separate incidents – both were hit by cars while crossing in a marked crosswalk. Robert Silvia, 56, was in his wheelchair crossing Memorial Blvd. Sharon Gerlach, 58, was crossing Bellevue Avenue in front of the shop she has co-owned with her sister for 32 years. Our hearts and prayers are with their loved ones.

While total traffic deaths nationwide are decreasing, the numbers of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths are increasing. This statistic can be attributed to many factors combined – more people walking and cycling, conditions at the moment, as well as increasingly distracted behaviors by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. We are off-season at the moment, but it is highly relevant that in Newport we experience the added complications of high-season tourism – visitors on holiday, excited, confused, distracted, and unaware of local ordinances.

Newport’s pain is felt in cities across the country – 2013 saw record-breaking numbers of pedestrian fatalities in Tucson and San Jose, while in NYC there were seven pedestrian deaths in the first 12 days of 2014.

The most important thing we can do in the wake of these tragedies is to be aware and pay attention – in our cars, on our feet, and on our bicycles. As drivers, we need to keep our eyes on the road. As cyclists and pedestrians, we must pay attention, and we MUST not assume that we are seen. We must be in the habit of making eye contact before trusting a stop sign or crosswalk to protect us.

Ultimately, we are all our own best defense. Be aware, vigilant, visible and predictable. 

Please pledge to follow, model and teach these common sense rules of the road – regardless of circumstance, mood, or condition. Review these practices with the young people in your life. In this way, we can prevent more tragedies.

Motorists:

Expect and respect cyclists on the road.
Leave plenty of room when passing cyclists and pedestrians – at least three feet.
Approach crosswalks with extra caution. Expect pedestrians to use crosswalks.
Never use a cell phone or other device while driving. It can wait!
Be prepared for all driving conditions. If it’s sunny, wear sunglasses. If it’s icy, check brakes and tires. Adjust your speed to the conditions, including slowing down to the speed you need for control and visibility in ice, rain, snow, fog and sun.
Never honk at cyclists.
Be attentive and focused.
Foster a better relationship among all road users by being considerate, friendly, and polite.

Pedestrians:

Pay attention. Make eye contact.
Don’t use your cell phone while crossing the street and avoid dulling your perceptions with headphones.
Look up and make eye contact with drivers.
Do not assume that cars will stop even when you are in the crosswalk.
Enter the street only once you are certain that the car is stopping.
Foster a better relationship among all road users by being considerate, friendly, and polite.

Cyclists:

Follow the rules of the road. Always ride in the SAME direction as traffic.
Ride on the right side of the road as far to the right as practical and safe.
Do NOT ride in the door zone. Check cars as you approach them to avoid any possibility of being hit by a suddenly opening door.
Ride single file when on narrow, curvy, and busy roads.
Be as visible as possible to traffic – wear reflective gear and proper lighting in the dark.
Communicate with the drivers on the road – use hand signals.
Make eye contact whenever possible before turning or crossing in busy traffic.
Understand and obey the laws regarding stopping and yielding at stop lights and stop signs, which are, in Rhode Island, the same for cyclists as for motorists.
Wear a helmet on every ride, not just in group rides and races.
Foster a better relationship among all road users by being considerate, friendly, and polite.

Bike Newport is working with all stakeholders to make every effort to improve the safety and education of all road users. Both Deanna Casey (Board Chair) and Bari George (Executive Director) sit on the newly formed Newport Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission. Additionally, Bike Newport works closely with the Highway Safety Program of the RI Department of Transportation on the statewide Vulnerable Road User Safety Action Plan currently in progress. This statewide project uses Newport as the model and pilot for statewide recommendations.

We welcome your comments, suggestions, and participation as we work to improve both the frequency and safety of cycling – and walking – in Newport. All are invited to attend our monthly Community Meeting, which takes place from 8:00 – 9:00 am in our office at 435 Thames St. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Please also remember that we offer FREE Smart Cycling workshops to any group of 8 or more – tailored to all ages and abilities. For more information, please contact Bike Newport at (401) 619-4900; or email info@bikenewportri.org.

Look both ways before crossing. Ride safe. Ride happy. Ride!

The post Be Your Own Best Defense. appeared first on Bike Newport.

17

Jan

RI residents have an opportunity to shape the state’s future through Rhode Map RI, a project that began in early 2013.

Join Bike Newport on Jan. 30 for a discussion with local and state officials on how to build a community that will accommodate and nurture Rhode Island’s future growth while protecting its natural and cultural resources, focusing on bicycle and pedestrian issues in Newport.

When: Thursday, Jan. 30, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Where: Newport Police Department, 120 Broadway
Hosted by: RhodeMap RI and Bike Newport.

Invite your friends to the Facebook event to give everyone with bicycle and pedestrian interest the opportunity to join this tailored discussion.

The post RhodeMap RI with a Bike/Ped Twist appeared first on Bike Newport.

30

Apr

The National Bike Challenge starts tomorrow! From May 1st to September 30 bicyclists from across the country will be joining a friendly competition amongst riders who voluntarily track their miles.

Let’s ‘up’ Rhode Island participation this year! It’s crazy easy to join – simply follow this LINK to set up your account and then post your miles whenever you have the time. No stress. No new apps. No pressure. Lots of fun. Sign up on your own, or click HERE to join the statewide RIBIKE team.

Together we’ll rack up the miles and burn some calories. We’ll show the world the Ocean State has the numbers!

Spread the word! Invite your friends, family and colleagues to join. Post the link on your Facebook page, and tweet away, if that’s your thing. The sign up and reporting process is simple. There’s even a smartphone app to take it with you.

Click HERE for the 2013 National Bike Challenge site.

The post Let’s Rally Rhode Islanders to the National Bike Challenge appeared first on Bike Newport.