Tags : safety



^ 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.



Continue at source:  It’s Getting Darker Earlier – Fall Back and Light Up!



Father’s Day Ride 2014 / photo by Meg Heriot

Sunday, June 19th at Fort Adams

Visit www.fathersdayride.org to register.

Bike Newport, the Newport County YMCA, Fort Adams Trust, and the RIDOT Highway Safety Program together announce the 2016 Elliot Kaminitz Father’s Day Ride, an annual family cycling event held at Fort Adams and along the scenic Newport Ocean Loop.

The annual ride honors Elliot Kaminitz, an active community member and safe cycling advocate  who was killed while riding his bicycle in Newport. The ride delivers on the Kaminitz family wish to encourage more, better and safer cycling for everyone.

This year the Father’s Day Ride will be held on Sunday, June 19th at Fort Adams State Park. Participants can choose to ride 6, 10, or 25 miles. The 6-mile loop is marked with cones and escorted by the Newport Police – making it just right for families and first-timers. Participants can also choose a brisk two-mile walk around the park. Children can practice bike skills and rack up miles in the “Tour de Fort” – safely inside the Fort walls. There will be refreshments, entertainment, yoga, massage, and plenty of bicycle happiness.

2016 brings new and exciting changes to the event. The YMCA of Newport County is joining Bike Newport as a partner to produce the event, and Fort Adams Trust is the generous host. The partners are working together to bring more local families to beautiful Fort Adams and the Ocean Loop – with the promise that everyone who wants to ride, will ride. The YMCA will also operate busses to transport families and their bicycles to and from Fort Adams. And a fee waiver is available on the registration site to ensure that financial constraints do not deter participation.

“We want as many people as possible from the community to enjoy cycling together along the ocean,” explained Bike Newport’s Executive Director, Bari Freeman. “Riding with friends, family, and neighbors in this beautiful place is fantastic – and everyone should have that chance.”

The YMCA’s CEO, Mike Miller, is celebrating the collaboration. “The Newport County YMCA is thrilled to partner on this special event.  Bringing members of our community together to ride and walk in support of safer cycling aligns perfectly with our focus areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We look forward to our continued work together for this event and throughout the summer as we offer cycling as part of the new Adams Experience Summer Camp.”

Renee Kaminitz shared that this collaboration holds great promise and brings her real joy. “Together, we are educating the public to be aware of surroundings and training our children to be safer cyclists. I’m a teacher at heart, and this event educates everyone, directly and indirectly. While people are out having fun together, we’re learning how to share the road, and we’re celebrating the safety of all road users.”

RIDOT’s Director of Highway Safety, Gabrielle Abbate, was also on hand for the announcements. “We’ve been a sponsor of the children’s activities at the Father’s Day Ride every year, “ she explained, referring to the “Tour de Fort” activities inside the Fort Adams Fort, where the children practice skills and ride loops of the Parade Route to rack up miles. “The community focus on road safety here in Newport is what we hope to see in communities statewide.”

The Father’s Day Ride raises funds for bicycle safety education at Bike Newport and the YMCA of Newport County. Activities begin and end at Fort Adams and run from 8am to noon on June 19th. For more information, to register, and to support the event as a sponsor, please visit www.fathersdayride.org or email tracy@fathersdayride.org.

Partners for the 2016 Fathers Day Ride together announced the fourth annual event on April 19th:

Kneeling (l-r): Mary Ellen Lynch, Bike Newport Outreach Manager; Kellen Farnham, Bike Newport Development Director; Olivia Kachingwe, HEZ Project Coordinator; Tracy Jonsson, Father’s Day Ride Event Manager; and Joe Dias, Fort Adams Trust Exec Director.

Standing (l-r): Miguel Sola, YMCA; Bill Villareal,YMCA; Gabrielle Abbate, Director, RIDOT Highway Safety; Greg Hall, Board President, Fort Adams Trust; Renee Kaminitz; Colleen Germain, Newport Superintendent of Schools; Bari Freeman, Bike Newport Exec Director; RI State Rep Lauren Carson; YMCA CEO Mike Miller; Henri Venable, Bike Newport Education Manager; and Chip Young, Bike Newport Board.

The post It’s time to register for the 2016 Father’s Day Ride! appeared first on Bike Newport.



Temps have finally plunged and the white stuff is accumulating, so it must be time for BIKE NEWPORT NIGHT – our annual mid-winter bike celebration and the best winter party in Newport!

Thursday, March 3rd


at Midtown Oyster Bar, 345 Thames Street, Newport

Live music with Slackwater String Bandand Los Duderinos,

with help from Common Fence Music.

RIBike’s VELOSPRINT racing, silent auction, raffles, cash bar


Don’t miss out on the annual tradition GRAND PRIZE BICYCLE RAFFLE

featuring the new “Hootie Rule” – same person may not win within 5 years – love you Hootie!

$20 at the door


In years past, funds raised at Bike Newport Night have helped us to make great progress – certifying instructors, purchasing event racks, and advocating for The First Mile of bike path.  This year, all funds raised will support our Bicycle and Road Safety Education – SPREAD THE ED!

Road safety depends on knowledge and agreements among bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. We’re starting with our kids, our teachers, our police, our employers. We’re working with schools, businesses, community organizations, automobile associations, bus companies, and more. We’re developing school curriculum and we’re training more and more instructors. The more folks who know how to safely be on the road together – the more people who model and share safe practices – the safer our roads and our people will be. Spread the Ed!

Want to help? We’d love your contribution to our raffles and silent auction and we’ll be happy to tell everyone about your generosity before and during the event. Thank you! Let us know here and we’ll follow up with you.

There will be plenty of Bike Parking at Midtown Oyster Bar, so ride on down – see you on March 3rd!

The post Bike Newport Night 2016 is March 3rd! appeared first on Bike Newport.



Christmas came on wheels this year for Newporter Niko Merritt and her children, Jayden, Ian, and Gianna.  When they arrived at Bike Newport HQ on Tuesday the 23rd, there were four brand new bikes waiting – and helmets and locks – thanks to the generosity of the Newport Run and Chug Club and partygoers at their annual holiday party, and with the help of Newport Bicycle.

Every year, the Run and Chug hosts a party where they celebrate the season and raise money for a special gift in the community. This year, they decided to surprise a deserving family with a set of new bikes. 

Jeff Heimiller, the president of the group called Bike Newport to ask if we knew a family that would enjoy a set of bikes, and we said “Oh boy, do we.”

Niko is a dedicated and thoughtful member of the community. When she’s not busy with her kids or working at Baby Steps at the Florence Gray Center, she’s giving her time to other women and families in the community. She also serves as a resident consultant to the Education and Economic Opportunity committees of the Newport HEZ project – standing for Health Equity Zones – run by Newport’s Women’s Resource Center.

Since last year, Niko has planned to earn bikes for her family at Bike Newport’s Bike Garage, but her busy schedule made it difficult. When Jeff asked for a suggestion, it was obvious. We’re happy to see this gift go to Niko and her kids; and we’re grateful to Jeff and the Run and Chug Club for their generosity and delightful community spirit.

Huge thanks to the Run and Chug Club – who also generously contributed to Bike Newport, so we can continue to collect, restore, and distribute bikes throughout the community.

From Niko and the Bike Newport family to you and yours –  wishes for bike happiness in the new year!

The post Christmas on Wheels! appeared first on Bike Newport.



Student winners show off their $100 gift certificates to Newport Bicycle and Ten Speed Spokes (L-R): Thompson Principal Jaime Crowley, Jaylianna Fernandez, Angelina McCartney, Dwight Williams, Manny Simes, and Bike Newport Program Manager Liza Burkin

The four Thompson Middle School students were giddy, “We didn’t know why we were getting called to the principal’s office!”

Jaylianna Fernandez, Dwight Williams, Manny Simes, and Angelina McCartney weren’t facing any reprimands – they were in fact greeted with $100 gift certificates to local bike shops.

“It’s all part of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s initiative to encourage more kids to bike and walk to school,” explained Bike Newport’s Program Manager, Liza Burkin. “Wednesday was Bike and Walk to School Day – all of the walkers and bicyclists were entered into a raffle, and these kids won!”

International Bike and Walk to School Day is a global event where communities from more than 40 countries participate on the same day. It began in 1997 as a one-day event. Over time, it has evolved into a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration each October. Thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – participate.

School principal Jaime Crowley says he’s seeing the impact of all the Safe Routes to School efforts at Thompson: “More and more students are biking and walking to school,” he says. “and they feel energized when they get here.”

Angelina is part of a group of friends who bike to soccer practice at Braga Park. She says, “It’s a great warm up! And biking and walking is much cleaner because you’re not breathing in other people’s germy air.” Dwight bikes or walks because he lives close to school and it doesn’t take long. Jaylianna walks to school with a group of friends from all grades, and loves getting to talk with them along the way.

Manny often visits Bike Newport’s Bike Garage North at the Florence Gray Center with his older brother, Tyrone. Last May, Tyrone rode with Bike Newport to BikeFestRI in Providence. Manny says he bikes to school because “it’s fun and it gets out some energy out – and it’s good exercise. I want to bike to Providence like my brother!”

Students from kindergarten to 12th grade are encouraged to experience the benefits of active transportation not just on Bike and Walk to School Day, but every day. Results include healthy habits, environment, attitude, and improved performance in school. Biking and walking also help students to be on time to school and to be present every day. In no small part because biking and walking to school is a fun way to start the day!

The post Big Winners on Bike and Walk to School Day! appeared first on Bike Newport.



It’s time to make the switch to everyday bicycling. We’re here to help.

Are you a recreational rider who’s ready to ditch the car for everyday commuting and errands? Do you ride on trails or bike paths on the weekends but need some support in making the transition to riding with traffic? Are you just getting back on a bike for the first time in years? Join us for a four hour comprehensive workshop on biking for transportation.

Sign up HERE.

The afternoon will begin in the classroom, progress to practicing bike maneuvering skills in a car-free parking lot, and culminate in a 3-mile city ride in small, intimate groups led by instructors. You will gain experience riding with traffic in a variety of on-road conditions, applying the safe riding techniques you learned in the classroom and out in the parking lot.

MUST HAVES: a bike, helmet, and basic riding skills. Sign up HERE.

Space is limited! Bike Newport members receive 15% off all classes. This class is certified by the League of American Bicyclists.

The post Make the switch to everyday biking: Transportation Cycling Workshop on 10/17/15 appeared first on Bike Newport.



The Newport community is coming together to improve safety on our busy roads – and it all starts with a WAVE. Newport Waves is a new campaign to make the city’s streets safer. The proposition is for all road users – pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, skateboarders, and others – to acknowledge one another with a simple, intuitive, and friendly gesture.  A “Newport Wave.”

Featuring a cast of characters known to many, the campaign is a who’s who of Newport notables walking, biking, and driving. Together, the favorite community police officer (Jimmy Winters), the city’s surfing icon (Sid Abbruzzi), the Boston Marathon bomb survivor (Heather Abbott), the state’s Senate President (Theresa Paiva Weed), and the rest of the cast, all elicit smiles, nods of approval, and a readiness to do the wave.

City Councilor Lynn Ceglie attended the community meetings that led to the production of the Newport Waves campaign. “Now I wave all the time,” she shared with her fellow councilors, “and I wait for a response. There’s no question I feel safer.”

“When I saw the video, I immediately showed it to my daughters,” Councilor Naomi Neville reported. “This campaign is amazing and I’m going to vote to support it.”

A positive and entertaining 90-second video is at the heart of the campaign, and can be viewed at newportwaves.org. The video will play widely on web sites, on social media, and on screens citywide. Thirty-six Newport Waves street banners over select city travel routes will greet visitors and residents starting in early July. Posters, postcards, and table tents will begin appearing as businesses join the campaign.

“This is a community project. We all own it,” explained Bari Freeman, executive director of Bike Newport, the organization spearheading the campaign. “We’ll all use the resources we have to reach more and more people. We’ll create a culture shift for safety – with a wave, and a smile.”

Evan Smith, president of Discover Newport, the City’s Tourism Board, told a recent crowd that safety is a key element in making a destination popular. “Waving is intuitive. It’s positive and it’s friendly.  And if it can save someone from being hurt, this campaign is so worth it.”

“It’s all about teaching our kids how to be safe on our roads,” shared Colleen Jermain, Superintendent of Schools.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make our streets safer for everyone,” announced Newport Police Sgt. Jonathan Cortes, another leader of the Newport Waves campaign partnership.

Among those community businesses already on board with Newport Waves are the Jane Pickens Theater, which will show the video before movies throughout the summer; Newport’s Hyatt Regency, which will play the video in all of its 258 guest rooms; and RIPTA, which will run the campaign in 70 busses.

“Safety on the roads is important for our guests and our employees and so we’ll do all we can to help get this message out,” said (Hyatt employee TBD).

“It’s short and it’s fun,” summed up Jane Pickens owner, Kathy Staab.

There are many other early campaign partners, including the Newport Visitors Center, Newport County YMCA, and the Newport Daily News. Interested businesses and organizations should visit www.newportwaves.org for more information. “Raise your hand if you’re in!” is the battle cry for Newport Waves.

The campaign was sparked by a federal grant “Safer Streets for All”, managed in Rhode Island by RI-HEALTH. The video was produced pro bono by Worldways Social Media of Newport. The banners will be funded by a Senate Legislative Grant from Newport native and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed. The “We Wave!” concept was created by Butler Brothers of Austin, TX. For more information and to see the campaign: visit www.newportwaves.org.

The post Introducing: Newport Waves! appeared first on Bike Newport.



Photo (l-r): Hank Myers, manager; Ray Simas, driver; Bob Elliott, driver; Melissa Wicks, safety coordinator; Bari Freeman, Bike Newport; Harvey Chapman, driver; Paul Nobile, driver; Butch Malarchik, driver; Cindy Boiani, driver.

“We want to be part of the solution.”

– Hank Myers, Manager, First Student, Newport

School busses have unique safety challenges – requiring the utmost attention to the road, the vehicle, and their precious cargo. With an average 35’ length – there are visibility and blind spot challenges at every moment of the drive. Stopping, starting, standing, passing, and turning, our bus drivers need to be aware of what is happening inside and outside their bus. Safety is the most important aspect of school bus driving, and our drivers take it seriously.

Newport has unique challenges as well – narrow winding streets in historic neighborhoods, distracted vacation drivers on unfamiliar roads, cyclists riding the wrong way or inadequately illuminated. Not so unique are the phone-fixated and/or impatient motorists putting everyone at risk. With three pedestrian deaths in the past year, we have a wake up call to take more action to improve safety on our roads.

When Bike Newport suggested a conversation about road sharing with the district’s bus drivers, Hank Myers was keen to get started. The local manager of First Student, Newport’s school bus company, Hank manages 16 bus drivers who service the district’s three schools. “Great idea,” said Hank. “Let’s do it.” Let’s be a partner in the effort to improve safety on our roads.

Fresh off the Monday morning run, we gathered at the First Student bus depot on Halsey Street. We discussed rules of the road, bicyclist rights and responsibilities, and bicycle-related ordinances. We reviewed bike lanes, shared lanes, and state passing laws. We shared horror stories and agreed that there are good and bad cyclists and good and bad motorists.

Together we considered the value of bicycling in a town as small and scenic as Newport, where local travel is mostly under two miles – easily walkable and bikeable. We acknowledged that bicycling inherently reduces traffic congestion and improves health, economy, quality of life, and quality of place.

We agreed on a few first steps together. We’ve already begun to share information – documentation of road rules and recommendations, and helpful videos on road sharing safety. We’ll ask the local media to assist by printing daily or weekly reminders to cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians about safe road behaviors. Together we’ll develop joint messages – like today’s message to bicyclists about the importance of correct bike behaviors near school busses. Here it is:

According to state and local laws, bicycles are vehicles and must abide by all vehicular traffic laws. Therefore:

Bicyclists: When you see a stopped school bus with safety lights on, you are required to stop before reaching the vehicle and remain standing until the bus lights are no longer operating. Also, please do not ever pass a school bus on the right side. When children are entering and exiting the bus, everyone is put at risk.

If following the law isn’t enough, consider this added incentive, as conveyed by our friends at Bike Portland in Oregon: “While you sit out the delay, it may give you time to wonder about the intent of the school bus law. After all it’s meant to keep children safe as they cross the street or congregate around the bus. Despite the personal inconvenience of waiting, the letter of the law may be important here because as a living, breathing distraction in the landscape, you are probably being observed by some of the kids on the bus. These are the future cyclists of America and you, standing by, are serving as a role model. It isn’t often you are given the opportunity to do the right thing so easily and impress a very impressionable audience at the same time. Maybe it’s worth a couple minutes of standing still.” We, at Bike Newport and First Student, agree. Safety is always worth the time.

Throughout our meeting, there was a stoic gentleman at the back of the room who refused to crack a smile, no matter my eye-to-eye attention and attempted wit. He was one tough customer. But at the end of our session, he came forward, took off his glasses and delivered a bigger smile than I’d hoped for. It seems we are all indeed in this together. Thanks to Harvey, Hank Myers, and all the First Student bus drivers for being part of the solution.

Let’s get out there and be role models. Safety first.

The post PS The Kids Are Watching appeared first on Bike Newport.