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.
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.
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. View post: The survey results are in!
The following notes were shared by Bike Newport to RI Department of Transportation as part of the community review process. These notes reflect input discussed and gathered at numerous community reviews, including Newport Health Equity Zone, North End Neighborhood Association, Bike Newport Board of Directors, Newport Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, and other Bike Newport community gatherings. The following notes should be taken into consideration as we continue to improve/refine the plan for the ramp realignment and surrounding areas within the project limits. PLANNING FOR BICYCLES AND PEDESTRIANS: The plan needs to address motorized traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians together from the first stages of design. Bicycle and pedestrian accommodation are referenced as primary but are not reflected in the designs. The designs represent motor traffic and promise bike and pedestrian accommodation later. It shouldn’t be assumed that the location of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will be added on or even adjacent to the road. We should consider the entire project area to determine what spaces will accommodate all modes safely and comfortably. Additionally, the connections to city sidewalks, parks, and paths just beyond the project limits should be addressed to ensure connectivity. Please have a look at this workshop report from Lynn, Massachusetts. This level of consideration should inform the roadway design. Some of the most relevant pages address: households with no car; pedestrian and bicycle facilities and facility designs; and what facilities might work in their project area. We do not have to hold for the design stage to introduce the facilities that the project managers are already considering. Now is the time. Traffic volume reports are vital to understanding the recommendations, but the reports provided are difficult to interpret and lack context. When were the traffic volumes recorded? What day of the week, and what season of year? We want to make our plans in the best interest of resident livability when we are adjacent to residential areas. Along with traffic volume, we need to consider existing levels of comfort for bicyclists and pedestrians, along with projected demand based on points of interest. The studies should be addressing all road users, their safety, flow, destinations, and improved accommodation from the outset. Additionally, the final plan has to recognize the important corridors and intersections outside and adjacent to the project area. The plan should advance the goals of the Newport Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the Open Space Plan. These alignments with these City plans should be sought, noted, and shared. The plan should be made with intentional attention to the long-term future – thinking 30, 40, 50 years out – considering known and projected weather, transportation modes, traffic patterns, and development. Gather a Project Advisory Board to continue to represent/oversee as plans move forward – and to keep it moving forward. Nothing need delay or derail the project. This Advisory Group can assist with assembling the list of recommendations according to existing plans – STIP, LRTP, Bike Mobility Plan, Open Space Plan, Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Solicit information from other entities with relevant plans in the vicinity. This recommendation goes beyond listening sessions, it is the active collecting and consideration of planning that is relevant in terms of location, traffic flow, pedestrian and bicycle activity, residential and commercial development and more, and includes these offices/agencies and more: Newport Office of Civic Investment, RIPTA, the Navy, City of Newport Public Services (re other road projects), Bike Newport, City Parks, Aquidneck Land Trust, Newport HEZ, RK Properties, Carpionato Group, Discover Newport, Newport & Narragansett Bay Railroad, Newport Housing Authority, Trinity Management, and others. This project is our opportunity to demonstrate innovative creative contemporary planning and forward thinking – let’s make it the best it can be and a model for the island, the state, the region! SPECIFIC DESIGN ELEMENTS Roundabouts, side paths, and other infrastructure elements that support vulnerable road users can now be based on contemporary best practice facilities in place in other cities, as in the workshop report from Lynn Massachusetts referenced above. A road trip by the project managers, consultants, and primary stakeholders to experience these designs first hand would enhance the expertise to make the best recommendations for our conditions. The 200-space parking lot is not sufficient to accommodate drivers who shift to other transportation modes into the city. By comparison the three parking lots at the Steamship Authority in Falmouth accommodate a total of 5500 cars for people leaving their cars behind headed to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The design studies should recognize/reference the different mode shifts that are being considered along with some predictions of usage. What modes are in the works? Bike Share, People Movers, City Shuttles. Where is that vision expressed? The road originally planned to run north between Festival Field Apartments and the RK Newport Shopping Center is a potential method for channeling a high volume of outbound traffic out of town efficiently, without using Admiral Kalbfus or the rotary, and bypassing both the Point and the North Side neighborhoods. This option needs to be considered and addressed. Traffic should be diverted away from neighborhoods. High volume traffic should be directed onto Connell Highway and potentially onto the road referenced in (2) above. Plans should include calm and comfortable connections and passages into/ out of the neighborhoods. The intersection of Malbone Road, Girard Avenue, and Admiral Kalbfus Road represents the eastern limit of the project area and requires very focused attention for vulnerable road user passage. This intersection is currently one of the most dangerous in the city while also a site of concentrated vulnerable road user activity. It represents the nexus of neighborhoods, schools, businesses, residences, and Miantonomi Park – and it is also part of the direct connect between the First Mile Bikeway and the North Side neighborhoods. Extend the project area east to West Main Road in order to provide the necessary traffic calming and pedestrian-safe measures along Admiral Kalbfus Road in consideration of the adjacent neighborhoods, residences, park activity, and safe routes to schools. Any rotary must be designed as a modern roundabout with bicycles and pedestrians safely accommodated on a separated outer rim. All bicycle connections on roads of 25mph or higher must be separated/buffered/protected. The board, staff, and participants of Bike Newport, thank RIDOT for the attention given to community input. We hope these notes are helpful and confirming. We look forward to continued and timely progress on this critical and promising project.  Link to: http://lynnbikeped.com/system/images/2446/original/Lynn_Walking_and_Bicycling_Plan_Workshop_1_Presentation.pdf The post Regarding the Pell Bridge Ramp Realignment Designs appeared first on Bike Newport.
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Original article – In need of some good bike karma? Take a quick survey for us.
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Originally posted here: Jamestown North Main Road: For Safety Sake
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Excerpt from: Join us for the launch of ELLIOT’S RIDE FOR EVERYONE 2018
Squiddo is being unleashed onto the streets of Newport for another limited-time run! Order Your Bike Newport Jersey! Now ’til Friday, September 29th. Think Fall Rides and think Winter Holiday Gifts! Super popular and only occasionally available. Manufactured by Pactimo Apparel, the jerseys are high-performance, high-quality, and elastic-free. Men’s and Women’s Continental Short Sleeve Jersey: $96.00 Men’s and Women’s Continental Long Sleeve Jersey: $112.00 We have a Fit Kit available at our office at 62 Broadway in Newport if you’d like to try one on. Order now, click me! Orders must be made by Friday, 09/29 The post The Giant Cycling Squid of Narragansett Bay Jersey is back! appeared first on Bike Newport.
^ the new sharrows on Broadway position bicyclists right behind cars that are backing up. Over the weekend, the full length of Broadway was painted with much-anticipated “sharrows” – road markings indicating shared use by cars and bicycles. But wait – these sharrows are located immediately next to backing out cars. Is that where they belong? The sharrows on Broadway are currently in the far-right of the lane, adjacent to diagonal parking, where visibility is at its worst for everyone. How many of us already back out of those spots with trepidation? According to NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) Guidelines: “On streets with posted 25mph speeds or slower, preferred placement is in the center of the travel lane to minimize wear and encourage bicyclist to occupy the full lane.” That’s where they are on Spring and Thames, and where we expected to see them on Broadway. People on bikes – and people in cars – will think that bikes are required to be that close to the cars. Therein lies the great danger. We ask that the City move the sharrows away from the parked cars to the recommended center of the traffic lane. Where to ride: Bicyclists are cautioned to ride in the center of the lane on narrow streets such as lower Broadway, Spring, and Thames – away from the parked cars. Where bike lanes are present, as on America’s Cup and Memorial Blvd, use the bike lane unless cars, sand, debris or other hazards are in your path. Bike lanes and sharrows are guides, not requirements. Bicyclists: Body language and communication are everything. Cars have horns and lights; you have arms, eyes, and voices. Always scan behind you and signal with your arms when merging or turning. Assume drivers have not seen you, until they signal their awareness. Use your voice to thank or alert other road users. Remember to stay off the sidewalks and always ride in the same direction as traffic. Drivers: Please understand that bicyclists are required by law to be on the road, and are both allowed and encouraged to take the lane for our own safety. On Broadway, and in congested summertime Newport in general, everyone is forced to move more slowly than usual. Remember to give people on bikes enough room. No degree of frustration is worth putting someone in danger. Put safety first. Ride and drive cautiously on busy Broadway. Be kind out there! The post How to ride a bike safely on Broadway appeared first on Bike Newport.
It’s that time of year! The best winter party in Newport – once again at the amazing Midtown Oyster Bar! There will be live music, great food, a silent auction, Velosprint racing, and of course, piles of oysters. Come dance to Slackwater String Band and Los Duderinos brought to us by Common Fence Music. Get your tickets here. This year, all funds raised will support our Community Bike Projects – where we reclaim abandoned and discarded bikes, which are then repaired or harvested for useable parts with the help of our volunteers. Anyone can come in and tap into shared knowledge, tools, and used parts to repair or build their bikes. Everyone can gain from biking – it’s an affordable, healthy and fun way to get around town. Lots of participants keep coming back for more, and to share their new knowledge with others. Bike Newport’s Community Bike Projects help every kind of rider and every kind of ride, so we can help put more people on bikes in Newport. We are working to make Newport a more bicycle friendly city – through infrastructure, road safety education and more people on bikes! Join us on March 16th at Midtown Oyster Bar! If you are interested in donating to the silent auction, email Brian. The post Bike Newport Night 2017 – Support Community Bike Projects! appeared first on Bike Newport.